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'!)
• This afternoon Mayor Ted Wheeler announced certain reforms that he would like to make to the Portland Police Bureau, which includes banning SROs (Student Resource Officers in schools), police officers using chokeholds (which were already banned), the gang violence unit, and the transit unit. Reforms will also be made to the way traffic stops are made. NOT INCLUDED: Disbanding the SERT program (cops who show up to confront protesters), and banning chemical weapons and munitions against protesters.
• Guess who doesn't like at least one of Mayor Wheeler's reforms? SURPRISE! It's the Portland Police Union!
Portland police union Pres. Daryl Turner objects to cutting Gun Violence Reduction Team: “This is a big mistake.This is jeopardizing the safety of Portlanders. What I'd like to know has the mayor and the commissioners taken into account the victims of gun violence in this city?"
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) June 9, 2020
• Want to know ALL the police reforms that are being proposed in front of Portland City Council this week? Our Alex Zielinski's got that list, which includes the defunding of PPB specialty programs, the banning of chemical weapons and munitions, and a proposal to make it much easier to investigate (and fire) criminal cops.
• Somehow, the Portland Police (under the leadership of new Chief Chuck Lovell) managed to not fire off any tear gas into a crowd of protesters last night, as they marched from Revolution Hall, down I-84, and to the Alberta district. Read our liveblog of last night's action for more.
Agreed. pic.twitter.com/9vlDejtAhD— Wm. Steven Humphrey (@WmSteveHumphrey) 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!
• There was an altercation between the drivers of a car and a truck during the I-84 protest march, as the truck driver (it's always a truck driver!) unsafely tried to pass traffic on the shoulder.
• One day before former Police Chief Jami Resch resigned, she received a letter from Black community leaders lambasting the PPB's all-white command staff, saying that any commitment to true police reform “rings loud, hollow and tone deaf.’’
• On June 12th, most of Oregon will basically start re-opening. We're already experiencing a new peak in COVID-19 infections (our all time highest, in fact), and we're not alone either, as 13 other states and the territory of Puerto Rico have also reported having their highest-ever weeklong-average of new cases. Officials are saying it's still "too early to draw conclusions," but if you're feeling like you might rather continue to stay masked-up and safely socially distanced, that's probably a good conclusion to come to.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Well, this is just great: Trump promotes a conspiracy theory suggesting that an injured Buffalo protester was involved in a “set up.”
• PROFILES IN BRAVERY: Republican Senators Edition!
GOP senators not touching this so far. They won’t weigh in, even when it’s explained to them. Rubio to me: "I didn't see it, you're telling me about it, I don't read Twitter, I only write on it."
Cornyn says he hasn't seen it: "You know a lot of this stuff just goes over my head” https://t.co/KJMbhiOxMh
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 9, 2020
• A Brooklyn cop is charged with assault after violently shoving down a protester. OH! And he also called her a "bitch."
• This sounds depressingly, infuriatingly familiar: Georgia primary voters are experiencing long lines at the polls and complications with their touchscreen voting machines. Again, most of the state's problems are occurring in majority-Black precincts.
• IBM announced today they're getting out of the "general purpose facial recognition and analysis software" business, specifically over concerns over how it can be used to pursue racial profiling and mass surveillance.
• Watch: Presidential nominee Joe Biden's video address to attendees of George Floyd's funeral in Houston today.
• Meanwhile, at the White House:
Stephen Miller, who crafted @realDonaldTrump immigration policy at the southern border, including separating families and caging children, is preparing a @WhiteHouse speech on race relations. @aurnonline #AURN report https://t.co/2BMNkGPqgq
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) June 9, 2020
• Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was on his way to removing the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, until a judge blocked the order for 10 days due to wording in a deed from 1890 citing a Commonwealth guarantee to "faithfully guard and affectionately protect" the statue.
• Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in an interview with the New Yorker published today, pushed back against the idea of abolishing police departments in America, and argued against defunding, instead making the case for more "well-trained, well-educated, well-paid profesionals in police departments."
• Not surprising: "National Guard troops deployed during protests in Washington test positive for coronavirus."
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• And finally, it's time for police to stop whining and start changing. They've lost the argument.