Driver Said to Intentionally Run Over Quinault Father, Killing Him: Grays Harbor County police are attempting to identify the man who allegedly backed over two members of the Quinault Indian Nation at a campground on Saturday, killing Jimmy Kramer, a father of two celebrating his 20th birthday. Another victim, Harvey Anderson, 19, was treated at the hospital and survived. Witnesses say the driver appeared to have intentionally run over the two men while using "racial slurs and war whoops," the Seattle Times reports.
The suspect, described as a white male in his 30's with brown hair and a goatee, had allegedly been driving doughnuts near the campsite when the two Quinault members attempted to make him stop. Witnesses say a female passenger, described as a caucasian woman in her 30's, also attempted to stop the driver, who was reportedly handling a 1990's Chevy pickup truck.
The Quinault tribe on Monday disputed a witness statement relayed by police to the Times that a camper threw rocks at the driver before the fatal incident. A press release claims that rocks were not thrown at the truck until after the fatal incident.
"It is very important for accurate information to be conveyed," said Quinault Indian Nation president Fawn Sharp in the statement. "We work hard to be good friends with our neighboring communities. If it is, in fact, determined that this was a hate crime it will add even more distress and sadness to our loss of this outstanding young man and the injury of the other."
Sharp called on prosecutors to file first-degree murder charges against the suspect, citing the "felony murder doctrine," which allows for the most severe homicide charge when a murder is committed during the act of another felony. "There is simply no excuse or defense to this unthinkable tragedy. If it's a hate crime it could help assure that it would be triggered as a felony or trigger aggravating circumstances at sentencing," Sharp, an attorney, said in the statement.
Kramer, a graduate of Taholah High School, worked as a commercial fisherman. He was the father of twins. Larry Ralston, the Quinault tribal treasurer, was not at the campsite on Saturday but said in the statement that Kramer died after pushing Anderson out of the way of the path of the suspect's vehicle. Here's a GoFundMe for Kramer's family.
Quinault Police Chief Mark James is helping the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Department with the investigation. The tribe is asking anyone with information on the suspect to call Det. Sgt. Darrin Wallace, or Deputy Eric Cowsert at 360-533-8765.
An Eyewitness Account of the Portland Train Stabbings: Rachel Macy, 47, saw Jeremy Joseph Christian hurl hateful invective on a Portland light rail train before fatally stabbing two heroes who intervened. One other Good Samaritan was wounded. Macy describes how Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 53, calmly attempted to de-escalate the situation before it descended into horror. She held her shirt to Namkai-Meche's bleeding neck before he died. His last words: "Tell everyone on this train I love them." Definitely take your time out of your day to read this one, from the Oregonian.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Wants to Stop Upcoming Alt-Right Rallies: Following a heightened sense of anxiety over the fatal stabbings on Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is calling on the federal government to revoke permits for two upcoming alt-right rallies. The Portland Mercury, our sister paper, reports that the organizer for the Trump Free Speech Rally on June 4 also organized the April demonstration where Jeremy Joseph Christian gave the Nazi salute. Another event, a so-called March Against Sharia, is supposed to take place on June 10. Wheeler would just cancel the rallies himself, but his hands are tied because they're taking place on federal property.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon says Wheeler's decision is a free-speech violation:
1. The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period. https://t.co/P9gcNPAumH
— ACLU of Oregon (@ACLU_OR) May 29, 2017
You may be wondering, "What is free speech, anyway?"
Double Booking Surgeries at Swedish: Four neurosurgeons from Seattle's biggest medical provider routinely double-booked patients undergoing surgery, according to another great investigation by the Seattle Times. Patients found out when reporters told them that their neurosurgeons oversaw their operations with attention divided. Sunday's story follows up on an investigation by reporters Mike Baker and Justin Mayo on overworked Swedish neuroscientists and its costs to patients.
Landlords Will Sue Over Cap on Move-In Fees: In the least surprising news of the day, the Rental Housing Association of Washington intends to sue the city of Seattle over a new law that limits how much landlords can charge new tenants in move-in fees and allows renters to pay deposits in installments. Council member Kshama Sawant pushed for the law, which passed unanimously, but not without opposition from the landlord lobby.
South Bellevue Light Rail Riders Slated For Parking Hell: Up to 500 spaces could disappear amid construction.
White House Comms Director Resigns: Citing "personal" reasons, Michael Dubke resigned from his White House gig after three months on the job. Dubke's departure comes as senior White House staff are reportedly mulling a shakeup of the communications department as it continues to struggle with a rash of scandals related to potential collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.
Manuel Noriega Is Dead: The Panamanian dictator was 83.