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'!)
• Here's your daily protest summary for the night of June 17: One big crowd marched from Revolution Hall to the downtown waterfront last night. Another group gathered in front of Mayor Ted Wheeler's apartment building in the Pearl District, and were in the Pearl until the wee hours. They constructed a pretty impressive barrier—but Portland Police Bureau (PPB) says they "cleared the area" by morning.
From last night's "Temporary Ted Autonomous Zone":
• Multnomah County is officially reopening tomorrow—Friday, June 19. And starting this coming Wednesday, residents of the Portland Metro area will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, like grocery stores. According to the governor, the reopening is happening despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases, because our hospitalization rate is so low.
• HOWEVER, and hold on a ding-dong second! According to an Oregon Health Authority press conference this morning, there were more COVID hospitalizations that originally thought due to an error in reporting. From our Alex Zielinski's article: "In total, Multnomah County saw 14 hospitalizations last week, with a significant cluster of them occurring at the end of the week, hinting at a continued surge." Despite the counting error, the county is opening up anyway. Sooooo.... WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASK.
• Also, even after 21 days of protests in the Portland area, the OHA has NOT seen an uptick in coronavirus cases in demonstrators. Thank you for continuing to WASH YA DAMN HANDS AND WEAR YA DAMN MASKS.
• Newly revealed public records show that PPB officers were allowed to cover the names on their badges with tape during the current protests, in an effort to protect their anonymity. Because clearly, police need to feel even more emboldened right now.
•Department of "Good Afternoon, News" Corrections: Yesterday in Good Afternoon, News, we reported that the city cut $29 million out of the police budget. THAT AIN'T RIGHT. More accurately, the Portland City Council approved a $229.6 million police budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. It's a 3 percent drop from the police bureau's 2019-2020 budget of $238.1 million. We apologize for the error!
• Reminder: Juneteenth is tomorrow and the Mercury will be out covering the rallies, marches, and celebrations this weekend. If you need to freshen your memory on this famous Black celebration of the end of slavery in Texas, this primer is a good place to start.
President Trump: “I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous...It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”
Reminder: Juneteeth has been celebrated since long before President Trump was born.https://t.co/jttPgwnhPW
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 18, 2020
• A mother has brought a $300,000 lawsuit against the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department after three deputies pinned her 12-year-old Black son on the ground, while one kneeled on the boy's neck.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• In response to Fulton County DA Paul L. Howard Jr.'s correctly charging former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe with murder in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a case of "blue flu" (or "swine flu" depending on your level of generosity towards law enforcement) reportedly swept through the rank & file of the Atlanta Police Department, with a number of officers calling in "sick" to their shifts.
• Hey, here's some excellent news: The Supreme Court has ruled against the Trump administration's bid to end DACA, which provides some protections for undocumented people brought to the United States as minors. The 5-4 majority called the effort to end DACA "arbitrary and capricious." Seems to be a good week at the Supreme Court for basic human decency.
• Okay, what in the hell is going on in Southern California: A week after Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale in a presumed suicide so sketchy the FBI has begun its own investigation, Fuller's half-brother, Terron Jammal Boone, was shot and killed at a traffic stop by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in Rosamond. Officers are claiming Boone exited the car and began firing his handgun at them, and they shot back, killing Boone, wounding the driver, and missing a seven-year-old girl in the backseat. None of of the officers involved were wearing cameras, and their vehicles had no cameras equipped.
• Wait, Facebook did something... right? The social media platform actually removed official Trump Org campaign ads last night, ads that took aim at antifa by using literal Nazi symbology, specifically, the red inverted triangle used to designate political enemies inside concentration camps. The symbol was also used in the 1930s to denote communists, social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons, and other anti-fascist groups.
• After hiding in a bunker from protesters, and then gassing protesters and church clergy in an attempt to appear "strong," and then denying he ever hid in a bunker, and then getting outed by his corrupt lapdog of an Attorney General as having, in fact, actually hid in a bunker, our idiot president is now reportedly "consumed" by an effort to root out and prosecute the people responsible for the world knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he ran and hid from anti-fascists in a bunker.
Ahead of tomorrow’s #Juneteenth observances, the portraits of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy have been removed from the walls of the U.S. Capitol under the supervision of House Clerk Cheryl Johnson. pic.twitter.com/8GpnHLVs9X
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 18, 2020
• Claiming that the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, VA is "the property of the people," Judge Bradley Cavedo extended his injunction preventing its removal indefinitely today, somehow missing the rather obvious fact that "the people" in question would really prefer if the statue commemorating a known traitor, racist, and loser on a historic scale came down ASAP.
• 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! BUT HURRY: THE LAST DAY FOR BUYING ONE IS TOMORROW, FRIDAY JUNE 19. Thank you, you'll be supporting our continuing journalism... while looking like a million bucks!
• And finally....