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Good morning, Portland! Here's your morning roundup of the news you may have missed over the weekend. (Prepare yourself, it's a LOT).
Some GOOD NEWS (I'm serious): The US Supreme Court voted this morning to protect LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation AND refused to hear a case meant to challenge California's sanctuary law!
States where you can now work as openly LGBTQ without fear of being fired are shaded in gray pic.twitter.com/LqouK6Bt2D— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) June 15, 2020
In Less Revolutionary SCOTUS News: The court decided not to reexamine the doctrine of "qualified immunity" protections for police officers, meaning cops will continue to be shielded from civil lawsuits for their behavior on the job.
Say His Name: In the midst of a global uprising over police officers killing Black people, a police officer shot and killed a Black man. On Friday, white Atlanta cop Garrett Rolfe killed Rayshard Brooks, 27, after Brooks fell asleep in his car in a Wendy's drive-thru. Brooks failed the officer's sobriety test and allegedly grabbed the officer's taser before he was shot dead. By Sunday, protesters had set the Wendy's on fire and Rolfe had been fired.
Good Luck With Your Reforms: This New York Times story explores how, despite years of purported reforms, policies meant to hold negligent police officers accountable for using deadly force have done relatively little to improve the number of instances officers have killed people of color.
Police Riot: This weekend saw a remarkable escalation from the Portland Police Bureau in response to demonstrations against police violence in downtown Portland. On Saturday, officers "closed downtown" by firing flash bang grenades, smoke canisters, pepper balls, and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters after a few people through bottles and rocks over a fence in front of the Justice Center. Here's the Mercury's on-the-ground coverage from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Officers didn't stop short of terrorizing journalists doing their job, either. Here's a moment that Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling caught on film:
Portland Police charge protesters tonight.— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) June 14, 2020
Officer: I don’t give a shit! Go!
I was shoved into the wall, then hit in the heel by some sort of crowd control munition. I’m fine pic.twitter.com/daPElkEb6J
Nothing to See Here, Folks: PPB, in response, has further doubled down on free speech suppression, releasing a video last night essentially instructing journalists to leave downtown before the police begin attacking the public.
Okay, but what about police use of force against journalists? https://t.co/GsTp5532nN— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) June 15, 2020
In Case You Missed It: Read this fantastic OPB/Oregonian collaboration on how big timber companies have devastated Oregon's small logging communities.
Today in Statue-Toppling News: Portland protesters dethroned a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the Jefferson High School campus last night, while Eugene demonstrators knocked over University of Oregon's creepy pioneer statues.
Tough time for slave owners 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/m0lUWuYqVc— PDX Resistance ✊ (@Pdx_resistance) June 15, 2020
I didn’t do it, but I’m not sad that the pioneer or his wife at the University of Oregon have fallen! pic.twitter.com/xoqbzi77u3— Leilani Sabzalian (@leilanisabz) June 14, 2020