What we know about the West End homicide investigation

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: we have absolutely no news. Sorry, wait, I have the wrong envelope. Tonight: we have plenty of news. Also, here’s a video of a bat eating a watermelon.

What we’re talking about

A man was found dead on Chadwick Street — A 35-year-old man was found dead in a car on Chadwick Street on the West End this afternoon around 2:15 p.m., police said. It’s being investigated as a homicide. No one has been arrested.

The Press Herald reported that a resident called 911 to report the man was slumped over in the car, which was parked near Carroll Street. Cops pulled him out of the car, and he died in the street, Police Chief Michael Sauschuck told the paper.

The BDN’s Dawn Gagnon will be following the story this evening. Watch bangordailynews.com for more.

Happy Birthday, Longfellow — Troy R. Bennett’s latest series on Portland history covers Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today is his birthday. Six years after his death, the city decided to put up a statue honoring him, Troy reports:

Fellow Mainer Franklin Simmons sculpted it. It cost $17,000. School children all over New England collected pennies, nickels and dimes to pay for it. Their names are in a sealed box, somewhere within the pedestal.

If dash cam video can be kept from the public, will body cam footage make police more transparent?From Jake Bleiberg’s story over the weekend:

Amid a tense public debate over how quickly to equip Portland police with body cameras, the city has denied a public records request for dashboard camera video from last Saturday’s police shooting of a 22-year-old man.

With $400,000 earmarked to outfit the police department with body cameras in fiscal year 2019 and a preliminary plan to pilot the technology before then, city officials seem to agree that the devices would be a boon for community-police relations and transparency. But the refusal to release video from [Feb. 18’s] shooting highlights the way in which Maine’s exemption-riddled public records law might limit the technology’s usefulness when serious questions are raised about a police officer’s behavior.

Meanwhile, Bill Nemitz isn’t sold on body cameras — They don’t show the whole picture, and they can distort what really happened, he says. He also referred to calls for an earlier implementation of a body camera program “knee-jerk reactions.”

Ween and Elvis Costello are coming to town — This is cause for celebration for two generations of nerds (I am among them.)

How Trumpy is your town? — It’s not surprising that Portland on Election Day swung heavily in favor of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But Darren Fishell has a breakdown of where in Maine Trump fared the best.

Icelandic rockers headline Portland music fest that no one can pronounce — See them now so you can say you saw them when. Quintet Mammut from Reykjavik joins a dozen bands on Saturday set to raise the roof at Thompson’s Park new Brick South event space for Sunaana.

Tweet of the day

From Helen Rosner:

Screenshot 2017-02-27 15.25.11

The Big Idea

Rating how abnormal Trump’s first month actually was — The New York Times Upshot team writes:

It’s understandable if President Trump’s first month in office has left your head spinning, given the pace of news, the middle-of-the-night Twitter posts and the vows to upend Washington.

To help us get our bearings, we asked experts across the ideological spectrum — people who have served in government or studied the way governments work — to rate 20 news events for importance and abnormality. More often than not, the administration’s actions have been both highly unusual and highly consequential, The Upshot’s 15 survey panelists said.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@bangordailynews.com, or tweet @dsmacleod.

If someone forwarded you this newsletter, click here to sign up. Or just text PORTLAND to 66866. As always, like BDN Portland on Facebook for more local coverage.

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.