06-21-2018  2:25 pm      •     
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 ...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday...

Researchers to study why seabird species is disappearing

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) — The tufted puffins population at Haystack Rock in Oregon's Cannon Beach is steadily declining, and no one knows why.Federal wildlife officials will study the low count of the seabird with a ,000 donation from the Friends of Haystack Rock, the Daily Astorian...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

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

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury has added civil rights and hate crimes violations to charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington.Federal prosecutors announced the new five-count indictment Thursday against 47-year-old Michael Hari,...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

AP PHOTOS: Toasts, kisses and laughs at Clooney AFI gala

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney, this is your life.The American Film Institute hosted a star-studded gala earlier this month to honor the Oscar-winner's achievements as an actor, director and activist. The evening kicked off with a video message from former President Barack Obama, and...

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA (AP) — "Black Panther" broke box office records, but "Luke Cage" once crashed Netflix.The streaming service suffered a massive outage for more than two hours in 2016, one day after the premiere of "Luke Cage," a drama-action series starring Mike Colter who plays the show's superhero...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past,...

New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer's

WASHINGTON (AP) — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer's, scientists...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely claims progress on NKorea nukes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is trumpeting results of his summit with North Korean leader Kim...

Libyan coast guard rescues over 520 Europe-bound migrants

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard has rescued three groups of more than 520 African migrants, including at...

Switzerland, Serbia coaches don't want to talk about Kosovo

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — The coaches of Serbia and Switzerland only want to talk about football, not...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, center under umbrella, is joined by supporters as she and others march to a gathering in the Brooklyn borough of New York Saturday, July 16, 2016. Two years after the police chokehold death of Garner made "I can't breath" a rallying cry in the national protests about police killings of black men, federal prosecutors are still grappling with the question of whether to prosecute the white officer seen on videotape wrapping his arm around Garner's neck. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
TOM HAYS, ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Two years after the chokehold death of Eric Garner made "I can't breathe" a rallying cry for protests over police killings of black men, federal authorities are still grappling with whether to prosecute the white officer seen on a widely watched video wrapping his arm around Garner's neck.

The legal limbo is playing out on the watch of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has come under persistent pressure in the city and elsewhere to bring Officer Daniel Pantaleo to justice. The New York City case turned out to be a forerunner to a series of videotaped police killings across the country that have fueled outrage and protests.

Before becoming attorney general, Lynch ran the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which initiated the review of Garner's case after a state grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo in 2014, and she personally met with Garner's family in that role. Questioned by Congress this week, she said the Garner investigation remains open but gave no indication of how or when a decision will be made.

Last year, the city agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle the family's wrongful death claim, but the push for a federal case has persisted. Garner's siblings performed on a rap song called "I Can't Breathe" that was released to mark the second anniversary of his July 17, 2014, death, and his mother, Gwen Carr, has proposed converting a small park across the street from where he died into a playground named after him.

"What's in my heart is to keep my son's name alive," Carr said. "This is my work for the rest of my life."

A resolution has been hampered by a behind-the-scenes disagreement over the direction of the federal investigation of Garner's death in Staten Island, according to two people with inside knowledge. On one side are prosecutors in Lynch's former office in Brooklyn, who aren't sure there's enough evidence to charge Pantaelo at the federal level. On the other side are their counterparts in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in Washington, who feel more confident in forging ahead.

Both people were not authorized to discuss the decision-making process and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Officials at the Justice Department declined to comment for this article.

Internal Justice Department disputes about the strength of such cases happen "more often than you think," said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami who specialized in civil rights matters.

The nearly 100 U.S. attorneys' offices in the country are mostly given great autonomy, but Washington attorneys don't hesitate to get deeply involved when a matter falls within the jurisdiction of their specialized divisions like civil rights, Weinstein said. The two sides usually work out differences on their own, but if not, Justice Department leadership can often get its way because "whether they like it or not ... all U.S. attorneys answer to the attorney general," he said.

The disagreements reflect the challenge of finding enough evidence to prove an officer willfully deprived a citizen's civil rights, said Samuel Bagenstos, the former No. 2 official at the Civil Rights Division. Historically, the high legal bar has prevented prosecutors from charging most officers who kill unarmed men, including the one who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"These are hard cases to prove," Bagenstos said. "That can create a lot of difficult conversations within the department about them."
For Garner's family and its supporters, the cellphone video shot by a bystander capturing the last moments of his life has always been evidence enough.

"It's been two years," the Rev. Al Sharpton said at recent gathering with Garner's family. The fatal encounter "was on video and we've not seen justice. So that's why people are questioning what's going on now."

Sharpton led a march through Brooklyn Saturday and vowed to keep marching against injustice until a culture of mistreating black people ends.

The video shows 43-year-old Garner, after being stopped by officers for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed. Pantaleo responds by putting Garner in an apparent chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy, as he was taken to the ground. The heavyset Garner, who had asthma, is heard gasping, "I can't breathe." He later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide caused in part by the chokehold. But police union officials and Pantaleo's lawyer have argued that the officer used a takedown move taught by the police department, not a chokehold, and that Garner's poor health was the main reason he died.

Under the circumstances, "a federally protected civil right wasn't violated," Pantaleo's lawyer, Stuart London, said this week. "This was a simple street encounter where the officer performed his duties as he was trained."

The officer remains on desk duty as the New York Police Department awaits the outcome of the federal probe before deciding whether to discipline him on its own.
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Tucker reported from Washington.

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