Oregon Officer Caught Forewarning Group of Armed White Men on Avoiding Arrest Before Curfew Begins: ‘My Command Wanted Me To Come Talk To You Guys’

An Oregon police chief issued an apology after an officer was caught giving a group of armed white men a heads-up about how to skirt curfew enforcement.

The conversation was part of a longer video filmed on June 1 in Salem, Oregon, during a protest against police brutality, according to The Salem Reporter. Like other cities across the country, Salem’s citizens were moved by the death of George Floyd.

Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore apologized after an unidentified officer was caught giving an armed group of white men a heads-up about a curfew. (Photo: Screenshot/Concerned Citizen)

In the video, an unidentified Salem Police officer warned a group of white men clutching assault rifles about an impending curfew. He recommended they go inside of a business or hide in their cars. The curfew began on June 2 and doesn’t end until June 8. Starting at 11 p.m. each night, “travel on any public street, sidewalk, or other public place is prohibited,” according to an emergency declaration order.

“We’re going to really enforce the citywide curfew shutdown so we can arrest anybody walking around,” the officer explained. “My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and request that you guys discretely remain inside the building or in your vehicles somewhere where it’s not a violation … so we don’t look like we’re playing favorites.”

Dani Green reposted a clip showing the conversation on TikTok after seeing it on Facebook. The 20-year-old wanted to ensure her peers saw it.

“I didn’t think what they were doing was right, and I wanted more people my age to see that, both locally and nationally,” she told Buzzfeed News. The video went viral and has garnered millions of views.

The men were hired by Glamour Salon owner Lindsay Graham to protect her business from looters and vandalism. Buzzfeed News reported Graham is under scrutiny because she defied coronavirus policies to reopen her salon last month. She told the publication she commissioned the men because she feared the salon would be targeted due to her decision. Graham insisted she was not associated with white supremacists nor does she hold those views.

“I didn’t call for an army to come outside my salon,” she said. “I called for men to come protect my salon from rioters and looters. I’m seeing [online] that I called white supremacists to come defend my salon. I’m being called a racist and a white supremacist myself. I’m absolutely not a racist or a white supremacist. I would never willingly associate with people who are.”

Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore apologized for the officer’s words in a video statement on Friday.

“The message we received is a concern that we are treating people differently,” Moore said in the video. “For that I tell you, I am sorry. Sorry that there is even a thought that this department would treat some different than others.”

Moore said the officer “had not been fully briefed about enforcement of the curfew before he spoke with the group.” He added the moment captured in the video was “discussed with the officer.”

Moore admitted the police’s responses would “vary” but they plan to police “without favoritism or bias.”

“We are lawfully bound to weigh the severity of the crime against the level of our response,” Moore said. “Lawfully armed individuals violating a curfew does differ in severity from people throwing bricks and bottles.”

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