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In Other News



An Occupy Portland protester who's been confined to a wheelchair since police cleared the movement's camp last fall is now suing the city and several police officers for more than $3 million in damages. In a federal lawsuit filed on Sunday, July 15, Justin James Bridges contends riot cops violated his constitutional rights by injuring his back, striking him with batons, mocking him, and also denying him medical care. He's also suing police departments in other cities whose officers helped with the eviction. Bridges, a musician and sign-language interpreter, first told his story to the Mercury from a hospital bed in the days after the November 13 Occupy eviction. Supporters have also brought Bridges to Portland City Hall, where he's called for stronger police oversight. The Portland Police Bureau, soon after the eviction, showed the Mercury and other outlets video from before and during the eviction that it claims cast doubt on Bridges' claims. Bridges, however, remains in a wheelchair, and his complaint also claims officers targeted him—in that wheelchair—during a protest on January 25. DENIS C. THERIAULT

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A new report on Mayor Sam Adams' nearly two-year-old local gun-control ordinances—including a controversial plan to ban convicted gun criminals from shooting "hotspots"—raised some troubling questions about whether the laws are disproportionately affecting black Portlanders. An oversight committee has found that 36 of the 42 people excluded so far are African American. But the report, attempting to justify those numbers, also tries to say it's not that simple. Right now, only the police bureau's gang team is issuing exclusions. And, the report notes, African Americans make up the largest plurality of Portland gang members. Further, the report quotes cops who say black gangs, more than other gangs, rely on guns when making violence. The report does acknowledge one key flaw: To better ease fears of racial profiling, it says prosecutors and judges, and not individual cops, should issue exclusions. DCT

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Ever since Interstate 5 went in, Portland's Southwest neighborhoods have been cut off from the Willamette—getting to the river without a car meant scurrying across busy, dangerous roads. So it's good news that the city finally, on Saturday, July 14, cut the ribbon on a long-delayed bike and pedestrian bridge that stretches from the Lair Hill neighborhood over I-5 to South Waterfront. Federal funds covered $10 million of the new Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge's $12 million cost, while city and urban renewal funds covered the rest. SARAH MIRK

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