02-06-2023  1:44 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis, the head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Ex-foreign minister will face diplomat for Cyprus presidency

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A center-right former foreign minister and a career diplomat backed by a communist-rooted...

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis, the head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister...

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe imposed a ban Sunday on Russian diesel fuel and other refined oil products,...

Eric Tucker the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Yogananda Pittman and Monique Moore climbed the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police, they encountered no top-level supervisors who looked like them. No black women, from the chief down to the captains, were represented in the upper management of the federal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting lawmakers and congressional buildings.

So it was more than a personal honor when the two became the first black women promoted to captain in the department, which in the past decade has been roiled by allegations from minority officers that they were passed over for promotions and subjected to racial intimidation and harassment.

"I just definitely think it lets them know that it's attainable," Pittman said, referring to younger black officers. "When you see someone who looks like yourself in the rank of captain and what have you, they know they can do it."

The promotions may seem a pedestrian milestone in the year 2012 but they carry symbolic significance for the agency. Accusations of racism within the department have been addressed at congressional hearings, raised in multiple lawsuits and drawn concern from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members in 2003 said they were "incensed and embarrassed" by the alleged mistreatment

Sworn statements from black officers and a 2001 class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 300 current and former officers paint an unflattering portrait of the department. Black officers complained of losing promotions and favorable assignments to less-qualified white officers and of being humiliated in public and harassed with racial epithets. One officer says he found a hangman's noose on a locker; another reported finding a swastika-like symbol. One black officer nicknamed Ike says a K-9 unit dog was given the same name.

That lawsuit is pending after being revived by a federal appeals court in 2009. Other cases have been filed in the past decade, including just this year.

The Capitol Police has challenged at least some of the claims in court papers, denying that race played a role in the promotional process.

Police departments have generally been slow to promote black women - partly because of promotional exams often alleged to be discriminatory and more likely to produce higher scores among white test-takers - even at a time when black men are increasingly in upper management, said Christine Cole, a criminal justice policy expert at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"I don't believe that we have an equally diverse command staff even though we have large and growing numbers of African-American men who have made their way to the title of chief," she said.

The promotions show the department is making progress, though it remains an "evolving organization," said Deborah Lewis, the department's diversity officer. Nearly one-third of sworn Capitol Police officers are black, and just more than 8 percent are black women, Lewis said. Blacks make up roughly 43 percent of the department's civilian workforce, the agency says.

Of the department's 17 top leaders, two are black men and two are white women. The rest are white men, Lewis said. That pales next to the D.C. police department, which has a female police chief, black assistant chiefs and female black commanders.

"Great strides have been made to develop a climate of openness," Lewis said. A third-party contractor, for instance, now oversees the promotion process.

Joseph Gebhardt, one of the lawyers who brought the class-action case, said in an email that the promotions were "completely out of character for the department" given its history and that the appointments can't fix the "decades-long injustice" black officers have experienced.

Sharon Blackmon-Malloy, a plaintiff and current vice president of the U.S. Capitol Black Police Association, said she was pleased by the promotions but considered them an overdue and incremental accomplishment.

"Although there have been some changes, small changes, the overall atmosphere of the department is not satisfactory," said Blackmon-Malloy, who says she was one of the first two black women promoted to lieutenant and has since retired. "Because if it was, why would we still have to file class-action lawsuits?"

Moore and Pittman say they haven't directly experienced discrimination but don't discount anyone else's claims.

"Even if I did experience that type of behavior from the department, I don't think that would have stopped me from my goals," Moore said.

The captains, who were promoted in January, will together oversee some 500 or so officers in the department, which responds to everything from suspicious packages to thefts from offices to drunken driving.

Pittman, who comes from a family with a military background, joined in 2001 and has served in varied capacities, including in the communications division. Moore had been hired a few years earlier, working initially as a civilian before becoming a sworn officer, where she helped keep congressional committee hearings safe.

The two have had their share of memorable experiences, including being on Capitol Hill during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Pittman, a new recruit, was preparing to graduate from training; Moore, meanwhile, helped evacuate First Lady Laura Bush from a Senate office building, where she had been scheduled to testify about education.

"Mainly it just validated my line of work, basically, as far as protecting the community, the professional community and staff," Moore said. "Everything that we train for just kicked in at that moment."

The two envision higher ranks than captain.

"We both have our eyes on when we'll make chief," Pittman said.

---

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.