A big crowd for last nights protest at the Multnomah County Justice Center.
A big crowd for last night's protest at the Multnomah County Justice Center. Alex Zielinski

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'!)

• Last night's protest against police brutality in Portland was the second straight evening without a violent response from cops, as protesters gathered at the Justice Center and Revolution Hall to listen to speakers and plan for what happens next—like two demonstrations happening during the day today to coincide with City Council hearing public testimony about what changes should be made to the police budget. (The vote on the budget has been moved to Thursday, due to the passing of Mayor Wheeler's mother.)

• A federal judge is granting a two week court order that will ban Portland Police from using tear gas on protesters except when life is at risk, saying, ”Given the effects of tear gas, and the potential deadly harm posed by the spread of COVID-19, Plaintiffs have established a strong likelihood that Defendant engaged in excessive force contrary to the Fourth Amendment.’’

• Oregon has now passed 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19, with 169 deaths from the virus.

• While certainly predicted, officials were still taken aback after the significant uptick in coronavirus cases over the weekend, as many Oregon counties launch into Phase 2 of reopening.

• Multnomah County leaders held a press conference this afternoon to discuss their reopening plans for the county. Per County Chair Deborah Kafoury, the county is still on track to enter Phase 1 of the state’s reopening framework this Friday, June 12, “if the state approves our plan.” We also learned that "very few cases" of COVID have been linked thus far to the protests, and though there has been a spike of infections in the county, Multnomah County Health Officer Jennifer Vines said there will be “no perfect time” to reopen, and called the decision “a matter of tradeoffs and balances.”

• The sentencing date for Jeremy Christian—found guilty of murdering two people on the MAX in 2017—has been rescheduled again, date to be determined.

• PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Hey, if you're going out, try not to get bitten by rabid bats. Because our first rabid bat case for 2020 was detected in Lane County this morning after it divebombed a poor Eugene woman just standing around in her yard and knocked itself out. Because it was rabid.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• The brother of George Floyd testified before the House Judiciary Committee this morning recalling the pain he felt while watching police kill his brother on video. Congress is pushing for the country's largest police reform legislation ever proposed.

• LOL President Trump is trying to make CNN apologize and retract a poll that has Biden 14 points in the lead—LOL!

• More than 1,250 former Justice Dept. employees have called on the agency's internal watchdog group to investigate Attorney General William P. Barr's involvement in the gassing and beating of protesters in Lafayette Square for the purposes of allowing our idiot president to pose for photos in front of a church.

• The White House's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters this morning that he doesn't believe "there's systemic racism in the United States," and quickly followed that ludicrous statement with "I'm not going to go into a long riff on it," presumably because it's literally impossible to do so without exposing oneself as being an ardent perpetuator of racism within said system.

• Confederate "heroes" aren't the only ones getting rightfully pulled down from their pedestals during recent protests: statues of Christopher Columbus are increasingly being vandalized and damaged, including a statue in Boston that had its head cut off.

• Speaking of Confederate-friendly iconography: HBO Max, in response to an open letter from writer/director John Ridley in the Los Angeles Times, temporarily removed the billion-dollar (inflation adjusted) testament to racist apologia Gone With the Wind from their streaming platform last night, in order to correctly contextualize its place in American history. More specifically: they want to point out how harmful its effect on society was, and how it thoroughly normalized the South's poisonous "Lost Cause" agenda to rewrite its racist, traitorous, and losing efforts in the Civil War as being "noble" and "just." There is no current timetable for the return of Gone With the Wind to this one (1) streaming platform, but the four-hour epic that you'll never actually watch because it's old and boring (and racist) is still rentable and purchasable at most retail outlets, and has never not been.

• Counterpoint:

• Related: Paramount Network canceled one of the original misery-porn reality shows, Cops, one week before the debut of its 33rd season.

• To the surprise of no one—wait... actually there are probably a lot of dumb people who didn't see this coming—cases of COVID-19 are on the upswing in 21 states that are in the middle of reopening.

• Georgia experienced another cluster fuck of an election yesterday with hours-long lines and busted voting machines predominately in Black counties. Once more for those in the back... NATIONAL. VOTE. BY. MAIL.

• After throwing a hissy fit that they couldn't stage a dangerously unsafe party in North Carolina, Republicans are moving their national convention to the "don't give a shit" capitol of America, Jacksonville, Florida.

Support The Portland Mercury

• In a sign of both the pandemic's ubiquitous financial ruin and the strength of the caffeinated empire that is Starbucks, the cafe chain announced 400 stores will be permanently closing, but will open more walk-up and curbside shops to make up for the loss in locations. Not too many other corporations that could lose 400 locations and have no legitimate worries about future solvency.

• You look hot... in a good way! Now you can look even hotter by purchasing the new Mercury Tiger Tank Top (sizing available for all genders and body types) for only $25! Thank you, you'll be supporting our continuing journalism... while looking like a million bucks!

• And finally, DON'T TOUCH THIS STATUE!!