05-23-2018  5:42 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

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

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 ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Human remains found in wooded area of Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Human remains have been found in a wooded area below Stadium High School in Tacoma.The News Tribune reports the body's advanced state of decomposition made an immediate determination of gender, age and race impossible.Tacoma Police spokeswoman Shelbie Boyd says police...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and other companies have pledged a total of more than 0,000 toward an effort to repeal Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers intended to combat homelessness.Just days after the Seattle City Council approved the levy, the No Tax On Jobs...

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

Milwaukee chief apologizes for arrest of Bucks guard Brown

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Bucks guard Sterling Brown on Wednesday for a January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include use of a stun gun, and said some officers had been disciplined.Brown responded with a statement...

The Latest: Milwaukee NAACP head: No reason to use stun gun

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on Milwaukee police releasing body-camera footage showing the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown (all times local):7:05 p.m.The president of the NAACP in Milwaukee says he doesn't see anything in a newly released police body-camera video that would warrant...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

ENTERTAINMENT

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a security clearance...

US employee in China reported strange sounds, pressure

BEIJING (AP) — A U.S. government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and...

Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First...

Greatest female Everest climber wants to inspire other women

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The most successful female Everest climber said after finishing her ninth ascent of...

US tech firm: Possible cyberattack on Ukraine being prepared

LONDON (AP) — Network technology company Cisco Systems said Wednesday that a half a million routers had...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

Portland Police Vehicle
By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

African Americans are overrepresented at every level in Multnomah County’s criminal justice system, according to a report released last month by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, the Oregon Justice Resource Center and the Partnership for Safety and Justice.

The Racial and Ethnic Disparities report was produced by independent researchers for Multnomah County as part of the MacArthur Foundation’s national Safety and Justice Challenge, a project that seeks to reduce over-incarceration. It was released internally to county officials last fall but only made public in mid-February.

The report broke down experiences like referrals to the district attorney’s office, arraignment and prosecutorial charging, assignment of court-appointed counsel and pretrial release by demographics. It found cases where the suspect of a crime is Black were 440 percent more likely to be referred for prosecution; Black offenders were 29 percent less likely to have cases diverted and 700 percent more likely to be referred to jail or prison.

Racial Ethnic Disparities Report chartFrom the Racial and Ethnic Disparities and the Relative Rate Index (RRI). Figure 1 indicates for every 1,000 Black adults in Multnomah County, there are 9.2 Black adults in jailThe report also shows notable disparities for other racial minorities – including disproportionate representation of Hispanic and Native American populations in jail.

What it doesn’t do is ask why the disparities exist, or make recommendations for change. Now stakeholders – including Metropolitan Public Defenders, the ACLU, Oregon Justice Resource Center and Partnership for Safety and Justice – are asking the county to take steps to address those disparities.

Lane Borg, the executive director of Metropolitan Public Defender Services, said in a press statement released by the ACLU of Oregon that the organization would like to see “measurable goals in place” to understand and reduce disparities.

“Multnomah County is to be commended for participating in the Safety and Justice Challenge. But now all of us working within the criminal justice system need to take ownership,” Borg also said.

A 2011 report on youth tried as adults in Oregon produced similar findings: that youth of color, particularly African American youth, are much more likely to be tried as adults than White youth.

That report showed that while just 4 percent of youth under 18 in Oregon are Black, they represent 19 percent of Measure 11 indictments. A majority of indicted youth end up with plea deals that allow them to sidestep mandatory sentences, but still leave them with adult convictions on their record.

In general, hard data offering demographic breakdowns in the criminal justice systems can be scarce, at least in local jurisdictions. An internal report showing Black inmates in Multnomah county jails are more likely to be subject to use of force didn’t become public until February, after local media filed public records requests for it. Amanda Lamb, the Multnomah County sheriff’s office analyst, lost her job just days after presenting the report to county officials.

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton has said Lamb was terminated for financial reasons, not because of the report. Staton is currently the subject of a sexual harassment claim by a female deputy and is also under investigation by the Department of Justice due to allegations he gathered information about a committee formed to research whether the sheriff’s position should be elected or appointed.

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