06-24-2018  12:18 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 ...

On the hunt in Oregon for a rare Sierra Nevada red fox

BEND, Ore. (AP) — In a dense forest at the base of Mount Bachelor, two wildlife biologists slowly walked toward a small cage trap they hoped would contain a rare red fox species. Jamie Bowles, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technician in Bend, and Tim Hiller, founder of the...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Abuse survivor finds new life, success in Pacific Northwest

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Jonathan Dutson long dreamed of moving to the Pacific Northwest, where its lush greenery offered a respite from the scorching Arizona sun he grew up beneath. But Dutson was looking as much for a new home as he was looking for an escape.Dutson was one of 700 who walked...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

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

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

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.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Han Solo's Blaster from 'Return of the Jedi' tops auction

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Han Solo's Blaster from the "Return of the Jedi" has sold for 0,000 at a Las Vegas auction.Julien's Auctions says Ripley's Believe It or Not bought the item Saturday.The sci-fi weapon was the top-selling item at the Hollywood Legends auction.The blaster was part of a...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In about-face, Iraq's maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq's...

US moves 100 coffins to N. Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

New Zealand leader names daughter Neve, leaves hospital

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford...

AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

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,...

In about-face, Iraq's maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq's...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, April 21, the jury determined that Raiford was not guilty of disorderly conduct. This was reported by The Oregonian and BlueOregon.

Black Lives Matter protestors, Portland Police Bureau officers, lawyers and members of the local activist community converged at the Multnomah County courthouse Monday morning for the trial of Teressa Raiford. Supporters filled Judge Michael Greenlick’s courtroom to capacity and overflowed into the halls for the trial, which was still in progress at press time.

Many friends and family carried signs that read “Don’t Shoot Portland, Drop The Charges, Free Teressa Raiford.”

Raiford faces one charge of second-degree disorderly conduct stemming from her involvement in a protest that marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Brown died August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri after being shot by Darren Wilson, a White police officer.

In an interview with The Skanner News, Raiford said she was arrested specifically because of her Black Lives Matter activism.

“They wanted to show us, definitely, August 9 was not anything anybody could be honoring or celebrating,” she said. “We have cops out here that had ‘I am Darren Wilson’ badges on during the protest after the verdicts -- so you think they really wanted us to honor Mike Brown's death?”

She described the protest as a well-coordinated event. She said the group had a permit to protest that day and a permit from the fire marshal, as well as permission to use the Asian Pacific Alliance Network Organization community center for direct action training.

The group of 100 protestors stopped traffic at 82nd Avenue and SE Division Street for four-and-a-half minutes to remember the four-and-a half- hours that Brown’s body lay in the street after he was shot. The group then moved to the southwest corner of the intersection where they began chanting and drumming, Raiford said.

A video shows most of the protestors had moved onto the sidewalk, but Raiford was in the street when she was arrested. Another protestor, Diane Chavez, was also arrested for second-degree disorderly conduct.

Both Raiford and Chavez told The Skanner News that Raiford received harsher treatment from the arresting officers. They were both handcuffed in the back of separate police vehicles. An officer offered to park the car Chavez was in in the shade while Raiford was in a car parked in the August afternoon sun with the windows rolled up.

When Raiford was moved into the police car with Chavez, she said she was “soaking wet” with sweat. Chavez said the officers then closed Raiford’s window.

“My experience being arrested with her was that they were explicitly trying to degrade her and dehumanize her,” Chavez said. During booking at the downtown precinct, Chavez said Raiford was yelled at while the officers treated Chavez well, calling her “ma’am” and thanking her for participating peacefully.

During the pretrial motions Raiford’s lawyer, Matthew McHenry, argued to have the case dismissed. He stated that the state's statute which defines disorderly conduct as an “attempt to cause public inconvenience, annoyance and intention to obstruct traffic” was too vague.  

McHenry also presented an amicus brief from the ACLU of Oregon which explained legal research on Raiford’s case. The brief outlined the legal history of disorderly conduct statutes, and concluded that these laws were meant to prevent threats to the public peace--not to policing protected speech such as protests.

The amicus brief also defined disorderly conduct as intentionally blocking traffic which rendered the public streets impassible or dangerous.

McHenry and prosecuting attorney Eamon McMahon then argued the most fundamental point of the arrest -- was Raiford actually blocking traffic and did the officers have probable cause to arrest her?

Portland police Sgt. Jacob Clark and officer Susan Billard both testified that Raiford’s arrest was not due to the four-and-half minutes blocking the intersection. Clark said he ordered the arrest after telling the protestors three times to stay on the sidewalk.

“I said if people were standing in the street, they were likely to be arrested,” Clark told the court.

Clark said he could not recall if any cars had been blocked by Raiford. Billard testified that she saw at least five cars that were stopped and had to wait at least two minutes before being able to drive past. Billard also said the protest took place during a busy Monday afternoon, but  after cross-examination she corrected her account, saying it happened on a Sunday.

Billard’s testimony was contradicted by a video of the protest shot by Laura Vanderlyn. The 22-minute video shows the action to block the intersection and then the chanting along Division. Raiford can be seen both on the sidewalk and walking in a right turn lane.

Judge Greenlick watched most of the film, paying attention to the shots where Raiford was walking in the street to see if she was blocking traffic. After viewing the video, Greenlick said Billard’s testimony was not credible and did not support probable cause to arrest Raiford.

“It's just not possible that people were stopped for two minutes at a minimum as Billard described,” he said. “And that people were stopping and had to move around.”

Despite this issue, the trial was not dismissed, and is scheduled to continue for three or four days. If convicted, Raiford faces a maximum of six months in jail.

 

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