05-21-2018  7:47 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds
JEFF BAENEN, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's U.S. attorney on Wednesday declined to file criminal civil rights charges against two white Minneapolis police officers in the November shooting death of a black man that sparked weeks of protests.

Andrew Luger said there was insufficient evidence to support charges against the two officers who attempted to arrest Jamar Clark, 24, following a report that he was interfering with paramedics treating an assault victim.

Clark was shot once in the head Nov. 15 and died a day later.

A key issue was whether or not Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. Luger said at a news conference that evidence indicated Clark was not restrained at the time.

"Given the lack of bruising, the lack of Mr. Clark's DNA on the handcuffs and the deeply conflicting testimony about whether he was handcuffed, we determined that we could not pursue this case based on a prosecution theory that Mr. Clark was handcuffed at the time he was shot," Luger said.

Luger said "highly contradictory" testimony from witnesses would make it too difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze acted outside the law.

The killing set off weeks of protests, including an 18-day tent encampment outside the police department's 4th Precinct on the north side.

According to a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation, Clark refused to remove his hands from his pockets. The officers tried to handcuff him but failed. Ringgenberg wrestled Clark to the ground but wound up on his back atop Clark and felt Clark's hand on his weapon, according to the investigation.

Schwarze then shot Clark in an encounter that lasted barely more than a minute from the time the officers arrived.

"There are no winners here." Luger said, adding: "A young man has died. And it is tragic."

Schwarze's attorney, Fred Bruno, said the decision was no surprise and that two independent investigations have reached the same conclusion.

"The chances of that happening are pretty slim unless the facts are the facts and the officers are justified in doing what they did," he said.

Ringgenberg's attorney, Bob Sicoli, said he hoped a pending internal investigation by the police department would be over quickly.

In March, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to file criminal charges against the officers, also citing forensic evidence and conflicting witness accounts.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division conducted the federal civil rights investigation on the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, to determine whether the officers intentionally violated Clark's civil rights through excessive force. That's a high legal standard because an accident, bad judgment or simple negligence is not enough to bring federal charges.

The DOJ is also reviewing how the city responded to the protests that followed Clark's death. Though those protests were largely peaceful, one demonstration outside the 4th Precinct soon after the shooting included some skirmishes between officers and protesters. At least one federal lawsuit has been filed accusing officers of excessive force during a Nov. 18 demonstration.

Five demonstrators were also shot and lightly wounded near the 4th Precinct Nov. 23 in what a county prosecutor said was a racially motivated attack. Four men — three white, one Asian — were charged.

The Clark shooting spurred state lawmakers to examine longstanding complaints of racial inequities, particularly on the impoverished north side. Advocates requested more investment in minority-owned businesses and a summer job program for black teens, and lawmakers this spring set aside $35 million.

 

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Associated Press writers Doug Glass and Gretchen Ehlke contributed to this report.

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