05-25-2018  12:04 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

The Latest: 3 injured in hit-and-crash in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on hit-and-crash in Portland, Oregon (all times local):11:20 a.m.Police say three women have been injured in a hit-and-run crash near Portland State University.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley say the vehicle hit the women while they were on a sidewalk...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Utah NAACP head disheartened by sentence in hate-crime case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man accused of yelling racial slurs at the young son of a black man and then shocking the father with a stun cane has been sentenced to nine months behind bars — an outcome called disheartening by a civil rights leader.The Deseret News reports defendant...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

ENTERTAINMENT

Famed chef Mario Batali's Vegas Strip restaurants will close

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers...

The Latest: Weinstein takes books on theater, film to arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct probe of film producer Harvey Weinstein (all times local):11:40 a.m.Harvey Weinstein was in and out of custody so quickly in his rape case, he probably didn't have time to read the books he brought with him.The film mogul carried three...

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit,...

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Source: Trump administration has cut deal with China's ZTE

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has told Congress it's reached a deal that would allow Chinese...

Putin says US exit from Iran deal could trigger instability

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the U.S. exit from the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of...

JULIET LINDERMAN, ERRIN HAINES WHACK, Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — Black activists in Baltimore and beyond say they are disappointed but not discouraged after neither of the first two police officers to stand trial in the death of a man who was injured in the back of a police van was convicted.

A number of black leaders said that they had low expectations of seeing anyone found guilty in the death of Freddie Gray. And they say bringing about real and lasting change in the criminal justice system will require action both inside and outside the courtroom, including pushing for new laws and reforms in police procedures.

"You don't judge a war by winning or losing battles," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime civil rights leader. "We're not prosecutors; we're activists. If you gauge (the 1960s) by one case, it's depressing. If you look at the bills that came out of it, you understand the big picture."

Gray died just over a year ago after suffering a broken neck in the back of a police van while he was handcuffed and shackled but not buckled in. His death triggered the worst riots in decades in Baltimore and added his name to the list of unarmed black people in the U.S. who have died in confrontations with police.

Baltimore's top prosecutor swiftly filed charges against six officers, two of whom have gone to trial. One case ended with the jury deadlocked; that officer will be retried in the fall. The other case ended Monday with a judge acquitting an officer of assault and other charges.

"The policies related to policing almost guarantee that police officers will never be held criminally responsible for their actions," said Baltimore activist DeRay Mckesson, who launched his activism in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. "Most of these verdicts merely confirm that understanding."

At the same time, he and other civil rights activists noted that there are still five trials ahead, including that of the van driver, who faces the most serious charge of all, second-degree murder. And some said seeing police officers put on trial is itself a sign of progress, regardless of the outcome.

Across the country, demands for accountability in the deaths of unarmed blacks in recent years have met with mixed results.

Prosecutors declined to indict the officers involved in the Ferguson case, the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland or the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York. On the other side of the ledger, Michael Slager, a former police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, will face trial in the killing of Walter Scott, who was gunned down as he ran away.

"No trial is going to bring back a stolen life," said Ashley Green, an organizer in Tampa, Florida, with the Dream Defenders. "But don't insult us by not even taking the step to ask the question of whether this person deserved to die. That's what we're really asking for when we demand a trial."

Adam Jackson, founder of the Baltimore group Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, said the outcome of the Baltimore trials so far reveals fundamental and systemic flaws in the criminal justice system.

"We weren't expecting much," he said. "I think people are going to keep being frustrated and being angry about the results, but our argument the whole time is that the system is designed to protect law enforcement officials."

Activists point out that they managed to change the system in other ways, outside the courtroom, in some of the cities roiled by killings.

They mobilized to defeat prosecutors at the ballot box in Cleveland and Chicago, while in Ferguson the police chief and a judge resigned, organizers worked to register more black voters, and more blacks got elected to the City Council. The unrest in Baltimore resulted in the firing of the police commissioner, Anthony Batts.

Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department has launched investigations into several police departments, including Ferguson and Baltimore. And police reform has become part of the conversation in the 2016 presidential election, something that was not on the radar in recent cycles.

Activists are also pushing to attack what they see as some of the root causes of violence, including inadequate housing, education and job opportunities.

"We know that accountability will require a change in laws and it will require pressure from the courts, just as it has required pressure from the streets," said Mckesson, who co-founded Campaign Zero, an advocacy group aimed at police reform. "It's all of these things working in concert, never just one."

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Whack reported from Philadelphia.

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