Michael Leighton


Michael Leighton is the Editor of The Portland Observer.
He is a longtime journalist who has worked as a web editor, TV news producer, newspaper reporter and radio news anchor. He graduated from John Adams High School and St. Charles Elementary in northeast Portland and earned his degree in communications from Pacific University in Forest Grove.

Recent Stories

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On the Front Lines for Change

Bereaved father organizes March on Washington

A local father who lost his son to a police shooting is leading a group of families like his to Washington, D.C. for the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.

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Protest Damages Assailed as Setback

Voices raised against violence, vandalism

Advocates for Portland’s African American community joined black leaders in law enforcement to speak out against the violence, vandalism and arson fires that have marred many of the protests over unjust police shootings and racial bias in the criminal justice system

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Killer Taunts Victim

Heated exchange delays Christian sentencing

Sentencing for Jeremy Christian, the Max killer of two passengers during a racist tirade in 2017, was delayed on Tuesday after Christian was thrown out of court for going on a new tirade against the first victim who spoke.

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Black leader: Change will be won in streets

Long time activist adds his voice to protest demands

A historic leader of Portland’s African American community joined thousands of marches in northeast Portland Monday night to demand police accountability and an end to racism and police brutality against African Americans.

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New Police Chief Named to Build Trust

Chuck Lovell rises to the top of command

A black Portland police lieutenant and former resource officer at Jefferson High School who earned praise for building bridges in the black community during his tenure at the school, was suddenly named Portland’s new police chief on Monday.

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Portland NAACP to Lead Police Protest

Leader calls for taking a stand after Minneopolis death

The Portland NAACP announced Thursday it would lead a protest in downtown Portland Friday to take a stand against police brutality in solidarity with protests that have erupted across the country after a black man in Minneapolis died after a police officer held him in custody by pinning his neck to the ground

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Election Boosts Portland’s Minority Voices

First Latino elected to City Council; two black candidates advance

A prominent member of the Latino community won a historic victory for a seat on the Portland City Council Tuesday and two black candidates advance in runoff elections for city commissioner this August and November, giving city government another chance to grow even more diverse in its representation of the city.

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Racism at Every Step

Victim in Max attacks blames ‘white supremacy’

As Jeremy Christian awaits sentencing for his deadly and racist attacks on TriMet, a brave survivor from the violence wants the community, judge and jury to understand how the legacy of white supremacy and Christian’s continual taunts against his victims, people of color and other minorities, makes him a danger to society.

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Geneva’s Closed for Good

Legacy business a victim of COVID-19

Geneva’s Shear Perfection, the legacy barbershop and salon grounded in African American life in the heart of northeast Portland for the past 30 years, will not survive the loss of business brought on the Coronovaivus Pandemic.

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Important Election Looms

Ballots out; countdown begins

Election will decide who wins many local offices outright or sends their campaigns into a runoff in November. In addition, two ballot measures face ratification and adoption with a simple majority.

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