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'!)
• After a week's delay, Governor Brown has announced that Multnomah County will be moving into Phase 1 of reopening on Friday, June 19, while Marion, Polk, and Hood River Counties will move into Phase 2. There are lots more additions and new rules, all of which are deftly explained in our story by Blair Stenvick.
HAPPENING NOW: Multnomah County is approved to enter Phase 1 of reopening this Friday, June 19, allowing seated service in restaurants and bars, personal services by appointment, use of gyms and fitness centers, and gatherings up to 25 people. READ MORE: https://t.co/P87893cTtw
— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) June 17, 2020
• Portland city council has approved a city budget which includes only a 3 percent cut to the police bureau, falling far short of the $50 million that the majority of concerned citizens have been asking for. Our Alex Zielinski has all the details.
• The Black Lives Matter protests in Portland continued last night with thousands marching across the Fremont Bridge, while another large group returned to the Justice Center to continue the fight against police brutality. According to police, some protesters used a U-lock to seal the doors to the Central Precinct from the outside. The most disturbing incident of the night came just after 1 am, when a 27-year-old driver hit several marchers around SW 3rd and Alder. The driver was later apprehended and booked on charges of Felony Hit and Run (three counts), Reckless Driving, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. The three people who were struck by the driver were treated for injuries, none life-threatening. So far, no other arrests were made last night in connection with the protests.
• Today in NOPE, NOPE, NOPE: "Portland police allowed to cover name tags with personnel number during protests, at former chief’s direction." You know what? That's not going to work for us.
• Volunteers from OHSU providing snacks and medical care to protesters have been abused, arrested, and had their supplies stolen by Portland Police. Get the details from our Alex Zielinski.
• Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill abruptly resigned yesterday afternoon, asking that he be immediately replaced by the county's DA elect, Mike Schmidt, who successfully ran on a platform of criminal justice reform. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
• Citing that they share "the outrage, frustration, and pain over the recent tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Tyaylor, Atatiana Jefferson and Ahmaud Arbery," TriMet announced the reallocation of 1.8 million from Transit Police funding to community-based public safety services. Our Blair Stenvick has more on how that, even with this move, TriMet isn't exactly "lacking for a security presence."
• Looks like you can add another 122 new cases of coronavirus to the Oregon record attained yesterday of 278.
• Oregon's Union County—the home to the state's largest COVID-19 outbreak, thanks largely to the church that has been holding massive illegal services—has voluntarily moved back to Phase 1 after being in Phase 2 for less than two weeks.
• And hey! You DO NOT want to miss the Mercury's Queer Week coverage, which includes this great piece on self-care by Jenni Moore, as well as an interview with protest organizer Lilith Sinclair, the city's best Pride calendar, and much more to come!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• The coronavirus is exploding in three states with record new cases in Florida (2,783), Texas (2,622), and Arizona (2,392). Meanwhile Veep/Trump toady Mike Pence is dangerously claiming there is "no second wave of coronavirus."
• A lawsuit filed on behalf of Tulsa, OK residents looking to make event organizers enforce social distancing protocols for our idiot president's upcoming campaign rally was rejected by a judge today, ensuring this potential "superspreader event" will continue as planned.
• Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot on June 12, was discovered to have participated in the attempted cover-up of his shooting of an unarmed Black man in 2015. Despite sending the victim, Jackie Jermaine Harris, to the hospital with bullet wounds and a collapsed lung, neither Rolfe, nor the other officers involved, reported the shooting. Oh, and this just in: Garrett Rolfe has been charged with felony murder for the death of Rayshard Brooks.
A new poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the criminal justice system is too lenient for police officers who cause injury or death https://t.co/HURbYjQvTm by @MattRyanPerez pic.twitter.com/gqgZC5QzJR
— Forbes (@Forbes) June 17, 2020
• Details of John Bolton's tell-all book have started leaking again, and today's choicest tidbit involves a direct request (more specifically, "pleading") from our idiot president to Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win re-election in 2020. Bolton's 592-page book is tentatively scheduled (barring any White House legal intervention) for release on June 23, at which point it will hopefully be pirated into oblivion, thus providing us all the information we desire without having to line Bolton's pockets as a reward for his cowardice and complicity.
• More from Bolton's book:
NEW Bolton book excerpt in WSJ: In June 2019, Xi "explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. ... Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do." https://t.co/7cuIvX1D97
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) June 17, 2020
“He recalls Trump asking Kelly if the nation of Finland is part of Russia. In a meeting with then-British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, a British official referred to the UK as a “nuclear power,” and Trump interjects: “Oh, are you a nuclear power?” https://t.co/PYZO2o5c5i
— Josh Mankiewicz (@JoshMankiewicz) June 17, 2020
• Speaking of tell-alls, Trump's niece, Mary L. Trump, has written her own memoir Too Much and Never Enough, delving into the family's psychology and sharing details about how she leaked tax documents to the New York Times in 2019 (Jesus that was only one year ago?), documents that exposed most of Trump's fortune as fraudulent, in keeping with the family's general business dealings (and moral fiber) for as long as they've existed.
• While we're on the subject of total absence of morality and humanity: Mitch McConnell told the press on Tuesday that whether he's majority leader or minority leader, he fully expects to effectively run the Republican Party after November, with most of his party's full support. It's up to either Kentucky Senate candidates Amy McGrath or Charles Booker (who is surging in both polls and prominent Democrat endorsements) to prevent that reality from coming to fruition.
• 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, if you've seen this video of a cop crying over her Egg McMuffin, you will enjoy former Mercury columnist and bon vivant Ian Karmel's priceless parody. *Chef's kiss!*