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Good morning, Portland! I want to take a moment to encourage you all to vote for Portland chef Gregory Gourdet in the Top Chef: All Stars fan favorite contest. In addition to being my favorite chef on the show, Gregory promises to "donate the entire $10,000 to food banks in Louisville, Minneapolis and Brunswick, GA to support communities of the recently slain" if he wins.
Okay, here are the headlines.
• After a week and a half of tense protests against police brutality in Portland, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Chief Jami Resch resigned yesterday. She was immediately replaced with Chuck Lovell, a Black man who was previously lieutenant and a school resource officer at Jefferson High School. Resch was on the job just six months, after replacing former Chief Danielle Outlaw. She will remain a sworn member of PPB, but she said she's not yet sure what position she will hold.
• Speaking of protests—last night saw another round of largely peaceful protests on both sides of the city. Here's a summary of the night's events from Alex's liveblog:
The big news of the night was a march, organized by Black leaders, that once again began at Revolution Hall. The difference was that, for the first time, it ended in the Alberta district, a formerly African American neighborhood that has since been heavily gentrified. And, to get there, the marchers took over I-84, blocking traffic in both directions. It was almost entirely without incident, apart from one truck driver who veered around the stopped traffic and attempted to get past the march with force. Reports are that the driver was brandishing a weapon, but we've yet to confirm that. We have requested more information from the PPB and will update you as soon as we can.
Beyond that, the new police chief's first night on the job was a calm one. Hundreds of protesters still descended upon Chapman Square to chant and snack and drum and smack a beach ball around in front of the Justice Center. Water bottles and the occasional firework (not to mention at least one beach ball) were thrown over The Fence, and, according to some folks there, the police responded with pepper ball shot. Elsewhere, in front of the nearby US District Court, some protesters cut through a section of The Fence.
That was pretty much the only drama we've seen tonight as it appears the Portland Police were willing to let the rally die out naturally (with a little help from the rain and cold) rather than force an ending to it with crowd control munitions and batons.
Portland march has both directions of I-84 pic.twitter.com/RihkprCSt8— Karina Brown (@karinapdx) June 9, 2020
• This morning, PPB reports that they did arrest one person carrying a firearm downtown last night (unclear if he was part of the protest or not), but that by 1 am most protesters at the Justice Center had left—no tear gas necessary!
• At the same press conference where Resch resigned, Mayor Ted Wheeler promised "a large list of [police] reforms." We should be hearing more about those at today's noon press conference, so stay tuned!
• A timely headline from our friends at OPB: "Why Is Oregon So White? Its Racist Foundations Reveal The Reasons."
• Meanwhile, our sister paper The Stranger reports that some Seattleites have been tear gassed in their own apartments. Nice!
• Lest you forget, the coronavirus pandemic is still very much a thing—in fact, Oregon now has its all-time highest rate of COVID-19 infections. Public health officials say those numbers might not be cause for too much alarm, as a few highly concentrated workplace outbreaks could be the cause.
• Speaking of COVID-19, many companies across the US claim that the pandemic has somehow interfered with their ability to follow environmental regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency has essentially given those companies a free pass to pollute.
• In other national news: Congress, after a... questionable bit of performative pageantry involving kente cloth (people seem to have preferred if the legislators just got down to legislating) unveiled the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which would ban chokeholds, prohibit some no-knock warrants, and create a national database that would track police misconduct. So far, the Act has no Republican support, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has already pointed to "non-starter" issues, like one provision that would make it easier to sue police officers.
• Rumor has it that this is the hot new protest attire! Rumor has it that this is also the hot new "safely physically distance and Zoom with your friends" attire!
Support local journalism (*and* look sexy hot) by buying the new Mercury Tiger tank top!https://t.co/l2miNH82Z8— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) June 8, 2020