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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! There's a chance we could make it now. We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Gresham has stepped down as well following complaints of racism in city offices.
Today Portland's commissioners are set to vote a second time on the city budget which ostensibly should contain huge cuts to the police department (that Portlanders are overwhelmingly demanding), but doesn't. From the triumphant return of the Mercury's Hall Monitor column:
While it’s remarkable that all four commissioners agreed to defund three PPB units that have come to be widely known for targeting people of color, their proposed budget enables Portland’s police bureau to continue operating largely as it has in the past.
Read it all here.
The city of West Linn fired Sgt. Tony Reeves, a police officer who was involved in a racist investigation and wrongful arrest of a Black man in Portland in 2017. https://t.co/C6hPFPRHGH
— OPB (@OPB) June 16, 2020
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.
Gov. Kate Brown has announced a special session for the Oregon legislature in which lawmakers will address the coronavirus spike and potential legislation for police accountability. Our Blair Stenvick has more.
Yesterday marked a new record of 278 additional coronavirus cases in Oregon since the day before. Two new deaths have been added, for a total of 182. The top two counties for new infections were Multnomah at 42, and Union county with a shocking 119 new cases. (At least 236 COVID cases have been linked to Union County's Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church which has been holding services for hundreds even though the county is still in Phase 1.)
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 leader Lillith 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."
As Texas sets record levels of new cases of the coronavirus and hospitalizations, the mayors of nine cities are calling on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to allow them to set mandates for wearing masks and face coverings. https://t.co/qLjpWEkEmY
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) June 17, 2020
To the surprise of no one, the Republicans' plan to eliminate police abuse and violence is nothing but a pile of weak encouragements for cops to stop choke holds and no-knock warrants.
The suspect in two officer shootings in California has been linked to the right-wing extremist Boogaloo movement.
In remembrance: Five years ago today, a white supremacist walked into Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina and murdered nine Black people gathered for bible study.
Besides being a recipe for exponentially spreading the coronavirus, Trump's rally this weekend in Tulsa has local officials fearing it will inspire even more violent protests.
Trump is using his old stand-bys (lawsuits, character assassinations, and Twitter storms) to stop former national security adviser John Bolton's tell-all book from coming out next week.
Aunt Jemima syrup will change its packaging's name and image after its company acknowledged that the brand’s origins are “based on a racial stereotype.” Meanwhile the packaging for Uncle Ben's rice is currently, according to Mars Inc, "under review."
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Now let's peer suspiciously at the sky for the WEATHER: Those clouds will peel away to reveal a sunny day with a high of 73!
And finally... let's take one more look at that.
A wild sight to see. Drone video shows Portland demonstrators with fists in the air as they shut down the Fremont Bridge. They’re now moving back to the east side.
🎥: @PORTLANDRONE #Portland #pdx #breakingnews @fox12oregon #BlackLivesMatter #oregon #protest #traffic pic.twitter.com/i3b9WVbl5w
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) June 17, 2020