I give Joe Douglass a lot of credit for how diligently he's sought public records related to how the Salem Police Department handled the May 1, 2021 Second Amendment gun rally in Riverfront Park where the Proud Boys provided "security."
(More accurately, insecurity, since Proud Boys accosted a journalist and other people in the park, demanding that they leave the area, even though the rally had no more of a right to be there than anyone else.)
Since the Proud Boys are a violent hate group that played a big role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the nation's capitol, Douglass is doing a public service by seeking information pertaining to communications between the Proud Boys and Salem police officers.
Unfortunately, Douglass has encountered a lot of roadblocks in his public record request, for which he's been charged $866 by the City of Salem. You can read a compelling account of his dogged pursuit of the truth in a post on his Discrepancy Report web site.
Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite for reading the entire post.
“There is a high likelihood and potential of physical violence, criminal acts, or crime damage,” the [Salem Police Department] mobile response team report on the event says. “This group is associated with Proud Boys, 3 Percenters, and Patriot Prayer. In the recent past, they have engaged in unlawful activities with counter groups as well as law enforcement. This group is well-armed and is usually armed at these events.”
Officers named Stevens and Tooze as hosts of the rally. Tooze, the report claims, told Salem Police Department Sergeant Trevor Morrison that he would oversee security, and that around 18 to 20 members of the Proud Boys would act as security personnel.
The governments of Canada and New Zealand have labeled the far-right group the Proud Boys a “terrorist entity” and the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the organization a hate group. Members of the Proud Boys adamantly refute the labels.
During the unpermitted “May Day 2A Rally,” multiple journalists and activists claimed officers gave preferential treatment to the event’s organizers in part by not having a large police presence and allowing armed members of the Proud Boys to remove people from the public park and allegedly assault them.
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