06-23-2018  4:37 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 ...

No longer behind a mask, Eugene umpire is being recognized

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After 31 years behind the plate as an MLB umpire, Dale Scott knows how to recognize a strike.Throwing one is, uh, another matter.When the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Scott to throw a ceremonial first pitch earlier this month, he was honored of course, but also a little...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Evacuation orders lifted in wildfire near Vantage

VANTAGE, Wash. (AP) — Evacuation notices have been lifted for residents in about 30 homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington reaches 50 percent containment.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports fire crews were hoping to fully contain the fire near Vantage and the Columbia River by...

Central Washington suicide rate rises 23 percent

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — On June 7, 2016, Kori Haubrich thought she found a solution to the problems that had been gnawing at her for weeks.That Monday, the Sunnyside native sat outside her Bellingham apartment struggling to figure out what she would do after graduating from Western Washington...

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

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, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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,...

First lady's 'don't care' jacket is a gift to memers online

NEW YORK (AP) — I really don't care, do u?Perhaps one day first lady Melania Trump will use her own words...

Justices adopt digital-age privacy rules to track cellphones

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police generally need a warrant to look at records that reveal where cellphone users have...

Popular hashtags take sides on Egypt president's leadership

CAIRO (AP) — Tens of thousands of Egyptians have set social media alight with tweets on opposing hashtags,...

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,...

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...

JULIET LINDERMAN and ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Justice Department and Baltimore police agreed to negotiate court-enforceable reforms after a scathing federal report released Wednesday criticized officers for using excessive force and routinely discriminating against blacks.

The report, the culmination of a yearlong investigation into one of the country's largest police forces, found that officers make a large number of stops — mostly in poor, black neighborhoods — with dubious justification and unlawfully arrest citizens when officers "did not like what those individuals said."

"These violations have deeply eroded the relationship between the police and community it serves," Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, said during a news conference alongside the city's mayor and police commissioner.

The federal investigation was launched after the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van. The death set off protests and the worst riots in decades.

The report represents a damning indictment of how the city's police officers carry out the most fundamental of policing practices, including traffic stops and searches.

"It doesn't matter, if you're black you're going to get stopped. It's crazy out here," said Anthony Williams, who is black. He was with his kids and once saw officers chasing a teenager for smoking weed. "There was five of them. They jumped on him. I had to tell my kids they were just playing."

Donald Whitehead said officers would often jump out of the car and grab people "for no reason at all."

"One day I was walking down the street to the store, and one of them jumped out on me and forced me to empty my pockets. They were looking for drugs. I don't do drugs," he said. "They just harass people."

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said six officers who committed egregious violations have been fired this year.

"Fighting crime and having a better, more respectful relationship with the community are not mutually exclusive endeavors. We don't have to choose one or the other. We're choosing both. It's 2016," Davis said.

The commissioner and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promised the report would serve as a blueprint for sweeping changes.

The court-enforceable consent decree will force the police agency to commit to improving its procedures to avoid a lawsuit. The decree likely will not be finalized for many months, Gupta said.

The Justice Department has undertaken similar wide-reaching investigations into the police in Chicago, Cleveland, Albuquerque and Ferguson, Missouri, among other cities.

Federal investigators spent more than a year interviewing Baltimore residents, police officers, prosecutors, public defenders and elected officials, as well as riding along with officers on duty and reviewing documents and complaints.

"Nearly everyone who spoke to us ... agreed the Baltimore Police Department needs sustainable reform," Gupta said.

Among the findings: Black residents account for roughly 84 percent of stops, though they represent just 63 percent of the city's population. Likewise, African-Americans make up 95 percent of the 410 people stopped at least 10 times by officers from 2010-15.

During the same time period, officers stopped 34 black residents 20 times, and seven African-Americans 30 times or more. No individuals of any other race were stopped more than 12 times.

One man who spoke to investigators said he was stopped 30 times in less than four years. At least 15 of those stops, he said, were to check for outstanding warrants. None of the stops resulted in charges.

In addition to pat-downs, Baltimore officers perform unconstitutional public strip searches, including searches of people who aren't under arrest.

Officers routinely use unreasonable and excessive force, including against juveniles and citizens who aren't dangerous or posing an immediate threat, the report said.

"BPD teaches officers to use aggressive tactics," the report said. "BPD's trainings fuel an 'us vs. them' mentality we saw some officers display toward community members, alienating the civilians they are meant to serve."

The report partially blames the department's unconstitutional practices on a "zero tolerance" policy dating back to the early 2000s, during which residents were arrested en masse for minor misdemeanor charges such as loitering.

Although the department has publicly denounced these practices after a 2010 settlement with the NAACP, which sued the department over the policing strategy, "the legacy of the zero tolerance era continues to influence officer activity and contribute to constitutional violations," the report said.

Officers also routinely stop and question individuals without cause or a legitimate suspicion that they're involved in criminal activity, the report says: No charges were filed in 26 of every 27 pedestrian stops. The directives often come from supervisors. In one instance, a supervisor told a subordinate officer to "make something up" after the officer protested an order to stop and question a group of young black men for no reason.

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the city's top prosecutor, said she expected the report to "confirm what many in our city already know or have experienced firsthand."

"While the vast majority of Baltimore City Police officers are good officers, we also know that there are bad officers and that the department has routinely failed to oversee, train, or hold bad actors accountable," she said in a statement.

Six officers, three white and three black, were charged in the death of Gray. Three were acquitted, another officer's trial ended in a mistrial and the charges against the others were dropped.

___

Associated Press writers Brian Witte and Sarah Brumfield contributed to this report.

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