If you're concerned about how the Salem Police Department responded to the recent Black Lives Matter protests, or if you want to learn why people were bothered about what police officers did, check out this new web site: Reform Salem Police.
I'm impressed with whoever put the web site together. It documents what the Police Department did during the protests from May 30 to June 1, 2020.
Notably, using tear gas and flash bangs against mostly peaceful protesters, while not holding armed militia members in the downtown area to the same curfew that was enforced on the protesters.
Obviously the web site has a mission -- Reform the Salem Police Department -- but it builds the case for this in a reasoned, factual manner. Here's an example of the appealing writing style, the concluding message.
A Very Dangerous Precedent
Trampling on people’s civil rights is wrong. Selective enforcement of the law is wrong. City leaders standing up for white supremacists while acting as if every peaceful protestor should be measured by a limited number of bad actors, some of which may very well have been white supremacist agitators, is wrong.
If this precedent is allowed to stand, and what so many of us had to endure gets buried and forgotten about as time goes by, it will send a clear message to heavily armed white supremacists everywhere that they are welcomed here by city leaders, and “appreciated” by Salem PD. We cannot let that happen. We have to ensure that city leaders are held accountable.
Many Salem residents have contacted several lawmakers that represent the City of Salem in Oregon’s Legislature about the contents of this website, just for the lawmakers to either not respond at all, or to tell their constituents that they should be directing their concerns to city leaders – the same city leaders that are failing the citizens that they were elected to serve.
Many of these lawmakers want to pass new policies, which is perfectly fine, however, we cannot effectively move forward if we can’t even acknowledge what actually happened in Salem between May 30 – June 1, and hold those involved accountable.
The contents of this website were previously shared with Salem City Council members, members of the Oregon Legislature, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s office, as well as U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader’s office, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s office, and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s office.
This is an issue that is of deepest concern to Salem residents, and quite frankly, it should be to all Oregonians. We cannot become a haven for armed white supremacists. If it can happen in Salem, which is apparently the case based on the substantial evidence contained on this website (and there is more out there), then it can happen anywhere in the state.
It is the Oregon Attorney General’s job to step in when local government officials are not doing their jobs, especially when rights violations are involved. It is Attorney General Rosenblum’s job to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law (Article 1 Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution), which clearly did not happen in Salem between May 30 to June 1, as the evidence on this website clearly demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt.
This community belongs to all of us. Salem city leaders work for all of us. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum works for all of us. We must continue to demand that Ellen Rosenblum step up and do the job that we elected her to do. Again, please sign and share the petition found earlier on this page with everyone that you know and encourage them to sign and share it.