01-29-2023  2:16 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Krikke scores 30, leads Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Ben Krikke scored 30 points to lead Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69 on Saturday. Krikke added nine rebounds for the Beacons (10-13, 4-8 Missouri Valley Conference). Kobe King added 13 points and Connor Barrett scored nine. Gage Bobe finished...

Russell leads SE Missouri State over Eastern Illinois 79-68

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Phillip Russell scored 19 points and Southeast Missouri State beat Eastern Illinois 79-68 on Saturday. Russell added six assists for the Redhawks (12-11, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Adam Larson and Israel Barnes scored 11 points apiece. Larson blocked three...

OPINION

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. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

Jay Leno breaks bones in motorcycle wreck months after fire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two months after undergoing surgery for serious burns, Jay Leno is now contending with a number of broken bones after being knocked off a motorcycle. The comedian and former “Tonight Show” host told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thursday that he broke...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pastor prays for peace after brutal beating of Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The pastor at the Memphis church where Tyre Nichols ' family spoke from the pulpit urging...

Gregory Allen Howard, who wrote 'Remember the Titans,' dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard, who skillfully adapted stories of historical Black figures in...

Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he is looking forward to discussing with President...

Iran says drone attack targets defense facility in Isfahan

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bomb-carrying drones targeted an Iranian defense factory in the central city...

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A mining corporation on Sunday apologized for losing a highly radioactive capsule over a...

Pope clarifies homosexuality and sin comments in note

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has clarified his recent comments about homosexuality and sin, saying he was merely...

Lisa Loving and Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

More than 100 supporters joined a picket line in front of the Justice Center Thursday morning for Aaron Campbell, an unarmed Black man shot in the back under bitterly contested circumstances by a Portland Police officer Jan. 29.
Meanwhile, Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk made public an unprecedented open letter of protest written by the members of the grand jury that this week exonerated the officer of criminal wrongdoing. The letter reveals new details of the incident that contradict previous statements by law enforcement in the case.
To read the letter click here: http://www.theskanner.com/grandjuryopenletter.pdf Schrunk's office confirmed that the issue of releasing to the public the entire transcript of the grand jury's investigation is pending before a judge next week and should be decided by Thursday, Feb. 18.
"Aaron Campbell was not accused of a crime, yet he lost his life that day, and his Mother lost two sons that day," the grand jury letter says.
"Portland deserves better.
"Aaron Campbell deserves better."

Killed During 'Welfare Check'
Campbell was fatally shot in the back during a "welfare check" after a friend of his girlfriend called 9-1-1 to report that he was suicidal after the death that morning of his younger brother, a heart transplant recipient who had been in failing health for weeks.
The friend told dispatchers that Campbell had a gun, and was in the company of his girlfriend and her three small children.
Police sent crisis negotiators as well as dozens of officers to the scene at an apartment building on Northeast Sandy Boulevard to cordon off traffic in the area at approximately 4:20 p.m. Within an hour the girlfriend and the children all had left the apartment unharmed.
At 6:08 p.m., dispatcher records show that Campbell emerged from the apartment, walking backward with his hands on his head. Within one minute of exiting his apartment, however, records show that shots had been fired and Campbell was "down."
Police officials have said that after leaving the apartment, Campbell started to become noncompliant, shouting that they would have to shoot him.
Police maintain that Campbell was shot in the back with multiple rounds from a bean bag shotgun after he appeared to move his hands. The dispatcher record logs the beanbag rounds were fired at 6:08 p.m. and seven seconds.
The police say Officer Ron Frashour then shot Campbell in the back with an AR-15 rifle because he started running away and reaching into his back waistband for what Frashour believed to be a gun. A gun was later found in a closet in the dead man's apartment but none was found on or near his body. Dispatch logs record Frashour's shot at 6:08 p.m. and 16 seconds.
Campbell appears to have bled to death on the ground, as police waited more than 20 minutes for a special emergency medical squad to check his vital signs, because, they said, they were not sure if he was still dangerous. Details from his autopsy have not yet been made public.

New Details Emerge on Use of Attack Dog
The grand jury letter revealed previously unreported details about the shooting scene, including the fact that the shooter did not know that a crisis negotiator was working with Campbell; no family members were brought in to help in the negotiation although several were on site; and the officer in charge of the scene failed to alert all the tactical operations members about the nature of the situation and that Campbell "had specifically and emphatically said he was not going to hurt himself or anyone else."
Police officials have previously confirmed that a K9 unit was also unleashed on Campbell, but few details had emerged about that aspect of the death scene until the grand jury's letter was released.
In fact, the letter indicates that police officers disagree about whether an attack dog released on Campbell at the scene was in motion before, during or after the fatal shot was fired.
Current policy regarding use of K9 units allows for a police dog to "take down" an individual without shots fired, the letter says, and the dog's handler testified that he let the dog loose on Campbell before shots were fired.
Frashour testified that he never saw a dog "running to attack Mr. Campbell," the letter says. "Had these two groups been better coordinated, Officer Frashour might have delayed his shot, waiting to see if the dog could successfully take Mr. Campbell down."
The grand jury letter blasted the fact that, jury members said, Frashour's "actions were consistent with the relevant laws and statutes regarding the use of deadly force by a police officer."
The dispatcher log does not note deployment of the attack dog at all.

Officer 'Trained to Be a Shooter'
The grand jury letter indicates that several police witnesses contradicted Frashour's claim that Campbell's hands were "reaching for his waistband," including one officer who testified that Campbell's hands were not visible at all when he started running away from officers after being shot repeatedly with beanbag rounds.
"By his own testimony, Officer Frashour was so focused on keeping his sights on Campbell's 'center of mass' that he didn't really digest what the other officers were saying to Campbell as he backed out of his apartment with his hands on his head," the letter says.
"Officer Frashour was over-trained to be the shooter, and under-trained to reassess the situation based on changes to the available information."
In the letter, the unnamed members of the grand jury repeatedly condemn the inadequacy of current regulations regarding use of force for police officers, which they said left them with no choice but to exonerate Frashour.

Grand Jury Letter Demands Reform
"That is not to say that we found him innocent, agreed with his decisions, or found that the police incident at Sandy Terrace was without flaw," the letter states.
"This was very difficult for us as a grand jury, as our sympathies lie with the Campbell family and the mood of the community.
"As a group, we are outraged at what happened at Sandy Terrace," the jury members say.
The grand jury members, in their letter to Schrunk, call on him to push the Portland Police Department to change its policies on use of force.
"We feel that his death resulted from flawed policies, incomplete or inappropriate training, incomplete communication, and other issues with the police effort," the letter continues.
"We feel strongly that something must be done to correct this, and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) should be held responsible for this tragedy."

Demonstrators Echo Grand Jury's Outrage
At the Thursday morning demonstration, organized by the Albina Ministerial Alliance, the Rev. Leroy Haynes said the community is disappointed "once again" in the inability of the grand jury system to ever hold police officers accountable for questionable shootings.
"Therefore, we call upon the district attorney and the Portland City Council to support holding a public inquiry regarding the death of Aaron Campbell and to establish a special prosecutor for police excessive force and deadly force cases," he said.
In addition to calling for an independent prosecutor, the Alliance called for a complete review by Police Chief Rosie Sizer and City Council of use of force policies and training; support of Commissioner Randy Leonard's proposal to strengthen the Independent Police Review and give them the power of subpoena; and for the state legislator to narrow the legal language that allows police officers to use deadly force.
Bishop A.A. Wells said there are ways that all professionals who deal with life and death situations are held to a reasonable standard.
"There are ways you can measure 'reasonable,'" Wells said. "Right now, all he (a police officer) has to say is that his life was in danger."
Joice Taylor, president of the African American Alliance, called for the United States Justice Department to investigate why so many unarmed citizens have been killed by Portland Police – many of them Black.
Both Wells and Imam Mikal Shabazz said the city needs to evaluate who they hire to wear a badge and a gun.
"They were paralyzed by so much fear that they will leave a wounded man for 30 minutes on the pavement until they know he is dead before giving him medical assistance," he said.
The Portland Police Union opposes releasing transcripts from the normally-secret grand jury proceedings. Mayor Sam Adams and Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman have both released statements this week confirming their support for a public airing of the facts.
"My support for recording and publishing after-the-fact grand jury proceedings regarding law enforcement use of lethal force dates back to a bill I testified in support of during the 2007 legislative session, to increase transparency for our community," Adams said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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