06-23-2018  4:57 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

No longer behind a mask, Eugene umpire is being recognized

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After 31 years behind the plate as an MLB umpire, Dale Scott knows how to recognize a strike.Throwing one is, uh, another matter.When the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Scott to throw a ceremonial first pitch earlier this month, he was honored of course, but also a little...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Evacuation orders lifted in wildfire near Vantage

VANTAGE, Wash. (AP) — Evacuation notices have been lifted for residents in about 30 homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington reaches 50 percent containment.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports fire crews were hoping to fully contain the fire near Vantage and the Columbia River by...

Central Washington suicide rate rises 23 percent

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — On June 7, 2016, Kori Haubrich thought she found a solution to the problems that had been gnawing at her for weeks.That Monday, the Sunnyside native sat outside her Bellingham apartment struggling to figure out what she would do after graduating from Western Washington...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

First lady's 'don't care' jacket is a gift to memers online

NEW YORK (AP) — I really don't care, do u?Perhaps one day first lady Melania Trump will use her own words...

Justices adopt digital-age privacy rules to track cellphones

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police generally need a warrant to look at records that reveal where cellphone users have...

Popular hashtags take sides on Egypt president's leadership

CAIRO (AP) — Tens of thousands of Egyptians have set social media alight with tweets on opposing hashtags,...

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for...

Eric Garner memorial
Colleen Long, Tom Hayes, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — It was nearly a year ago when Eric Garner, standing outside a convenience store on July 17, had the encounter with New York City police that led to his death.

The 43-year-old father of six, accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes — sick of being hassled by cops — told police to leave him alone. When he refused to be handcuffed, the 6-foot-2, 395-pound man was taken to the ground.

In cellphone videos viewed more than 2.5 million times, Garner is heard yelling "I can't breathe!" 11 times before he loses consciousness. An autopsy concluded he died in part from neck compressions from the chokehold restraint by police.

Since then, the officer involved avoided criminal prosecution but a federal probe is ongoing. The family has become national advocates for police reform, and the department is reworking how it relates to the public it serves. Here's a look at a year of anger, sadness and change:

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THE FAMILY

Garner's children and grandchildren are doing their best to heal, but it's challenging — and they miss him every day, said his mother, Gwen Carr. She said she's been using her sadness and anger as fuel for reform, and it's helping.

But she's still sad. And angry. And she wants justice for her son.

"I want to see all of those officers stand trial and stand accountable for their gross misconduct," she said.

Carr said the family is planning a memorial in Brooklyn to commemorate Garner's life on the anniversary of his death. She said she can picture her son's response — he'd tell her not to worry too much and not to make a fuss. She said she can picture his face, smiling.

"I want people to be aware of what's happened. I want to make sure they never forget the name of EricGarner," she said. "I'm going to keep that name alive."

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THE COP

Officer Daniel Pantaleo remains assigned to desk duty, doing crime analysis.

Supporters say he's been the target of at least one death threat. As a precaution, the police department has posted patrol cars outside his home and that of his parents on Staten Island around-the-clock. Pantaleo's attorney, Stuart London, said his client still denies intending to harm Garner or even using a chokehold. The officer, despite being demonized by some protesters, also wants get back to full duty.

"He was a dedicated, hard-working cop and, all of a sudden, because of one street encounter, his life has been put on hold," London said. "He understands why, but he's frustrated. It's something he hopes can be cleared up so he can get back to helping the people of this city."

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THE QUEST FOR ANSWERS

After a grand jury in December refused to indict Pantaleo, a groundswell of requests grew from the public and city officials seeking access to the secret testimony and exhibits shown to the jury by the Staten Island District Attorney's Office.

Public Advocate Letitia James argued the secrecy of the proceedings breeds mistrust in prosecutors and contempt for the justice system. But a judge disagreed and refused to release the proceedings, which are kept secret by law. The New York Civil Liberties Union and other agencies have appealed the decision.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, the police watchdog agency investigating the misconduct claim against Pantaleo and others, is also seeking the minutes — not for public use but for private investigative reasons. And Garner's family has said it intends to sue the city.

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THE FEDERAL INVESTIGATION

Once the state case fizzled late last year, the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn — then led by current U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch — and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division launched in inquiry into Garner's death to determine whether there's enough evidence to bring a federal case.

In recent weeks, federal investigators have re-interviewed witnesses, including police officers who were at the scene. Despite the video, there's enough ambiguity to the case that a prosecution accusing the officer of deliberately violating Garner's civil rights looks like a long shot. Such cases following grand jury inaction or acquittal at state level are rare, as evidenced by the Justice Department's decision not to file charges against the white policeman who shot to death an unarmed young black man last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Even if there's no federal case against Pantaleo, he could still face departmental charges and dismissal.

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THE DEPARTMENT

The New York City Police Department has undergone a series of reforms after the case, including the installation of three-day training for all officers on how to better communicate with the public. More than 20,000 officers were trained on how to de-escalate confrontations in order to avoid physical contact unless necessary.

Police officials said the training was in the works before Garner's death, but was sped up.

Commissioner William Bratton unveiled a new policing plan that puts cops back on the beat, walking their precincts to get better acquainted with shopkeepers and residents. And Bratton has retooled how rookies enter into the academy, eliminating the practice of funneling new cops to the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in favor of spreading them out around the city so they can learn from other officers.

Low-level arrests, like the charge for selling untaxed cigarettes, and summonses have plummeted.

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THE MOVEMENT

Garner's death, along with the deaths of other black men at the hands of white police officers, has helped catalyze a national movement urging police reform. "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe" have become rally cries around the country.

Nationwide, departments are scrutinized like never before when an officer kills a civilian — and some have undergone federal probes. Garner's mother and other mothers of men killed by police pressured Gov. Andrew Cuomo to agree to a special prosecutor to investigate deaths by law enforcement and got results: Cuomo signed an order this week putting the state attorney general's office in charge of such probes.

Carr sees more people of all races protesting the treatment of minorities by police than ever before.

"Before when something happened, it was basically people of color because that's who they were targeting, but now everybody, people of color, different races, they all stand up. Because they see this as wrong," she said. "It's not about black or white, it's wrong or right. They see the things are happening wrong."

"Maybe my son's death brought a certain awareness to them."

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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