POLICE AGREEMENT NON-COMPLIANCE
Feds: Portland non-compliant with excessive force agreement
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice have issued the city of Portland a formal notice of non-compliance with its settlement agreement over police excessive use of force. It’s the first time the DOJ has taken that step since U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon approved the agreement seven years ago. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the notice is the first step toward probable mediation with the city over an impasse on stalled police reforms. Federal lawyers last month said they had asked Portland police to create a plan on how they’ll properly report, analyze and investigate officers’ use of force, but the city contends a correction plan isn’t required under the settlement.
Clues from unexploded firebomb lead to charges in Portland
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — During a Black Lives Matter protest on Sept. 21, a Portland police officer was sitting in a vehicle used to broadcast warnings and loud noise at protesters when he saw a burning object sailing through the air toward him. The officer found a Molotov cocktail that had not gone off. According to court records, that bottle produced key evidence that helped lead to charges against an Indiana man who authorities said had come to Portland for protests. A previously secret 28-count indictment charges Malik Muhammed with attempted aggravated murder and other crimes. Joshua Pond, listed on court documents as Muhammed’s attorney, said he had no comment.
George Floyd death leads states to require cops to intervene
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — When a police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd in Minneapolis, other officers at the scene didn’t intervene, even while he said he couldn’t breathe and then stopped moving. That lack of action, seen in videos being replayed in former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice. It has also led several states to compel police to intervene in misconduct. Since Floyd’s death, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Jersey have passed laws requiring police to intervene when they see a fellow officer engaged in misconduct. Oregon is considering strengthening its law, and efforts are underway in Maryland and Washington state.
EX-POLICE UNION HEAD-RESIGNATION
Ex-Portland police union head resigns from retirement board
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The former head of Portland’s police union has left his role on the Bureau of Fire & Police Disability & Retirement board. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Officer Brian Hunzeker resigned as a board trustee Friday, hours after Mayor Ted Wheeler asked him to do so in a letter. The mayor chairs the disability and retirement board. Hunzeker wrote in a two-sentence email to Wheeler Friday that he has appreciated the opportunity to serve. Last month, Hunzeker abruptly resigned as head of the Portland Police Association, citing a “serious, isolated mistake” in connection to a leaked report that erroneously identified Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as the suspect of a minor hit-and run crash.
CARBON MONOXIDE EXPOSURE
17 exposed to carbon monoxide at pork and beef facility
CARLTON, Ore. (AP) — More than a dozen people were exposed to carbon monoxide at pork and beef facility southwest of Portland. KATU-TV reports Yamhill County Fire says the Carlton Farms retail and packaging areas were evacuated just after 11:30 a.m. Monday after carbon monoxide spread through the air conditioning system. In total, authorities say 17 people were treated for carbon monoxide exposure. Authorities say eleven of those people were transported to local hospitals with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and headaches.
OREGON TECH STRIKE VOTE
Oregon Tech faculty union votes to authorize strike
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Institute of Technology’s faculty union has voted to authorize a strike. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the vote last week comes more than 500 days after negotiations began between the union and school administration. Oregon Tech’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors is demanding salary increases and more clearly defined workload limits, among other requests. The union said as of Friday, 96% of faculty had cast their votes, and 92% of those votes were in favor of authorizing a strike. It is not guaranteed that the faculty will strike, but union leadership can now call for one if an agreement is not reached.
Group sues over Interstate 5 expansion in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The group No More Freeways has filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to add auxiliary lanes and shoulders to Interstate 5 by Portland’s Rose Quarter. The project was allowed to move forward without a full environmental impact statement and the group believes that’s a violation of federal environmental laws. The $800 million project is aimed at decreasing congestion and traffic accidents on a segment of I-5 between its junctions with Interstate 84 and Interstate 405. It has faced opposition from No More Freeways and other Portland community groups that say it would increase pollution.
Vancouver residents identified in fatal bridge crash
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have identified Cecilia Hao of Vancouver as the second driver who was killed in early March in what investigators believe was a head-on collision on the Glenn Jackson Bridge. The other driver was identified as Morise Messiah Smith, a 21-year-old man also from Vancouver. Portland police responded to the crash on the bridge, which crosses the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, at about 1:11 a.m. on March 8. They found a Toyota RAV4 on fire and a Chrysler 300 against the eastern concrete barrier. Police say they collided head-on and both drivers died at the scene.