06-23-2018  4:51 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...

In this July 29, 2015, file photo, photos of Sam DuBose hang on a pole at a memorial near where he was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer during a July 19, 2015, traffic stop in Cincinnati. Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, facing trial on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter, was due back in court for a Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, pretrial hearing, ahead of the planned start of jury selection on Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)
DAN SEWELL, Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — Under tight courthouse security and close monitoring by local officials concerned about keeping the peace, jury selection begins Tuesday for the murder trial of a white university police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man during a traffic stop.

Ray Tensing, 26, fatally shot Sam DuBose, 43, last year after pulling him over for a missing front license plate near the University of Cincinnati. The Hamilton County prosecutor called Tensing's actions "asinine" and "senseless" in announcing the officer's indictment and releasing a police body camera video.

An outside review commissioned by the university said the now-fired UC officer showed poor police tactics in an "entirely preventable" fatal shooting.

Defense attorney Stewart Mathews has said Tensing feared getting dragged under DuBose's car as he tried to drive away. And legal experts say jurors often want to give police the benefit of the doubt in deadly force cases.

"It's divided the community. But I think it's a tough case for the prosecutor because juries have a difficult time convicting police officers," said attorney Mike Allen, a former prosecutor and also a former police officer, including for UC. "They realize that police officers have to make split-second decisions sometimes."

"They just don't want to second-guess officers in those life-or-death decisions," said Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. "They think, 'What if that was me? What if that was my child who was the police officer?'"

To convict Tensing of murder, Allen said, jurors would have to find he purposely killed DuBose. He also is charged with voluntary manslaughter, which means killing during sudden passion or fit of rage.

But jurors won't ignore credible evidence that supports the charges, Allen said, and Stinson, who tracks on-duty police cases across the nation, said convictions do happen.

Stinson's study has found that since 2005, 77 state or local police officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter counts for on-duty fatal shootings. Of those, 27 have been convicted, 14 in jury trials. In some cases, officers pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Over that time, 15 officers were acquitted by juries, six were found not guilty by judges in bench trials, four had charges dismissed by the judge, and three cases were dropped by prosecutors.

Just last week, a mistrial was declared because of a hung jury in the murder trial of two former Albuquerque, New Mexico, police officers charged in the shooting of a homeless camper armed with two knives.

The other cases are pending or in court. There have been thousands of other shooting cases that didn't result in charges, usually after official reviews upheld officers' actions or grand jurors declined to indict. However, the number of police murder and manslaughter cases over the past two years has been higher than the averages in the prior years Stinson studied.

Expanded availability of video evidence is one contributor, and it will likely be pivotal in Tensing's case.

Both sides plan to call expert witnesses to deconstruct the sights and sounds of the traffic stop and shooting. Tensing's body camera recording shows DuBose contending he had done nothing wrong and apparently trying to keep the officer from opening his car door before the video becomes shaky and a gunshot is heard.

Mathews has indicated he will call Tensing to the stand, where the former officer would likely describe fear he felt when deciding he needed to fire.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters has said he will lead the prosecution. Last July, he blasted Tensing's actions as "asinine" and "senseless."

Tensing had about three years of suburban police experience before joining the UC police in 2014. He had no record of using deadly force.

An outside consultant's report found Tensing made more traffic stops and with a higher racial disparity than other UC officers.

Court records show DuBose had a long history with the law, mainly for traffic infractions and for selling and possessing marijuana. His family and friends called him a peaceful "jokester" into music and motorcycles.

The University of Cincinnati has restructured its public safety department and made reforms since the shooting. It also agreed to a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose's family that includes free undergraduate tuition for his 13 children.

Winnowing the jury pool is expected to take several days, with courtroom questioning of prospective jurors set for Oct. 31.

The Cincinnati shooting is among cases across the nation the last three years that have focused attention on how police respond to black people.

The city was rocked by riots after the 2001 police shooting of an unarmed black man, but has made policing changes including increased training, citizen feedback and transparency. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a visit last year that Cincinnati's reforms could be a model for other cities.

Cincinnati officials have been meeting with civil rights, clergy and other community leaders ahead of the trial, and security has been beefed up in the courthouse, with demonstrations by Black Lives Matter and other groups planned outside during the proceedings.

"We will be trying to establish a sense of calm in the city," City Manager Harry Black told The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Follow Dan Sewell at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell. For some of his other recent stories: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/dan-sewell

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