07-03-2020  10:26 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Surge in state COVID-19 cases driven by eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Cirio Hernandez Hernandez was thinning apple trees on a June morning in Yakima, grabbing a fistful of tiny apples and knocking off all but one that was left to grow to a marketable size.It wasn't the Yakima Valley's hot temperatures, or the strenuous work, that was...

Violence mars Portland protests, frustrates Black community

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters made a peaceful return trip Friday to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defense of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support.Protesters marched along the busy public boulevard called...

K-State players end threat of boycott over Floyd tweet

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State football players have called off a threatened boycott in response to an insensitive tweet by a student about the death of George Floyd.The decision, announced on social media by several players, follows moves by the school to address diversity concerns....

Violence mars Portland protests, frustrates Black community

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP Week in Pictures, Global

JUNE 27 - JULY 3, 2020This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by The...

More fireworks in Americans' hands for July 4 raises risks

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Epstein cohort's arrest becomes new test for plea deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Before Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse suicide last year, his defense hinged on a 2008...

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks coronavirus-denying monk

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied...

France returns remains of Algerian anti-colonial fighters

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — After decades in a French museum, the skulls of 24 Algerians decapitated for...

Turkey: pilots on trial over Ghosn escape released from jail

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McMenamins
Chris King Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

Reggie Clemons

ST. LOUIS (NNPA) - One day after a momentous hearing had been scheduled for death row inmate Reginald Clemons, Amnesty International came to St. Louis to release a new report on his case and to pledge funding and volunteers to the determined, grass-roots Justice for Reggie campaign.
National and regional representatives of the international human rights organization last week gathered with local and regional advocates for Clemons in front of the old Municipal Courts building in downtown St. Louis, where Clemons was tried and sentenced to death in 1993 for allegedly participating in the murders of Robin Kerry and Julie Kerry as an accomplice.
"We are here to see justice is delivered in our own backyard, not only in Iran and Iraq," said Jamal Watkins, Amnesty International USA's regional director for the Midwest.
Watkins was joined by Laura Moye, who directs Amnesty International USA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign.
"Amnesty International is here today to raise the volume in the call for justice in a case that exemplifies the very worst problems in our death penalty system," Moye said.
In saying the group aims "to raise the volume," Moye acknowledged ongoing efforts by the Justice for Reggie campaign, led by Jamala Rogers, Clemons' mother Vera Thomas and his stepfather, Bishop Reynolds Thomas. This campaign has been embraced by the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP. Representatives from all of these groups spoke briefly on May 11.
Amnesty's timing in releasing its 16-page report, Death by Prosecutorial Misconduct and a "Stacked Jury," on May 11 seems tied to a date that should have been pivotal for Clemons, but was not. Judge Michael Manners, the special master appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to gather new evidence and review the case, originally had scheduled May 10 as the new hearing date for Clemons.
However, the hearing was postponed after Nels C. Moss, who prosecuted Clemons in 1993, told the Missouri Attorney General's Office on March 2 "that he had recently been told of the existence of a rape kit located at the St. Louis Police Department Crime Lab," according to a letter faxed to Manners by the AG's office.
A rape kit is a body of forensic evidence collected when a rape is suspected; it does not imply that a rape has occurred. This evidence was collected from a body retrieved from the Mississippi River that was identified as Julie Kerry's corpse. The body of Robin Kerry was never found.
On March 25, Manners was informed that Clemons' attorneys and the AG had agreed to submit the new evidence to DNA testing, forcing the postponement of the May 10 hearing date. No new date has been set.
May 10, 2010 was scheduled to be a culminating moment in a shocking and historic process that started on June 30, 2009, when the Missouri Supreme Court appointed Manners – a 16th Circuit judge in Indepedence – as special master with subpoena powers to reconsider Clemons' most recent Writ of Habeas Corpus. This opened a new evidence phase in the case of a man who had been condemned to die less than two weeks earlier, on June 17.
The June 17 execution date – which had been set by the same court that would suddenly reopen the Clemons case to new evidence – was suspended when a federal court issued a stay. The State had condemned Clemons to die while he had a federal appeal pending concerning the Missouri Department of Corrections' ability to administer its own execution protocols without violating his constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
While detailed and passionate, the Amnesty International report covers no new ground. It restates familiar points about Clemons' allegations – filed the day after he was interrogated in 1991 – that St. Representatives of Amnesty International, joined by other supporters of death row inmate Reginald Clemons.

Louis detectives violated his constitutional rights to silence and counsel and beat a scripted confession out of him.
Police denied these accusations, though Judge Michael David ordered Clemons taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries when he was arraigned after the interrogation. Further, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department settled with Thomas Cummins for $150,000 for accusations of police brutality – against some of the same detectives, working the same case. Cummins, a cousin of the Kerrys', was the first suspect in the murders and initially confessed to a role in his the girls' deaths. He testified against Clemons as Moss' star witness and received his settlement from the police on the day Clemons was sentenced to death.
Clemons' confession – to rape, not murder – was permitted as evidence in court, which should not have been done if the confession was coerced and obtained without a lawyer after counsel had been requested.
Though Clemons was never prosecuted on rape charges, they were used against him as a "sentence enhancer" when Moss successfully pushed for the death penalty.
The Amnesty report also rehashes familiar evidence that the judge allowed Moss to stack the jury against Clemons by improperly excluding jurors. Clemons, one of three African-American youth accused of murdering two young White women, was judged by a jury with only two Black jurors (out of 12) in a city that is slightly more than half Black.
The Amnesty report cites a 2002 federal ruling on a Clemons appeal that "vacation of the death penalty is required when even one juror is improperly excluded. Here there were six."
The Amnesty report takes familiar aspects of the Clemons case and places them in the context of similar national and international cases. For example, the lack of physical evidence in the Clemons conviction – which makes the sudden surfacing of the rape kit so controversial – has drawn comparisons to the Troy Davis death penalty case in Georgia, which is being reopened under U.S. Supreme Court mandate.
Speaking on behalf of the Justice for Reggie campaign, Jamala Rogers thanked Amnesty for the report "and for committed resources in the future." Watkins of Amnesty said the group had committed volunteers and funds, though there was no set budget for the campaign.
Redditt Hudson of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri said Amnesty's decision to join the campaign is "an amazing boost. We are closer than we have ever been to actual justice for Reggie Clemons, Robin Kerry and Julie Kerry."
The Amnesty report is available at www.amnestyusa.org/reggie.

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