10-06-2022  11:21 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

E. Washington Rancher Sentenced for 'Ghost Cattle' Fraud

Cody Easterday was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Yakima, Washington, for what U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian called “the biggest theft or fraud I’ve seen in my career."

$40K Awarded to Woman Injured by Portland Police at Protests

Erin Wenzel sued the city for assault, battery and negligence, claiming that on Aug. 14, 2020, an officer “ran at her and violently slammed into her with a nightstick” while she was leaving the area as police had instructed. 

Media Roundtable in Renton Helps Set the Stage for the Nov. 8 General Election

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs and King County Elections Director Julie Wise addressed election myths, issues, challenges, and opportunities. Event included a guided tour of King County’s elections headquarters.

University of Portland Begins New School Year with First Black President

Robert Kelly is also the first non-priest to lead the private Catholic university.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rosa Floyd Honored as 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year

Nellie Muir Elementary IB School educator surprised with state honor ...

Amazon to Invest $150 Million in Funds That Provide Underrepresented Entrepreneurs With Access to Capital

Amazon today announced Amazon Catalytic Capital, a new initiative to invest 0 million in venture capital funds, accelerators, and...

Bonamici to Host Webinar on Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

On Thursday, Oct. 6 Congress member Suzanne Bonamici will host a webinar on the Biden-Harris Administration’s transformational...

SUNDAY: “No More Gun Violence” Block Party in North Portland

Event marks final in summer series aimed at bringing people together to reclaim their neighborhoods and fight for a future free of gun...

HBCU Homecoming Experience Highlighted at National Museum of African American History and Culture

Museum will also highlight stories of LGBTQIA+ African Americans (and allies) for LGBT History Month ...

Vancouver City Council bans large fossil fuel facilities

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The city council in Vancouver, Washington, has approved a permanent ban on new fossil fuel developments after years of temporary moratoriums. While new facilities that distribute, extract, refine or process fossil fuels have been temporarily prohibited by...

Transgender woman assaulted, cops seek help finding suspects

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A transgender woman was assaulted on Monday in Eugene, Oregon, by a man and three others who allegedly used transgender slurs, police said. The incident is under investigation as a possible bias crime, The Register-Guard reported. Eugene Police...

No. 2 Georgia looking for return to top form against Auburn

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Don't expect Auburn players to empathize with concerns expressed this week about No. 2 Georgia's sudden dip from championship form. The Bulldogs, who play Auburn on Saturday, fell from the top spot in The Associated Press Top 25 this week after having to rally for...

No. 2 Georgia looking for 6th straight win over rival Auburn

Auburn (3-2, 1-1 SEC) at No. 2 Georgia (5-0, 2-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) Line: Georgia by 29 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Georgia leads 62-56. WHAT’S AT STAKE? Georgia will try to regain its momentum after...

OPINION

No Room for Black Folk

A recent interview with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and an associate professor, reveals the inability of certain white Americans to share the benefits of our society ...

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Federal judge halts key parts of New York's new gun law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge halted key provisions Thursday of New York's latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought, saying multiple parts of a law the state passed this year are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Glenn...

'It's not right': Players want more from NHL against racism

For too long, Matt Dumba felt he was on his own dealing with racial taunts directed at him as a youngster growing up in Saskatchewan. It was no different for Dumba as an adult, one of just a handful of minority players in the National Hockey League. Even in a circle of his fellow...

Venus Williams, Spike Lee set for Black Entrepreneurs Day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Venus Williams, Spike Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shaquille O'Neal and Killer Mike are among those set to participate in a celebration of African American business success and opportunity. Black Entrepreneurs Day, founded and organized by “Shark Tank” panelist and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: A spiky social satire in ‘Triangle of Sadness’

The question of worth flows through Ruben Östlund’s “ Triangle of Sadness,” a handsomely grotesque satire about the guests and workers aboard a luxury yacht. The ideas might not be new, and the targets might be easy, but the Swedish filmmaker who has made a cottage industry out of picking at...

Review: In 'Tár,' Cate Blanchett is a maestro at work

“Time is the thing," says Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) in Todd Fields' “Tár.” Lydia, a world-renown conductor, is explaining her art as more than waving a baton around — not a mere “human metronome” — but rather an almost god-like ability to mold and contort time. The...

Winfrey, Letterman among moderators for Michelle Obama tour

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman and Ellen DeGeneres are among the celebrity moderators joining former first lady Michelle Obama on tour for her upcoming book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.” Other guests include Conan O'Brien, Tracee Ellis...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Harrowing rescues save migrants off Greece; at least 22 die

KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) — Bodies floated amid splintered wreckage in the wind-tossed waters off a Greek island...

‘Our worst fears': Kidnapped baby, parents, uncle found dead

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A baby girl, her parents and uncle were found dead in a central California orchard two days...

French writer Annie Ernaux awarded Nobel Prize in literature

PARIS (AP) — French author Annie Ernaux won this year’s Nobel Prize in literature Thursday for blending...

Europe holds 44-leader summit, leaves Russia in the cold

PRAGUE (AP) — The leaders of 44 European countries stretching from Iceland all the way to Turkey met Thursday in...

Leaders of Turkey, Armenia, hold face-to-face meeting

PRAGUE (AP) — The leaders of historic foes Turkey and Armenia on Thursday held their first face-to-face meeting...

Germans warned: Gas use is too high to avoid energy crisis

BERLIN (AP) — Germans are using too much gas to avoid a potential energy “emergency” this winter, the head...

Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

Portland Police Officer Ron Frashour, under intense scrutiny after fatally shooting the unarmed and suicidally-depressed Aaron Campbell in the back during a stand-off last January, was fired today by the Portland Police Bureau.

If it survives the labor union grievance process that now kicks into gear for Frashour, the move would make him the first police officer permanently fired by the City of Portland for killing an unarmed citizen in the line of duty.

The announcement was made after the "mitigation" process required by the disciplinary rules within the police bureau.

Frashour, who had drawn multiple citizen complaints and, so far, three lawsuits over his use of force in the past, had become the poster child for police brutality in Portland.

"This is very good news for the community, this is what we've been calling for, the firing of Officer Frashour and punishment for all the officers involved in this incident," said Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch and the Albina Ministerial Alliance for Peace and Justice Reform. "Hopefully this will also lead to better communication in the future, because this was the third case where a police sniper shot somebody who had been on the phone with a police negotiator, and they didn't need to shoot at all."

(Click here for Portland Copwatch's list of Portland Police Shootings and Deaths in Custody, 1992-May, 2010 ).

Mayor Sam Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese this morning issued statements about the decision, which came less than two weeks after Campbell's family filed a wrongful death suit against the city for an unnamed amount in damages.

"The investigation found no malicious intent on behalf of any of the officers involved with this event," Reese said in a statement. "But, based on the investigation, these officers acted outside of their training and outside of Police Bureau policy. A loss of life resulted. Thus, the discipline we have handed down is warranted."

The disciplinary roster included termination for Frashour, and 80 hours of unpaid suspension for Officer Ryan Lewton, who fired bean bag rounds at Campbell's back; and 80 hours of unpaid suspension for supervisors Sgt. Liani Reyna, and Sgt. John Birkinbine.

"These were difficult decisions. Police officers are called on to make split-second decisions every day, and at times those are life-and-death decisions," Reese said. "Officers receive regular training in policy and procedure; ultimately though, the decisions made in the course of their work are their own."

Reese urged Portland residents to go online and read all the documents relating to the case and the disciplinary measures, which are posted at www.portlandonline.com (follow the links to the Police Bureau page).

Handelman noted that the department's transparency in releasing all the documents in the case including the disciplinary letters written for each officer punished, is unprecedented and deserves praise for the city and the police bureau.

He noted that it took months to get public release of the police disciplinary letters in the 2006 James Chasse death in custody case, which ended in a $1.6 million settlement in late July of this year.

In the Campbell killing, city officials in September released statements indicating their intent to fire an unnamed police officers over the Jan. 29 shooting, but they didn't specify who was on the chopping block because the officers in question still had not completed the entire disciplinary appeals "mitigation" process, in which they are allowed to explain any special circumstances that led to the actions in question.

The Use of Force Review Board in August recommended that Frashour should lose his job for firing the shot in the back that killed Campbell, 25, as he was trying to give himself up to police during a mental health crisis triggered by the death of his younger brother from heart problems.

The Grand Jury in February found officers did not violate policies, but it also expressed outrage at the scene that led to Campbell's death and urged the city to rethink its rules on use of force.

In an almost unprecedented move, jury members pushed Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk and Mayor Sam Adams to petition the court to reveal transcripts of its hearings. "Portland deserves better," jury members wrote in a statement. "Aaron Campbell deserved better."

Portland Copwatch, a nonprofit group that keeps detailed records of violent police incidents on its website, www.portlandcopwatch.org, had advocated for Officer Lewton to receive the same punishment as Frashour, because, the group argues, it was Lewton's shooting of Campbell in the back with multiple bean bag rounds that set in motion the sequence of events that turned deadly Jan. 29.

Documents show that Campbell, who had hours earlier looked on as his girlfriend and their young children left the apartment where he was allegedly threatening to kill himself with a handgun, had backed out of the building with his hands on his head after a successful negotiation with police via cellphone.

It was then that he was – within a matter of seconds – shot in the back with bean bag rounds, as well as an AR-15 automatic shotgun, and attacked by a police canine unit. He was cuffed and left bleeding in the rain while officers tried to figure out whether he was armed or not; a medical unit called to the scene pronounced him dead some 20 minutes after the shots were fired.

His gun was later located in a hall closet inside the apartment.

"Campbell was not aggressively resisting the police at the time that Lewton fired the beanbag, but Campbell had his hands on the back of his head -- which is not dangerous to the police," Handelman said. "And Lewton decided, on his own, to shoot the bean bags and try to get him to comply, and it's not a compliance tool – it's a less lethal weapon that could kill somebody."

Portland Copwatch lists two other police shootings of individuals while they were in contact with hostage negotiators and preparing to give themselves up: Raymond Gwerder in 2005, whose family eventually won a $500,000 settlement with the City of Portland; and Leslie Paul Scott Stewart, who was shot in the head by a police sniper in 2007 but survived.

The only other Portland Police Officer fired for killing a civilian was Lt. Jeffery Kaer, who in 2006 shot to death a motorist who had been sleeping in a car in front of Kaer's sister's house, and was fired by then-Mayor Tom Potter. Kaer was reinstated with back pay by a state arbitrator's ruling in 2008.

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