07-13-2020  4:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Governor Kate Brown Announces New Requirements for Face Coverings, Limits on Social Get-Togethers

Effective Wednesday, July 15, face coverings to be required outdoors, social get-togethers indoors over 10 prohibited

Oregon Reports 332 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, confirmed that Multnomah County is not ready to apply for Phase 2 of reopening

Study Finds Clothing-based Racist Stereotypes Persist Against Black Men

Researchers find some results of the study troubling

Federal Officers Use Tear Gas on Portland Protesters

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty calls officers' behavior "reckless and aggressive" after 26-year-old man struck on head and injured by an impact munition

NEWS BRIEFS

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Deadline is July 15 to Pay Portland's $35 Arts Tax

The tax, approved by voters in 2012, supports arts education and grants ...

Oregon National Guard Completes Wildland Firefighter Training

The training was conducted using funds that were allocated to the Department of Defense by Congress to enable the National Guard to...

OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

Justice Department to probe shooting of Portland protester

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a less-lethal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said Monday.The investigation into the...

Masks outside part of new Oregon COVID-19 safety measures

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced two new statewide COVID-19 safety mandates — a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and a requirement that people wear face coverings outside if they can not socially distance. The rules come as the...

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

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Attorney: Indiana hate crime allegation is 'smear campaign'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for two people accused of being involved in a reported assault on a Black man at a southern Indiana lake said Monday his clients are victims of a “smear campaign” and a “rush to judgment."Vauhxx Booker, a local civil rights activist and...

WNBA season scheduled to tip off on July 25

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA season is scheduled to tip off July 25 with all games that weekend dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.All 12 franchises will play the opening weekend and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence. Team uniforms will display Breonna...

Legal experts review Black Minnesota teen's life sentence

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An independent panel of national legal experts will review the conviction of an African American man sentenced as a teenager to life in prison for the murder of a little girl struck by a stray bullet, Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kelly Preston, actor and wife of John Travolta, dies at 57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Preston, who played dramatic and comic foil to actors ranging from Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire” to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins,” died Sunday, husband John Travolta said. She was 57.Travolta said in an Instagram post that his wife of...

New this week: 'Psych,' The Chicks album, '30 Rock' reunited

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.MOVIES— “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme": For anyone who didn't get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda from the...

4 charged in Los Angeles death of rising rapper Pop Smoke

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men and two teens have been charged in the death of rising rapper Pop Smoke who was killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February, the district attorney’s office said Monday. Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement that...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fly without flapping? Andean condors surf air 99% of time

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study sheds light on just how efficiently the world’s largest soaring bird...

Victims' relatives most vocal opponents of man's execution

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Family members of three people slain in Arkansas more than 20 years ago have been...

Immigration courts reopen despite rising coronavirus cases

BALTIMORE (AP) — Three immigration courts reopened Monday as the government extended its push to fully...

As virus spreads, Bolsonaro ties with military under strain

SAO PAULO (AP) — After 35 years of civilian-led democracy, President Jair Bolsonaro has created the most...

Polish president wins 2nd term after bitter campaign

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Andrzej Duda declared victory Monday in a runoff election in which...

AP Explains: Why Serbs are protesting against virus lockdown

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Thousands of people in Serbia have been holding protests against the...

McMenamins
J. Coyden Palmer Special to the NNPA from the Chicago Crusader

A commission convened to examine the impact of Illinois' drug laws on racial and ethnic groups released its findings Jan. 31st, during a news conference at the James Thompson Center. The results of the study show African Americans in Cook County were eight times more likely than Whites to be sentenced to prison if convicted of a Class 4 possession, low-level drug crime. Statewide, the data also indicated that sentencing was racially disproportionate based on the rate of drug arrests in 62 of the state's 102 counties. The findings of the study prompted several recommendations to close the disparity gap.



"We need to change certain policies and practices so that justice is administered fairly across racial and ethnic lines, said State Sen. Mattie Hunter, of Chicago, who served as co-chair of the commission. "We need to divert non-violent drug offenders from expensive incarceration to rehabilitation programs, such as court-ordered drug treatment." The study also found that Afri- can American families are being affected by the sentencing laws, especially when it comes to Black males. Based on testimony during community hearings from family members and social workers, the study shows that families are affected when their loved ones return from prison and have a hard time finding legitimate employment. "There is a public safety issue here, but we also have to look at the families that are being destroyed because their parents are not in the household," Hunter said.



An unnamed local business owner suggested to the commission the creation of a special class of contracting provisions, similar to current minority- and women-owned business provisions, for employers who hire formerly incarcerated people. Social service providers who testified for the study also said the problem of drug crimes need to be addressed on a more holistic approach. They say there is too much focus on law enforcement and punishment rather than treatment for those struggling with addiction, as was recommended by the commission. Pamela Rodriguez is the president of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC). She said the yearly cost of incarceration for one inmate is more than $25,000 whereas a drug treatment program for the same time frame is only $7,000. She said with the state being in such a financial crunch, not only is it a more effective and ethical way of looking at the problem, but it is sounder from a financial aspect as well.



"As a community-based agency that has worked with thousands of criminal justice clients since 1976, TASC strongly supports the recommendations presented in this report," she said. "One of those recommendations is that there is a need for better data collecting because we need a more complete picture to see how widespread this problem is. And the solutions need to be as comprehensive as the problems." Rodriguez added the cost savings of alternative sentencing reduce the disproportion of ethnic minorities being sent to prison, in addition to saving money. She believes the current drug laws are ruining Black and Latino communities across the state, but stopped short of blaming any one entity. She said instead it is a "system failure" that needs to be addressed. The commission also recommended that drug seizure monies, which currently go to local law enforcement agencies after the successful prosecution of a bust, have a fixed portion go to support treatment and diversion programs. The Crusader asked Sen. Hunter what amount of money Illinois law enforcement agencies receive from these drug seizures.



"We have no idea," Hunter responded. "That is one of the best kept secrets around. When it comes to those forfeiture funds it's kind of like 'hands off' to us. That is going to be a battle to find out that amount and how it is used. But, we hope to sit down with a lot of people to discuss this report while moving forward and perhaps then we can answer that question." Attorney Standish Willis, who also served on the commission, said there is a direct correlation between the findings in this report and how African Americans are more likely to be sentenced to the death penalty in Illinois. Earlier this month the state legislature voted to abolish the death penalty, but Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign the bill.



"African Americans and Latinos are filling the prisons so some of the problems pointed out in this report will address many of those questions of arrest and prosecution in more serious offenses," Willis said. "But we need more data. We cannot fashion policy to address the issues of the death penalty or drug crimes without the right data." Dr. Terry Solomon serves as the executive director for the Illinois African American Family Commission. She said one of the significant recommendations of the commission that needs to be implemented is not using felony drug convictions for employment opportunities. She said by doing so society is not allowing people who paid their debt to reestablish themselves among the working class, thus forcing them back into a life of crime, poverty or both.



"Drug use is a mental health issue so we need to start using mental health approaches to treat these issues as opposed to just incarcerating people," Solomon said.



Illinois State Sen. Mattie Hunter talks to the media about the state commissioned study on how drug sentences are given out based on race.

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