This morning, armed individuals attempted to disrupt the Oregon Legislature's special session by taking over the State Capitol building. The Oregon State Police and Salem Police removed the individuals. Salem Police maintained order outside the building.
"Our City is home to the State Capitol, the seat of government for Oregon. This makes us a host for many groups and activities in which people exercise their rights of free speech to be heard by those elected to serve, the Legislature, and the Governor. We take that responsibility – and public safety – seriously, regardless of the content of the speech or the ideology of the groups. When free speech crosses over to physical threats to elected officials, law enforcement, and residents, the City will act to protect public safety," said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett.
"Today's use of force by individuals to stop the Legislature's special session is appalling. I thank the Oregon State Police and Salem Police Department for their swift action. Our democratic process must be protected," continued Mayor Bennett.
Mayor Bennett and Salem City Council President Chris Hoy added, "During recent protests, speech has occurred that is racist and offensive. We condemn and reject racist speech that spews hatred and vile. There is no place for hate in Salem, and the City will act to protect residents from actions that threaten their safety."
The City is prepared for announced upcoming marches and demonstrations. The Salem Police Department will act to protect public safety and uphold the laws necessary to maintain order.
For additional information about recent protests and marches in Salem.