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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes. Know where I'm goin', and I know what to do. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
On the anniversary of the cop-inflicted death of George Floyd, last night marked another evening of excessive police violence as more than 100 protesters demonstrated near the North Precinct on MLK Blvd until the early hours of the morning. A barricade was built in the middle of the street and set aflame as police indiscriminately fired various munitions at crowd (including pepper balls, flash bangs, the hard foam bullets that split open the head of a demonstrator last weekend, and some type of gas). Tuck Woodstock was on the scene, and has a detailed recap of the evening.
The police teargassing the streets of Portland and pulling people out of their vehicles into the gas. #Portlandprotest #blacklivesmatter #PDXprotests #pdx #oregon #blm #acab #northprecinct #portland pic.twitter.com/FIswALdILG— Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof) (@hungrybowtie) June 26, 2020
While parts of the state's police accountability legislation will survive, the Oregon legislature is substantially watering down proposals that would curb police violence, including not including bans on tear gas and choke holds.
Our Alex Zielinski interviewed an Oregon Employment Department worker, one of many who are attempting to process 70,000 unpaid PUA claims, and it sounds like a NIGHTMARE. Here's a quick excerpt in which OED employee Desi Thonis explains how she was instructed to deal with upset laid-off workers begging for their checks:
THONIS: ....we were told to just cut them off after 10 minutes and say we’re sending their claim to another person to follow up.
MERCURY: Who were you sending that claim to?
I have no idea! We asked our managers but they just brushed it off, telling us ‘Someone will follow up.”
Wait, so you weren’t sending the claim to anyone?
No. We were told to lie. I know those claims are still just sitting in a database still needing to be processed. I can’t lie to people, so I just started handling them myself.
Read the entire interview here.
• After weeks of screaming and yelling from activists about how Oregon prisoners are being kept in COVID death traps with little to no protection, today Gov. Kate Brown commuted the sentences of 57 medically vulnerable adults in custody—which many agree is too little, too late. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
Harry & David, Dave's Killer Bread, Bob's Red Mill — all the sites of active covid-19 outbeaks, according to the Oregon Health Authority. https://t.co/cftv6DX3GA— Brooke Jackson-Glidden (@jacksonglidden) June 26, 2020
• Former Portland police chief Danielle Outlaw (who was never a champion for measured, thoughtful police protest response during her tenure) has apologized on the behalf of the Philadelphia police department which she now leads, for tear gassing trapped protesters during a recent march.
• TriMet has released their new budget which reflects the severe impact that COVD-19 has had on local public transportation. Check out our Blair Stenvick's story for the details.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has ordered all the bars in the state to close in an attempt to stem the ballooning cases of COVID that have been plaguing Texas since reopening too quickly.
BREAKING: No drinking at bars in Florida. State reported 8,942 new coronavirus cases today. https://t.co/ww3Ne4Z3CS— Langston Taylor (@langstonitaylor) June 26, 2020
• In a very late attempt to quell the surging virus across the nation, the Trump administration is considering pool testing, which would test large groups of people to see if they are infected. If not they will be considered safe, and if so, each would be individually tested.
• Asymptomatic young people are thought to be the current drivers of the coronavirus. For example, of everyone being currently tested in the virus riddled state of Arizona, half the positive cases are people aged 20 to 44.
• In yet another desperate move before he is (hopefully) shoved out of office, Trump has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) which would leave 23 million Americans without insurance.
Nearly 40,000 reported cases of Covid19 just yesterday. https://t.co/GKFjKcV5oc— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) June 26, 2020
• Trump is now calling protesters "terrorists," vowing retribution on those who dare tear down racist Confederate statues.
• Long running country music trio, the Dixie Chicks, have dropped the "Dixie" from their name and are now just calling themselves "The Chicks," saying "We want to meet this moment."
• You need some guaranteed laughs, right? Then don't miss the I, ANONYMOUS SHOW, livestreaming into your home TONIGHT Friday, June 26, and featuring loads of unhinged true confessions and rants as well as a hot-shit lineup of nationally beloved comics including Mohanad Elshieky, Maggie Maye, and Josh Gondelman! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!
• Now let's cast our gaze skyward at the WEATHER: Expect a warm and sunny Friday with a high of 86!
• And finally, today in live-action Ratatouille remakes....