Cops in Buffalo knocking down a 75-year-old man.
Cops in Buffalo knocking down a 75-year-old man. Courtesy WBFO-TV

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• It was night seven for huge Portland protests yesterday, and the Mercury was reporting on the ground. Check out the Mercury's live blog for more info including big crowds, small altercations, and a special appearance from the Blazers' Damian Lillard! And stay with us for the latest on tonight's protests!

• Big changes are already happening in Portland thanks to these protests. PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero announced yesterday on Twitter that he is "discontinuing the regular presence" of school resource officers from the Portland Police Bureau. Soon after, Mayor Ted Wheeler added that PPB's entire school resource officer unit (the Youth Services Division ) would be disbanded, removing these SROs from Portland, David Douglas, and Parkrose School Districts. Our Blair Stenvick has more.

• Something to read!

• In Salem, Oregon a cop was filmed warning armed white civilians to take cover so they wouldn't be arrested for violating curfew along with peaceful protesters. The cop told them that he didn't want it to look like the police "were playing favorites" which is exactly what they were doing. The Salem police chief has since apologized for the incident.

• A Cottage Grove, Oregon fire chief is claiming that his Facebook page was hacked in an effort to explain why he seemingly wrote that anti-police brutality protesters should be shot—even though he's written lots of similarly problematic messages in the past. HMMMMMMMM.

• Gov. Kate Brown met with Black leaders from Portland yesterday, vowing to review state police training practices, saying:

“I commit to you that I will work to pass the legislation sponsored by the People of Color Caucus to increase law enforcement accountability,” Brown said. “I will do as quickly as possible a review of training practices at DPSST, our training facility for law enforcement.”

• In other local news, Gov. Brown has approved 26 of the 29 counties who have applied for entering Phase 2, which means the reopening of movie theaters, later closings for bars and restaurants, and more people will be allowed to gather in churches. Meanwhile, Multnomah County is applying to enter Phase 1 on June 12.


• Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has joined former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in publicly criticizing our idiot president's wish to deploy the US military in response to people exercising their First Amendment rights. Kelly, during an interview with former White House Communications Adviser Anthony Scaramucci, said of the premise, "The troops hate it. They don't see it as their job," before continuing on to say "No president, ever, is a dictator, or king. I think we need to look harder at who we elect."

• Washington DC Mayor Murel Bowser is fighting back against Trump's military response to protesters by kicking National Guardsmen out of her city's hotels, and sending our idiot president a formal letter requesting he withdraw all federal law enforcement and military presence in her city. And THEN allowed a massive Black Lives Matter mural to be painted on the street leading directly to the White House.

• Oh, and then she did this:

• Speaking of the White House, the only wall our idiot president has managed to successfully build in his tenure is the giant fence he's erected around the perimeter, a fence which has come to be informally known as "the Baby Gate."

• After a week of sustained protest actions across the country (and internationally—check out these photos from Oslo, Norway, for example!), some police reforms are already being enacted: Minneapolis has agreed to ban chokeholds entirely, and will charge any officer not immediately preventing their illegal use as if they were the ones doing the choking.

Dallas, TX also adopted a "duty to intervene" policy today, and police departments in North Carolina and Michigan are also pursuing similar policy changes—which is a good start to useful reforms, but cannot be all that comes of these protests.

• As you know, protests have continued across the nation, often revealing startling, and sometimes appalling violence from the police—exactly what we're protesting against. In Buffalo, NY, two officers have been suspended after brutally shoving a 75-year-old man on to the cement, splitting his head open. The video is here and it is gruesome.


• According to recent data, police officers are overwhelmingly responsible for the recent attacks on journalists during recent protests—not protesters.

• Alexis Ohanian Sr., one of the co-founders of Reddit, the online cesspit messageboard that's long prided itself on being a safe haven for outright racist speech, has resigned his seat on the Reddit board, and requested the position be filled by a Black candidate, before pledging $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp. Further, Ohanian claims he will use any future gains from his Reddit stock to "serve the Black community.

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• There are very, very few things worth the risk of getting COVID-19. Protesting police brutality and the institutionalized white supremacy that supports it is one of those things. But police launching tear gas at protesters (and reporters) on a nightly basis? That's a good way to increase the severity of COVID-19, and according to researchers at Duke University School of Medicine, it is "a recipe for disaster" and "completely irresponsible."

• And finally... MAGNIFICO!