HISTORIC FIGURES REMOVED: Public tributes to icons whose legacies are stained by slavery and segregation are coming down across Portland—some by force and others by choice. On June 14, about a dozen protesters tore down a statue of Thomas Jefferson from a pedestal in front on Jefferson High School in North Portland. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one protester who helped topple the statue tells WW it was a considered decision. "There wasn't rage," he said. "We were doing this thing that people in charge aren't doing." Meanwhile, WW has learned that judges of Oregon's U.S. District Court quietly removed from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse a portrait of Oregon's first federal judge, the Hon. Matthew Deady, who served from 1859 to 1893. Deady presided over the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857 and, according to University of Oregon scholars, advocated slavery and excluding blacks and Chinese from the convention. Chief District Judge Marco A. Hernandez declined to comment.
MYSTERY PLANE CIRCLES PROTESTERS: A mysterious plane that might belong to the U.S. Marshals Service circled over Portland protests for three hours on June 13. The federal agency declined to disclose whether it operates the craft. But the plane's registered owner, Early Detection Alarm Systems, has been linked to the Marshals Service through documents obtained by BuzzFeed. The plane, a Cessna Caravan, circled the city over 30 times on Saturday, raising concerns about privacy and surveillance of protesters. In a June 10 letter, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden called on the federal Department of Justice to release information about its tactics to surveil protesters. "We remain deeply concerned about its potential for surveillance abuse against innocent and vulnerable populations exercising their First Amendment rights," Wyden and two other senators wrote.
COUNTY NOT TRACKING COVID AT PROTESTS: Multnomah County and the Oregon Health Authority are not systematically tracking how many COVID-19 cases can be traced to more than two weeks of Portland protests against racist policing. Multnomah County reported last week it knew of fewer than five cases affecting people who attended protests. County health workers learned of those cases as part of their follow-up calls with subjects who tested positive for the virus. The county suggests that anyone with COVID symptoms after attending protests get tested. But the county's approach contrasts with that of Minneapolis and Seattle, where officials recommend anyone who attends a protest get a COVID-19 test—symptomatic or not. Fewer than 1 percent of 3,000 people who attended Seattle protests tested positive, KOMO News reported.
PRISONS WON'T USE MALARIAL DRUG: The Oregon Department of Corrections will no longer consider using the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization on June 15. As WW reported in May, ODOC's top infectious disease doctor had requested the malarial drug as a treatment for COVID-19 of inmates. ODOC spokeswoman Jennifer Black confirms the department will no longer consider the drug's use as a treatment for COVID-19.