06-18-2018  8:31 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

Representatives from local organizations will talk about how individuals can get involved in promoting social change ...

Genealogical Forum of Oregon Hosts ‘Starting Your Genealogy’ Workshop

Free forum offers assistance for those just getting started ...

Literary Arts Offers Writers of Color Fellowship

Deadline to apply is July 9, 2018 ...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

Man found shot to death at high school track in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a man was found shot to death on a high school track.Officers responded before 5 a.m. Sunday to the temporary site of Grant High School. The school is using the former Marshall High School campus as it undergoes a renovation.Authorities did not...

Old farm warehouse may be saved as part of Hanford history

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — One of Washington state's most endangered historic places is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland. That's according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.The long warehouse along the Columbia River was once owned by farmers Paul and Mary...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

OPINION

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

Black Women Are Changing the Tide of American Politics

Black women voters will make the difference in the midterm elections and the future of American politics ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Celeb chef Samuelsson to open restaurant in Miami's Overtown

OVERTOWN, Fla. (AP) — Chef Marcus Samuelsson has bought a former pool hall in Overtown, a historic black neighborhood in Miami, with plans to open a restaurant.He hopes his project will contribute to a multimillion-dollar revitalization effort already under way.Samuelsson, a James Beard...

The Latest: Top teams have trouble winning at World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):11:35 p.m.Parity has come to the World Cup.Five of the top six nations in the FIFA rankings have played, and none has won. Only two of the top dozen teams have victories.Top-ranked Germany lost to No. 15 Mexico,...

Maryland Democratic primary has 2 black candidates leading

BALTIMORE (AP) — With two leading candidates who have a shot at becoming Maryland's first black governor, the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary reflects the state's changing demographics and the party's efforts to harness the energy of an increasingly diverse electorate around the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Warner Bros. crackdown puts Dark Mark over Potter festivals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it's necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they'll...

Cornell's daughter pays tribute to late rocker with duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Cornell's daughter has released a recording of a duet with her late father as part of an emotional tribute to the late rocker on Father's Day.Toni Cornell released the duet of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on Sunday along with a note thanking her dad for his...

Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper's disgust at this year's Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thomas Markle says Prince Harry said to give Trump a chance

LONDON (AP) — The father of the former Meghan Markle says he talked politics with Prince Harry over the...

Global warming cooks up 'a different world' over 3 decades

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — We were warned.On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told...

Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Peek at the future: Electric plane cruises skies over Norway

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's transportation minister and the head of the Scandinavian country's...

2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the...

Juliet Linderman, Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — Instead of a dramatic conclusion to the first of six trials of police officers in the death ofFreddie Gray, the mistrial left Baltimore in suspense and confusion, with no immediate understanding of what happens next.

The city had braced for a possible repeat of the protests, destruction and dismay that engulfed the city in April after Gray's neck was broken in the back of a police van. But several small marches ended peacefully overnight as the community tried to process the news.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams acknowledged the hung jury Wednesday after the panel deadlocked over whether Officer William Porter had committed any crimes by failing to take measures that might have saved the life of the young black man, who was shackled and placed face down in the wagon after running from police.

Back at square one, prosecutors and defense attorneys met in Williams' chambers Thursday morning to discuss dates for a possible retrial. A uniformed deputy stood guard, and when the lawyers left about 30 minutes later, they declined to comment, citing the judge's gag order.

The situation delays closure for an anxious city, and is unfortunate for both sides, said Steve Levin, a Baltimore defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.

"The state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Freddie Gray died. Beyond that, they weren't able to prove anything," Levin said. "They proved a tragedy, but I don't think they proved a crime."

Jurors deliberated for three days over whether Porter committed manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. In the end, they said they were at an impasse on every charge, and that a unanimous verdict was impossible.

For a week, Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had urged citizens to remain calm and peaceful no matter the outcome, while Police Commissioner Kevin Davis canceled leave for the department's officers in anticipation of the jury's decision. Now many are wondering what comes next.

"I'm not expecting our community to repeat April," said Erika Alston, a community leader who runs an afterschool program in West Baltimore. "But it is a bit of a kick in the chest."

Prosecutors said Porter shares blame for Gray's death on April 19 because he didn't call an ambulance when Gray said he needed to go to the hospital, nor did he buckle Gray into a seat belt that would have prevented him from being injured inside the metal compartment if the van turned sharply or braked suddenly.

Porter told jurors he didn't think Gray was injured when he lifted him from the van's floor to the bench, and that buckling him in wasn't his responsibility. He said he told the van driver, Caesar Goodson, to take Gray to the hospital, and that the wagon driver is in charge of making sure a prisoner is strapped in while the van is moving.

Jurors couldn't decide whether Porter's failures amounted to a crime. Legal analysts weren't surprised, given the lack of eyewitnesses and unequivocal evidence showing exactly how or when Gray's neck was broken during the van's circuitous, 45-minute journey to the police station, which is just 7 blocks from where Gray was arrested.

Goodson faces the most serious charge of second-degree "depraved-heart" murder. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 6. He also is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

Prosecutors intended to call Porter to testify against the driver and another officer whose trial is slated to begin after Goodson's. The mistrial may complicate this strategy, since Porter has a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, according to attorney Warren Alperstein.

Options could include granting Porter immunity in exchange for his testimony, trying to persuade the judge to postpone the other trials while retrying Porter, or striking him from their witness list altogether.

David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh with expertise in policing issues, said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby created a false impression that convictions would be simple to obtain by moving so swiftly after Gray's death to charge six officers.

"It was never going to be easy. Prosecution of police officers is never easy, but when you look at some of the facts in this case, you've got to understand nothing here is a slam dunk," Harris said.

Gray's stepfather, Richard Shipley, said the family is looking forward to another evaluation of the case by 12 fresh jurors.

"We are not at all upset with them and neither should the public be upset," Shipley said Wednesday. "They did the best that they could. ... We are confident there will be another trial with a new jury."

 

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Associated Press writers David Dishneau and Brian Witte in Baltimore, Ben Nuckols in Washington and Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware, contributed to this report.

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

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