It's an Important Question for the Last Two Dudes on Earth!
Guys, the person who stabbed Grand Theft Auto and Alibi—two cats in the Woodlawn neighborhood who managed to survive the June 25 attacks after being found near the intersection of NE 6th and Holman by their owner—is still at large. It seems the trail is going a little cold, so the national non-proft Animal Legal Defense Fund has stepped in to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person/people responsible:
Under Oregon law, aggravated animal abuse is class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $125,000 fine.
ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program Director, Scott Heiser, said, “We need the community to speak up here. As is common in child and elder abuse cases, these victim cats cannot speak for themselves let alone identify those who harmed them.” Heiser added, “Whoever did this poses a very real threat to the community as the research is unambiguous—those who intentionally harm animals are five times more likely to harm humans.”
If you have any information related to this incident, please contact Randall Brown, Chief Field Supervisor, Multnomah County Animal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-988-9079.
It was beginning to seem like the trail was cold as far as catching the sick fuck responsible for last month's cat stabbings in the NE Woodlawn neighborhood. Then, on Tuesday, a small dog who had been missing since June 25 was found dead in Woodlawn Park. That, at first, wasn't deemed suspicious until further examination revealed that the dog, Benny, had possibly died due to a puncture wound in his neck.
Given that, animal control is now investigating whether there's any connection to the cats (who both survived).
(Also—take this with an I, Anonymous blog-sized grain of salt—but someone over there this morning claims their cat was also stabbed, in Vancouver.)
KATU has the sad video of Benny's case:
According to study conducted by the Washington Post, a total of 462 people have been shot and killed by the police in 2015. We have five more months left in the year. As for the past 30 days, it is estimated that "at least 62 people" have been shot dead. These numbers look less like crime statistics and more like those of a war.
On Thursday night, Sarah Shapiro got home and lifted her tomcat, Grand Theft Auto, to find her hands covered in blood. After rushing him to Dove Lewis, she came back for her other, female cat, Alibi, who was also found to have abdominal wounds. Both cats required surgery, and Grand Theft Auto, at last report, is still in the hospital. The wounds appear to have been inflicted by a long, sharp object like a knife.
Shapiro lives in the Woodlawn neighborhood of NE Portland (and is the co-creator of the new Lifetime show UnREAL, which draws on her experience as a producer for The Bachelor and just got a nod of approval from The New Yorker). Woodlawn is close enough to my house that my usual running route goes through it—and way too close to my own cats, who are loving this weather and being able to go outside and cool off with a nice dirt nap under a shrub.
“These wounds were very unusual and unlike anything we typically see, even for cats that spend some of their time outdoors, like Grand Theft Auto and Alibi do,” says the vet who's treating both cats. “The severity of their wounds was not clear from the outside, but once we performed surgery we were concerned that they appeared to have been stabbed. Had they not been treated so quickly, both might have died.”
If you have cats, you should be keeping closer tabs on them until this mystery is resolved—I'm not gonna tell you what that means in your household, but probably no psychopaths can STAB THEM when they're inside. At the least, check them out to make sure they don't have any injuries. These cats' wounds were deep but there wasn't a lot to see from the outside. There's unfortunately no known witnesses to the crime, thus no shred of a description of the perp, but if we keep vigilant and spread the word, hopefully this sucker will get caught.
Even if you're not a cat person, a personality capable of using violence against defenseless animals is extremely dangerous to society as a whole. I hope we can take this fucker down.
Multnomah County Animal Services is investigating. Do call them at (503) 988-7387 if you have any tips, or have pets that turn up with similar injuries.
COPS SAY Portland's gang epidemic is the worst it's been in modern times, and that they've got the numbers to back it up.
According to the Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) official statistics, May set a new record for monthly gang attacks—25. As of June 19, police had logged 76 gang-related violent crimes in 2015, putting the city on track to have its bloodiest gang year in more than a decade.
"We're seeing numbers we're all worried about," Lieutenant Mike Krantz, who runs the bureau's Gang Enforcement Team, told the city's Community Peace Collaborative on Friday, June 19.
If that sounds familiar, it's because the narrative—complete with convenient historical charts police pass out every couple of weeks—is red meat to Portland media outlets, and pops up every year. The coverage is no longer reserved for the hectic summer months. In early March, KPTV was already decrying hundreds of shots as "gang members sprayed bullets into cars, windows, and homes."
More recently, national outlets have looked into high-profile shootings here. "Is Portland's gang problem getting worse?" Vice asked in March. (The Mercury, too, has covered the cops' reports of gang-related assaults in recent years.)
This furor is potent. Mayor Charlie Hales is spending $2 million in the next year to give Portland teens free access to community centers, in hopes it will steer them away from trouble. The police bureau actually floated the idea of shrinking its Gang Enforcement Team in this year's budget discussions, but instead recently shifted six officers to the unit.
But while there's no question that the city's seen alarming violence recently—including shots fired at crowded events like NE Alberta's Last Thursday street fair or the waterfront Cinco de Mayo festival—there's also skepticism that the statistics are all easily explained as the work of criminal gangs.
The word "gang" is "a catch-all for any shooting where you think the suspect is black," says Jo Ann Hardesty, president of the city's NAACP chapter. "What you're saying is every black kid who dresses weird is in a gang."
If you were obsessed with Serial, I feel confident in assuming that your true-crime appetite's moved on to HBO's The Jinx, the documentary series from Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) that follows the tremendously wealthy and creepy Robert Durst. For those of you who are well-adjusted and have normal hobbies, Durst has been linked to three deaths, including that of his wife, Kathie Durst, and apparently confessed to murder while miked during Jarecki's filming; he's been arrested and now faces a murder trial in Los Angeles.
As if that all wasn't grotesque enough, you can also read "The Fugitive Heir," Ned Zeman's 2002 Vanity Fair piece on Durst. It's a pretty grisly, disturbing read, that follows the suspicions from a friend of his wife that Durst had killed Kathie. It also goes into detail about Durst's strange behaviors (including growling), his childhood, and the random act that reopened the Kathie Durst missing person case—and turned it into a homicide investigation. In an article that covers some truly awful stuff, this detail was the one I found the most surprising:
Bobby began seeing a primal-scream therapist, who believed that screaming—and screaming and screaming—would unlock his patients’ suppressed pain and anger. Bobby also started growling. It happened more than once.
“What do you mean, he’s ‘growling’?” Schwank asked when Kathie told her about it. “What does it sound like?”
“GRRRRRRRR!” Loudly. Like an animal. Another time, Gilberte actually heard it in the background. “GRRRRRRRR!”
“Kathie,” Schwank said, “please get out of there. Come live with me.”
“No, I’ll be all right,” Kathie replied. “But if anything happens to me, please don’t let Bobby get away with it.”
Also, the AP actually had to issue a correction about Robert Durst—namely, that he is not the lead singer of Limp Bizkit. That is a thing that really happened, and probably the only mildly funny thing to come out of this entire strange saga.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, 18-year-old Oleg Stepanovich Plyushchev has been arrested on charges of stealing two bicycles—and then trying to sell them on Craigslist. But apparently bikes weren't Plyushchev's only interest...
From the PPB news release:
After his arrest, detectives learned that Plyushchev was the suspect for the theft of a Nigerian Dwarf Goat in August 2014 after reviewing a Clackamas County Sheriff's Office report.
"Penelope" was reported missing from a residence in the 6800 block of Southeast 122nd Avenue on August 4, 2014. Her owner reported that she was tethered and secured in the front yard and was taken sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
On August 8, 2014, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office recovered Penelope safe and sound and returned her to the owner. Portland Police detectives reviewed the Sheriff's Office report and learned that Plyushchev put Penelope on consignment at Geren's Farm Supply in Boring, Oregon.
NOTE: This story is not intended to make you consider stealing your neighbor's chickens and selling them on consignment.
Last year, Portland writer Sarah Marshall made headlines with a piece in the Believer, "Remote Control," which dared to ask if infamous Portlander Tonya Harding and her public image were two different things. We'll be running a lengthy conversation with Marshall in our spring arts guide, but it would be impossible to include all of the things we talked about, which ran a healthy gamut from ladies figure skating to serial killers of the Pacific Northwest to Twin Peaks to pink pepper spray (arguably the best kind). Here are a few things Sarah Marshall told me about Tonya Harding, murder, Wallace Stevens' day job, and how morbid curiosity might make you a better person:
MERCURY: You've written a lot about Tonya Harding, but have you ever had a Tonya Harding sighting?
SARAH MARSHALL: No. I mean the thing about Tonya is that I think she’s this Northwest figure who everyone seems to have seen but me. I’ve met like 10 people who have been like, "Yeah, I used to go to this bar were Tonya Harding would do karaoke," or "I used to see her in my neighborhood in Milwaukie," or, my friend waited on her in a restaurant, and I feel like I’m Mulder, you know, and I’m talking to all these people who saw this thing that I want to see, and I’m like, why don’t I get to run into Tonya Harding? But everyone else has, yeah.
You also write a lot about serial killers. Can we talk about that?
I can! I’m writing about serial killers right now—not at this moment, but yeah, I’m researching, actually, this case of a couple of Canadian serial killers, called Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, that was also a big media sensation in Canada in 1995, because that was when his trial happened, and there was a Canadian press gag at the time, so the Americans were getting the news, but they didn’t really care; the Canadians wanted the news but they couldn’t get it.
There’s something about growing up in the Pacific Northwest... You have this strange relationship with just knowing about serial killers. I don’t have an explanation for why.
I’m really interested in answering that, because I think it is a Northwest identity thing… At some point in your life as a girl or as a young woman, you’re going to find that "It could have been me" story... What else? Another thing I've been thinking about, researching this project, because it's been very intensive... is this idea that if you get too into true crime or into trying to understand the mind of a killer, then you will become infected in some way, and they will reach out to you and may change you and the whole like Hannibal-Will Graham super-empathy thing, and I was thinking about that, and I honestly think that being kind of obsessed with true crime for 10 years has made me a better person.
Multnomah County prosecutors are parrying the latest attempt to dismantle Portland's camping ban, insisting the law doesn't infringe on the right's of the city's homeless, or criminalize people for their homelessness.
In a legal memo filed yesterday [pdf], the district attorney's office says claims the ban constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" and violates the Oregon and US constitutions should be tossed when a Multnomah County judge considers them later this month.
"There are not any constitutionally protected interests that Portland's camping ordinance invades," says the six-page filing.
The arguments are in response to a challenge being mounted against the ban by the state's largest public defense firm. As we reported last month, attorneys with Metropolitan Public Defense Services have been working out ways to attack the ordinance, which they say is being used with troubling frequency to leverage criminal charges against Portland's homeless.
Public defenders found a potential battleground for that fight in the case of Alexandra Barrett, a young homeless woman who's been arrested again and again in the last year on camping-related charges. Whereas many defendants are happy to take a deal and be rid of charges, Barrett's been intent on fighting them.
That gave attorneys room to make some familiar arguments against the city's camping ban, which makes it a misdemeanor to camp on public property. Since the city lacks enough shelter space to accommodate every homeless person, defense attorneys say the camping ban essentially criminalizes people for doing what they must to survive. They've also argued that the ban tramples the constitutional right to travel, since a homeless person traveling through Portland could be ticketed or arrested when they set up a camp site.
Last month, the prosecutor's office asked a judge for 8 weeks to respond to the motion, a sign the office was taking the matter seriously. But the memorandum filed yesterday is actually relatively scant.
It denies that the camping ban criminalizes homelessness, and points out an Oregon appeals court has made a similar ruling in the past. And is says the city's small enough that no homeless person would be forced to bed down for the night when passing through.
"It is easy to travel through the city limits or Portland without having to stop, set up camp, and violating the camping statute," the memo says. "Portland is not so big that one would be forced to stop and set up camp in order to pass through."
At least one Multnomah County judge has ruled the city's camping ban unconstitutional in the past, but the city largely ignored the 2000 ruling, noting other county judges have found it legal. The Barrett decision, if it comes down against the city, could carry more weight. It's being decided by Multnomah County Circuit Judge Stephen Bushong, the well-respected jurist who forced the city to ditch its controversial sit-lie law when he found it unconstitutional in 2009.
Arguments on the motion to dismiss Barrett's case are set for January 23.
Since Sarah Koenig's crime podcast, Serial, came to an end, it's been fascinating to see people involved in the case of the 1999 murder of the high-schooler Hae Min Lee come forward to speak on the record about it—especially two in particular, Jay Wilds, a key witness in the case, and now, prosecutor Kevin Urick. Though Koenig was able to speak over the long term with Adnan Syed, who was charged with Lee's murder, neither Wilds nor Urick were particularly forthcoming with information when she contacted them—Wilds spoke to Koenig only when she showed up at his house unexpectedly; Urick claims that he wasn't contacted by the podcast's staff until its run was almost over (the staff of Serial deny this), and didn't want to comment. In this latest interview, though, Urick does discuss the case, and says something that no one on the podcast did—that it was an open-and-shut, "run of the mill" case of domestic violence:
The Intercept: The podcast “Serial” has focused enormous attention on the murder trial of Adnan Syed. Before all this, was there anything that stood out to you about the case?
Kevin Urick: The case itself I would say was pretty much a run-of-the-mill domestic violence murder. Fortunately a lot of relationships do not end in domestic violence, do not end in murder. But it happens often enough that you can identify it as a domestic violence case resulting in murder. That was the whole problem the defense had with the trial. They could not come up with a defense to that evidence. At the time the case was going on, there was no local press coverage. When the appeal was argued, there was no press coverage of that either. And the court of special appeals felt there was nothing new or novel about the arguments that were made in the appellate brief. It was not even a published opinion.
TI: There were plenty of inconsistencies in Jay’s confession, his testimony, and his statements to The Intercept after trial. Don’t all those inconsistencies discredit him?
KU: People have to realize, we try cases in the real world. We take our witnesses as we find them. We did not pick Jay to be Adnan’s accomplice. Adnan picked Jay. Remember, Jay committed a crime here. He was an accomplice after the fact in a murder. A very serious crime.
And there is almost always during a trial when you’re dealing with people out of a criminal milieu, that they have a lot of things they don’t want to talk about. They had some involvement with crime. There are always prior existing statements, even when you’re dealing with non-criminals.
People can very seldom tell the same story the same way twice. If they did, I’d be very suspicious of it because that would look like it was rehearsed. So all the time, you take your witnesses as they are, you try it in the real world, we put it on, we let the jury judge credibility. Jay was on the stand for five days.
The Intercept's argument? There wouldn't have been a story if Syed was guilty of Lee's murder, so the podcast was built around the idea that there had been a miscarriage of justice. Urick seems to agree with this, saying that Koenig used "sleight of hand" to make the cell phones records that played a crucial role in Syed's conviction seem like faulty evidence. This is quite an accusation to leverage at a journalist, but it's also an incredibly interesting argument, and regardless of if he's right, Urick's full interview is a fascinating read.
As many, many Ira Glass-adoring novice Agatha Christie NPR fans did, I listened to Sarah Koenig's crime podcast Serial and agreed strongly with Joe Streckert's take on the final episode, which left a lot open in the story of Hae Min Lee's murder. But one key stumbling block in figuring out what happened came from Koenig and Co.'s inability to get much information out of Jay, the state's key witness against Adnan Syed at trial. Koenig had some big questions about Jay's story that were, frustratingly, never answered. And it didn't look like they would be. Until yesterday, when The Intercept published the first in a series of in-depth interviews with Jay, where he explains what's behind the holes in his story. It's worth a read for Serial purists, and it's also interesting to see what Jay's willing to say on the record to someone else, that he didn't divulge to Koenig:
Why is this story different from what you originally told the police? Why has your story changed over time?
Well first of all, I wasn’t openly willing to cooperate with the police. It wasn’t until they made it clear they weren’t interested in my ‘procurement’ of pot that I began to open up any. And then I would only give them information pertaining to my interaction with someone or where I was. They had to chase me around before they could corner me to talk to me, and there came a point where I was just sick of talking to them. And they wouldn’t stop interviewing me or questioning me. I wasn’t fully cooperating, so if they said, ‘Well, we have on phone records that you talked to Jenn.’ I’d say, ‘Nope, I didn’t talk to Jenn.’ Until Jenn told me that she talked with the cops and that it was ok if I did too.
I stonewalled them that way. No — until they told me they weren’t trying to prosecute me for selling weed, or trying to get any of my friends in trouble. People had lives and were trying to get into college and stuff like that. Getting them in trouble for anything that they knew or that I had told them — I couldn’t have that.
I guess I was being kind of a jury on whether or not people needed to be involved or whatever, but these people didn’t have anything to do with it, and I knew they didn’t have anything to do with it.
That’s the best way I can account for the inconsistencies. Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.
Also discussed: growing up in Baltimore in the '90s, which Jay describes as a community "where people would have their house firebombed and still tell the police they knew nothing about it rather than to try to make some sense of what’s going on. And that’s not necessarily me—but that is my family, that is my uncles and cousins. It’s where I’m from." This, I think, provides some necessary context for the story—and for Jay's narrative—that seemed blatantly missing from the podcast, and perhaps even explains why Jay was so difficult for Koenig to get on the record in the first place. Read the whole thing here.
If you're not reading this from the illegal backseat of your personal Uber chauffeur, you're certainly aware the popular car-share service has mounted an incursion on Portland against the wishes of city officials (and local cabbies).
The city's working up any strategy it can think of to shut that down, arguing Uber's not properly regulated and could pose safety threats. That might involve a civil action against Uber, but right now it mostly seems to include city enforcers trying to issue hefty fines against Uber drivers (the company has said it will fight those fines). The Portland Bureau of Transportation is going to release information about how many citations its issued later today.
Until then, it's poll time!
That's what happened yesterday when B. Scott released an excellent tirade against the moral decline of this city based on his experience buying a sandwich at Safeway (the one in the Pearl, natch. He's an Internet millionaire, remember?). While there, he watched a "street kid" who "could be a tweeker, but not obvious" steal a dollar's worth of chicken wings—among other skills, his years of millionairing have taught him how to spot tweekers, even the not-obvious ones.
The chicken was just a symptom of a greater problem, and B. has no problem jumping from there to the "hellhole" that was New York City in 80s. If you lived there/then, as B. reminds us, you know these truths:
1. If you rode the subways you would get mugged.
2. If you parked your car on the street it would get broken into. If you left it there for more than a day, you wanted it to get stolen.
3. If you walked in Central Park at night as a female you were going to get raped.
If private businesses continue to ignore petty chicken theft, it's only a matter of time before our precious Pearl District has a 100% crime rate like New York had.
Scotty B. investigated the root of New York's magical turnaround: he once asked a police officer what caused the drop in crime and, shockingly, that guy credited the police! Sure, the Broken Windows theory of criminology is highly contentious and used to back racist policies. And sure, other theories vary widely including the idea that lead paint caused the crime (I asked a painter and he said it was definitely that). But I believe Broseph S. T.—he's made a lot of money and lived in at least two cities.
Portlanders, we can't just stand by while this terrible scourge destroys our great condo developments! If you don't act now and beat up a street kid, you may end up saying, "I didn't speak up when they came for our chicken wings, because I don't eat chicken wings. But then they came for my free side of chips and I didn't say anything because the non-obvious tweekers had taken over the Pearl and were aggressively marginalizing millionaires like me." It's time to stand up and fight back.
This is sickening, awful news, for artists to come this far from home and be robbed while in our city. If you know anything at all, or have any info about how to recover the bag that contains these belongings, please contact the band at the email address of hello at spinningtopmusic dot com and no questions will be asked. They're even offering a cash reward—that's how important the stolen items are. Here is the post that Pond put on Facebook earlier today:
Hey Portland!! We had a pelican bag of gear stolen from our van ..
If ANYONE knows ANYTHING we're willing to offer a CASH REWARD for any information - we're desperate for the hard drives as they have countless hours of music and effort stored!!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE spread the word and talk to your mates and let us know how you go ..
(Ps. no questions asked for anyone with any info or esp if they can come up with goods)
There will be tours and refreshments and local dignitaries, the PPB said in a news release sent out this morning. What the bureau didn't mention, until another release a few moments ago, is that they've had some difficulties with the site this week.
Turns out a guy named Sean Michael Kearney (allegedly) decided to pluck some of the center's taxpayer-funded treasure (well, some metal panelling waiting to be installed) before the place was swarming with cops. And the bureau needed barely any of the training officers will receive at the facility to get the stuff back. From the release:
On Monday September 15, 2014, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a suspect stole several thousand dollars worth of metal panels to be used as the entry facade to the new Portland Police Training Complex, located at 14902 Northeast Airport Way.
A North Precinct detective was able to obtain surveillance video of the suspect vehicle, which was a fairly distinct looking Chevy S-10 pick-up truck.
On Wednesday September 17, 2014, the detective spotted the vehicle as it drove by him on his way home. Uniform officers were called to stop the vehicle and the suspect was arrested without incident.
The detective continued to investigate and late last night recovered all of the stolen metal but it is unlikely it can be used at the Training Complex as some of it has been damaged.
Many of us have been tracking the story of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice and his wife Janay Rice over the last few days. But if you haven't, it's a good jumping off point for talking about domestic violence—a conversation that, like one on many touchy topics, people seem to have a really hard time with. Here are some places to start reading if you're still catching up:
Amy Davidson at the New Yorker on "What the Ray Rice Video Really Shows":
On Monday, a video of Ray Rice, the Ravens running back, punching his then fiancée in the head and leaving her slumped on the floor of an elevator, was released on TMZ. It was greeted with shock. By the early afternoon, the Ravens tweeted that they were terminating Rice’s contract. That is an appropriate response, except for one thing: we’ve known for months that Rice had hit Janay Palmer and left her unconscious; there had been a video already, of him dragging her inert body out of the elevator in a hotel in Atlantic City. And yet, somehow, the video from inside the elevator was not what some purportedly well-informed observers expected. The N.F.L. had investigated the incident, after all, and only suspended Rice for two games; that didn’t fit with the pictures on the screen. But what did people think it looked like when a football player knocked out a much smaller woman? Like a fair fight?
Barry Petchesky at Deadspin says "Someone Is Lying About Whether The NFL Saw The Ray Rice Tape":
Privately, top reporters were told in no uncertain terms that the video existed, that the NFL had seen it, that it showed Janay Palmer acting violently toward Rice, and that, if released, it would go some way toward mitigating the anger against him. One of the league's most devoted mouthpieces described the video for us on an off-the-record basis, going off what his sources had told him. The implication was clear: If you saw this video, you'd know why Rice only got [suspended for] two games.
Now that the video's out, the NFL and the Ravens are reversing course.
The Onion brings the cry-laugh:
Following public outcry over his mishandling of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s aggravated assault of his then-fiancée, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that the league has adopted a new zero-tolerance policy toward all videotaped domestic abuse. “We hold our players to the highest standards both as professional athletes and as people, so any violence toward women that is recorded, authenticated, and then publicly distributed will be met with an automatic suspension and fine,” said Goodell, adding that the new, stricter guidelines reflect the league’s hard-line stance against any spousal abuse that is clearly and irrefutably captured on film.
Most importantly, though, this case has brought up the age-old question—and I beg you not to fall into this stupid thinking trap, but the question is out there, so let's address it—of "Why does she stay?" The woman Rice is shown savaging in this grainy video went on to marry him afterward. She's released a statement decrying the media focus on the case. In response to a regular narrative coursing through media and across the internet of people questioning why people stay in abusive relationships, a Twitter hashtag popped up: #WhyIStayed.
If you're asking that question at all, you should take the time to go read that hashtag, in which a parade of abuse survivors give their reasons for "staying." It's an example of what Twitter is best at: giving a voice to people, letting them speak for themselves, and amplifying lots of small voices into a large conversation. It's tough to read. But when that stream of terror and manipulation and sadness gets to be too much, go check out #WhenILeft.
Helt, the homeless 22-year-old aspiring model from Salem who accepted Miley Cyrus' MTV Video Music Award on Sunday night, surrendered to Polk County Police yesterday and was later released on bail. After Helt's appearance at the VMAs, it was reported that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest because he broke the terms his parole, stemming from his arrest following an incident in which he broke into a weed dealer's apartment after the dealer sold him some bad weed.
The Oregonian reports that Cyrus gave Helt some money to fly home and visit his mother. Upon his arrival back in Oregon, Helt turned himself in and was released on a $2,500 bail. He'll appear in Polk County Circuit Court on September 16.
Now let us never speak of this again.
"Over two fucking sodas," says a witness who caught the incident, which occurred on Tuesday, on camera. Twenty-three-year-old Kajieme Powell, who is alleged to have stolen a few drinks and pastries from a nearby store, reportedly had a history of mental illness. This video, released by the police, is not easy to watch:
This man needed help. He had a knife, but he also, clearly, had an illness. After watching the video, Vox's Amanda Taub said, "I keep thinking about the times when I have called 911 because I have encountered a mentally ill person in public who seems unsafe. I don't know how I would live with it if this had been the result." There has to have been a way that police could have protected Kajieme Powell rather than killed him.
But I watched him because human frustration can be amusing and because he seemed just a tiny bit squirrely. After a couple minutes he managed to get the door open and when the alarm went off, he dove across the seats, rifled through the center console and glove box and then ran off. That part took maybe 15 seconds and then I realized I could only identify the squirrely thief's backpack and that wouldn't' be much help to anybody.
I caught the owner of the car (who came running to shut his alarm off) and he didn't think anything was missing, rendering me completely and totally blameless. But I still wonder if there was something that I could have done differently. Every time somebody locks their keys in their car, should they have the cops called on them? They seems like a good way to ruin an innocent person's day. And I can't really confront somebody and say "prove this is your vehicle." What do you think? Is there something else to be done?
Also keep your windows rolled up. I know it's hot but criminals no longer fear the sun.
It's nearly June, and Portland's gang violence is heating up again. According to numbers released today by the city's Office of Youth Violence Prevention, Portland's seen 50 gang-related attacks so far in 2014, compared to 34 at the same time last year.
It's disheartening sign, obviously, for the people and organizations working against gang violence. As the Mercury reported last year, the city's seen a perplexing and worrisome uptick in gang-related attacks in recent years. Those incidents have increasingly moved from the old hotbed of north and inner northeast Portland. These days, gang cops spend just as much time patrolling east Portland. Gresham's seen increased violence, too.
"In 2014 to date, victims of violent crimes have been injured and traumatized, community members have been endangered, witnesses have been intimidated, and families have fallen victim to associated trauma," reads an e-mail sent out today by Tom Peavey, a former gang cop and current policy manager for the Office of Youth Violence Prevention. "As the weather improves in combination with pending seasonal events, school graduation and summer vacation for school age youth, we need to have an active VOICE in sponsorship of safe environments for our youth, families and all members of our community."
In 2012, Portland cops dealt with 118 attacks, the most officers remembered seeing in nearly two decades. While that number fell in 2013, last year—particularly the tail end—actually saw more actual gunshot and stabbing victims. To get a better handle on the dynamics of Portland's gang culture, local governments are in the midst of studying the problem afresh.
The next meeting of the city's Gang Violence Task Force is at 10 a.m. June 6, at the Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct.
One in five college-age women have been sexually assaulted—but that doesn't mean one in five college-age men are rapists. Amanda Marcotte:
No one is saying that the high rates of victimization among college women mean that all men are rapists. That one in five college women have been assaulted doesn't mean that one in five men are assailants. Far from it. A study published in 2002 by David Lisak and Paul Miller, for which they interviewed college men about their sexual histories, found that only about six percent of the men surveyed had attempted or successfully raped someone. While some of them only tried once, most of the rapists were repeat offenders, with each committing an average of 5.8 rapes a piece. The six percent of men who were rapists were generally violent men, as well. "The 120 rapists were responsible for 1,225 separate acts of interpersonal violence, including rape, battery, and child physical and sexual abuse," the researchers write. A single rapist can leave a wake of victims, racking up the numbers rapidly, as the victim surveys are clearly showing.
This cannot be emphasized enough: The high rates of campus sexual assault are due mostly to a small percentage of men who assault multiple women. Understanding this makes the problem of sexual assault on campus much less overwhelming and, hopefully, easier to accept and address. Women aren't running a gauntlet of would-be rapists when they go to a party or go out on dates. Most men they encounter are perfectly safe. This issue isn't about demonizing men as a group or scaring women into thinking men are inherently dangerous. The issue here is about eradicating the small group of predators on campuses that are continually getting away with their crimes.
Another stat that we're just starting to wrap our heads around: men are often the victims of rape—it also happens to our sons and brothers—and the rapists are often women.
So she's suing the boy she killed and that boy's family and the other boys she ran over. Toronto Sun:
Brandon was struck from behind by an SUV and killed while his friend Richard McLean, 16, was seriously injured with a broken pelvis and other bones. His other pal Jake Roberts, 16, was knocked off his bike but sustained only scratches. Now the driver of the SUV, Sharlene Simon, 42, a mother of three, formerly from Innisfil, is suing the dead boy for the emotional trauma she says she has suffered. She’s also suing the two other boys, as well as the dead boy’s parents, and even his brother, who has since died. She’s also suing the County of Simcoe for failing to maintain the road....
In a statement of claim filed with the court, Simon is claiming $1.35 million in damages due to her psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress. She blames the boys for negligence. “They did not apply their brakes properly,” the claim states. “They were incompetent bicyclists.”
She runs over three boys on bikes and they're the dangerous incompetents who didn't "apply their brakes properly."
From the New York Times:
The Senate on Thursday rejected a controversial bipartisan bill to remove military commanders from decisions over the prosecution of sexual assault cases in the armed forces, delivering a defeat to advocacy groups who argued that wholesale changes are necessary to combat an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults in the military.
The measure, pushed by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, received 55 votes—five short of the 60 votes needed for advancement to a floor vote—after Ms. Gillibrand’s fellow Democrat, Senator Clare McCaskill of Missouri, led the charge to block its advancement. The vote came after a debate on the Senate floor filled with drama and accusations that Ms. Gillibrand and her allies were misguided...
Several Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, supported the Gillibrand proposal, and expressed deep frustration with the military’s failure to stem the number of sexual assaults. Congress began scrutinizing the sexual assault problem in the military after a recent series of highly publicized cases, including one at the Naval Academy, and after the release of new data from the Pentagon on the issue. On Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the last fiscal year, about 1,600 sexual assault cases in the military were either awaiting action from commanders or the completion of a criminal investigation.
Critics of the military’s handling of such cases say that the official numbers represent a tiny percentage of sexual assault cases, while Ms. Gillibrand said that only one in 10 sexual assault cases were reported. She and her supporters argue that forcing sexual assault victims to go to their commanders to report cases is similar to forcing a woman to tell her father that her brother has sexually assaulted her.
Because commanders often know both the victims and the alleged abusers, Ms. Gillibrand’s supporters say, victims often shy away from reporting abuse. Military commanders, they say, have not proven themselves able to deal with the issue.
I'm so angry I can't actually process it effectively enough even to RANT about it. This shit is unacceptable.
Woody Allen's friend Robert B. Weide rushes to his defense in The Daily Beast by—you guessed it—attacking the credibility of Dylan Farrow, who accused him of molesting her as a child in an open letter last week, and her mother, actress Mia Farrow.
This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.
If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.
The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assume she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.
Allen's response so far? His publicist issued a statement on Sunday calling the allegations "untrue and disgraceful," and his lawyer calls it "a story engineered by a vengeful lover."
A Montana judge says he doesn't deserve to lose his job for commenting that a 14-year-old rape victim appeared "older than her chronological age" when he sentenced her teacher-rapist to just a month in prison.
Let me restate: District Judge G. Todd Baugh, who is 72, thinks that implying a rape victim deserved to be raped because she looked like a grown woman isn't cause for losing his job. The rape victim wasn't available for comment because she committed suicide before the trial began. Baugh, who whined about his status as "kind of a lightning rod" due to the case, also said in a letter to the Judicial Standards Commission that the rapist has recently demonstrated "morally good conduct."
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