04-14-2021  7:58 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

Portland Police Declares Riot After Vigil for Daunte Wright

Police said they issued verbal warnings to the crowd but around 10:30 p.m. police declared the gathering as a riot and bull-rushed protestors, knocking them to the ground and macing them, news outlets reported.

Portland Leaders To Re-Establish Anti-Gun Violence Unit

Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners have reached a deal on proposals intended to stem a spike in gun violence over the past year.

Three Black Candidates File to Run for Board Positions in Portland Schools and PCC

May 18 election presents handful of openings for four-year terms.

NEWS BRIEFS

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Tishaura Jones Makes History As First Black Woman To Become Mayor of St. Louis

Jones has just been elected as the first Black woman to hold the title in the city’s 257-year-history ...

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases in Oregon

168 vaccinated individuals have tested positive for the virus through April 2, including three deaths ...

VIDEO: Short Film Released on Portland Metro’s COVID-19 Response

Six-minute documentary shares the voices of people on the front lines of the pandemic and pays tribute to the local community health...

Idaho authorities seek help in search for 3 missing kids

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho are asking for help finding three missing children, including two who were last seen months ago. The Gem County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night that investigators are looking for 17-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton, 14-year-old...

Dry conditions triple number of fires sparked in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry said Tuesday the number of small wildfires has tripled this spring partly because of dry conditions across Oregon. The agency said Tuesday they’ve already doused 70 fires, almost half of which resulted from escaped...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri. Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the...

OPINION

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

Eugene Senator Welcomes Passage of "Critical" Covid Rescue Plan

State Sen. James I. Manning Jr. (D- North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City) sends us a letter welcoming the passage of President Biden's "critical" jumi.9T Covid stimulus plan and praising the efforts of Democrats in Oregon's delegation to...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Review: A book celebrating Black American farming history

"We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers Land and Legacy,” by Natalie Baszile (Amistad) Farming would seem to be one occupation that Black Americans could find refuge from discrimination. Consumers choose their fruits and veggies by their size and...

In Minnesota, suburban mayor is thrust into policing debate

Mike Elliott is among many who celebrated his election as mayor of Brooklyn Center as the beginning of a new era, marking the first time one of Minnesota's most racially diverse places would be led by a person of color. Elliott, a Black man who had emigrated from Liberia as a child, was almost...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for national mourning. Many will also be watching for any signs of reconciliation between Prince Harry and the royal family, especially with his elder brother Prince William. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — People have been stuck at home for a year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with movie theaters closed, concert venues closed, restaurants closed, sports attendance restricted — yet television viewing is down? That makes no sense to networks and cable and...

Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' out in October

NEW YORK (AP) — J.K. Rowling has a new book coming this fall, a holiday children's story with all new characters. Scholastic announced Tuesday that “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released...

ACM nominee engineer Gena Johnson crafts hit records

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Inside the Nashville basement studio of audio engineer Gena Johnson, she has mementos from many of the artists she's helped to record and who have also shaped her own career. A turn of the century upright piano that Ben Folds helped her find sits...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Senate filibuster test over Asian-American hate crime bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to start debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate...

100 Days: Tokyo Olympics marked by footnotes and asterisks

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo pitched itself as "a safe pair of hands” when it was awarded the Olympics 7 1/2 years ago. ...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for...

Greece, Libya to discuss delineating maritime boundaries

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and Libya are to discuss delineating maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean, the...

Opposition accuses UK govt of sleaze amid lobbying scandal

LONDON (AP) — A lobbying scandal swirling around former British Prime Minister David Cameron has deepened with...

We need to plan: UK travel urges clarity from government

LONDON (AP) — Leaders from Britain's aviation industry joined forces Wednesday to urge the British government to...

By Michael Pearson CNN


George Zimmerman's defense left court-watchers waiting until the last minute Wednesday, finishing with their last witnesses but leaving open the possibility that the former neighborhood watch volunteer might still testify in his own defense in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The final witness, pending Zimmerman's decision, was the defendant's father, Robert Zimmerman, who testified that it was his son who was screaming on the infamous 911 recording of the fatal altercation that claimed the 17-year-old Martin's life in 2012.

Robert Zimmerman joined his wife, Gladys, in testifying that they believe it was their son George.

By contrast, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she was "absolutely" certain that the panicked voice was that of her son Trayvon, with the late teenager's brother, Jahvaris Fulton, making a similar determination.

The defense team, which consumed most of the day on testimony from a "use-of-force" expert, also called one of Zimmerman's neighbors -- Olivia Bertalan -- who spoke of being appreciative of Zimmerman's support after a home invasion at her house.

In one memorable moment Wednesday, attorneys from both sides grappled with a foam dummy on the floor of a Florida courtroom, working to demonstrate to rapt jurors their competing versions of what happened the rainy 2012 night Trayvon Martin died in an altercation with George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, is accused of second-degree murder in the February 26, 2012, death of Martin, a 17-year-old from Miami who was staying with his father in Zimmerman's Sanford, Florida, neighborhood.

Defense attorneys argue Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense after the Miami teenager charged him. Prosecutors argue he followed Martin through his neighborhood and shot him without provocation.

To that end, Assistant State Attorney John Guy brought out the dummy in an effort to demonstrate that it would have been difficult for Zimmerman to retrieve his handgun from his pocket with Martin straddling him, as defense attorneys have argued was the case.

The fatal gunshot, Guy reminded defense witness Dennis Root, was fired at a 90-degree angle into Martin's body.

"Wouldn't that be consistent with Travyon Martin getting off of George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman raising the gun and firing it?" Guy asked Root, a use-of-force expert.

"It could be consistent with any kind of movement ... We weren't there so the info that we have is George Zimmerman's statement," he said.

Later, defense attorney Mark O'Mara straddled the dummy himself, pounding the back of its head against the carpeted courtroom floor, demonstrating how he says Martin gave him the head wounds seen in police photographs from the night of the shooting.

He later asked Root -- a former police officer with extensive training in firearms and self-defense -- if it would have been possible for Zimmerman to reach around Martin's body to get at a gun located near his hip.

"Yes, sir," Root replied, minutes before Judge Debra Nelson called a lunch break.

Earlier, Root testified the apparent fight between Zimmerman and Martin went on for a relatively long time -- some 40 seconds -- and was clearly marked by a high level of fear and anxiety.

"I have personally sat there and timed it myself, where it is about 40 seconds of time. That's a very long time to be involved in any type of physical altercation," Root said.

"We have a golden rule," he told defense attorney Mark O'Mara. "If you have not successfully completed the fight, if you have not won the fight in 30 seconds, change tactics, because the tactics you are using are not working."

The testimony came as the effort to defend George Zimmerman against murder charges in the 2012 shooting death of Martin neared its end Wednesday. O'Mara said Wednesday afternoon that the defense would have two more witnesses after Root finishes his testimony.

The defense team offered no indication whether the onetime neighborhood watch volunteer himself would testify before they wrap up their case, which is expected Wednesday. A prosecution rebuttal could follow.

At the beginning of the afternoon session, Nelson questioned Zimmerman -- over the repeated objection of defense attorney Don West -- on whether he had decided to testify. He said that he had not. When asked how long it might be before he decides, Zimmerman said, "Depends on how long the recesses are."

The closely watched trial follows a national debate over the role of guns and race sparked by the death of Martin, a Miami teenager who was staying with his father in Zimmerman's Sanford, Florida, neighborhood when he died.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has acknowledged shooting Martin, but has said he did so in self-defense after Martin attacked him.

Martin supporters argued Zimmerman took advantage of what they considered loose Florida gun laws to racially profile and shoot down an unarmed African-American teenager without provocation.

The incident, inflamed by a lengthy delay before charges were filed against Zimmerman, provoked protests nationwide.

Before Wednesday's testimony, Nelson dealt two blows to Zimmerman's defense, ruling they could not introduce pictures and text messages from Martin's phone or present during testimony a three-dimensional computer re-enactment of how the defense believes the altercation played out.

The photos and text messages recovered from Martin's phone include apparent references to efforts to buy a gun, as well as discussion of a fight. They won't be seen by jurors.

However, it appears that the animation could still be used during closing arguments.

The defense said Tuesday that the animation would help the jury understand how the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman unfolded. The prosecution argued the animated re-enactment makes assumptions, and it's not based on evidence in the case.

HLN's Graham Winch, Jonathan Anker and Anna Lanfreschi and CNN's John Couwels and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

Trial: George Floyd's Death

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