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 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 scary moment that Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling caught, showing an officer rushing him, even as he's identifying himself as a member of the press, and slamming him into the wall.
Portland Police charge protesters tonight.
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
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) June 14, 2020
• 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.
A) Journalists aren't your partners. B) Our job is to stay even after you tell us to leave to make sure you are being held accountable. C) We aren't your PR firm. https://t.co/1Yi4Vib9yt
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) June 15, 2020
• Meanwhile, due to the exhaustion of our small staff from pulling 15-18 hour days since late May, the Mercury is scaling back our nightly protest coverage. Make no mistake, we'll still be covering protests and insisting on police accountability, but we do need your help to get more help. Donate to the Mercury if you're able. Thanks so much!
• Let's not forget it's PRIDE MONTH! And to celebrate, the Mercury is offering an entire week's worth of Grade-A Queer content, curated and edited by our own Blair Stenvick. CHECK. IT. OUT!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• 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.
It's been 93 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered and the only arrest made in relation to her death was the arrest of her partner, who was charged for defending himself against the intruders invading their home.
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) June 15, 2020
• 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!
• While the Supreme Court made news for getting a couple things right, they also officially declined to hear any cases that re-examine the "qualified immunity" doctrine that essentially shields criminal police from successful prosecution.
• The FDA has revoked their emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as COVID-19 treatments, effectively ending our idiot president's weird, ineffective, and ultimately dangerous detour on the road to finding a useful treatment.
• If you were starting to think that maybe restlessness and impatience were leading to a way-too-soon and borderline-irresponsible swath of reopenings across the world, this story about China implementing "wartime measures" to re-lockdown Beijing after 79 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed between June 12-15 might help confirm those suspicions.
• It's so bad that the Disney superfans have once again taken to their favorite platform of dissatisfaction, the venerable Change.org petition, and have racked up over 35,000 "signatures" in five days asking the megacorp to not proceed with their current Disneyland reopening plans.
• In a move certain to ensure total failure, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he and other members of our idiot president's administration will "continue to work him" until he lets go of his animosity towards NFL players who take a knee to protest police brutality. "He'll get there," said Carson, ensuring there will never be a point in time on this plane of reality where such a thing ever happens.
• It hasn't even been a week since NASCAR banned the confederate flag from all its events, and here we go: Xfinity Series driver Kyle Weatherman unveiled the Mike Harmon Racing team's new "Blue Lives Matter" car, complete with Blue Lives Matter flag and the #BackTheBlue hashtag painted on it. (We expect too much from people, don't we?)
• Always good to see our legislators hard at work on the issues most important to bettering the lives of the constituents who elected them:
Listen Hellboy. You talk good game when you’ve got Hollywood makeup & stuntmen. But I’ll bet $10k—to the nonpolitical charity of your choice—that you couldn’t last 5 min in the wrestling ring w/ @Jim_Jordan w/o getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky? https://t.co/eRerYVe5kj
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 15, 2020
• Reminder: The man Ted Cruz is honorably volunteering to "wrestle Hellboy" for "nonpolitical charity" is currently holding office in the state of Ohio despite being credibly accused of helping to perpetuate the sexual abuse of Ohio State University student athletes in his wrestling program.
• 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...
And if I throw out the scale in my bathroom I can keep eating pasta. https://t.co/27NFQASGYM— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) June 15, 2020