SALEM, Ore. — Oregon National Guard members will assist Oregon State Police (OSP) as they prepare for potential violence from pro-Trump extremists and others who want to disrupt government activities at the State Capitol during the week of the presidential inauguration.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown granted a request from OSP Superintendent Terri Davie to activate the guard.
Earlier this week, the FBI warned of planned violent gatherings at almost every state capitol in the U.S. leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“The Oregon State Police will continue to take a neutral role in ensuring Oregonians exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Davie. “For the past seven months, your troopers have responded throughout Oregon to various protests, unlawful assemblies and riots. Our goals have always been to protect people, protect people’s rights and to protect property. The recent events at our Nation's Capitol building and at our own statehouse illustrate the need for law enforcement to be prepared and appropriately staffed for any large gatherings.”
The guard members’ specific deployment locations will not be made public, OSP said.
“With the Oregon National Guard supplementing OSP ranks, we will be ready to ensure peaceful events and handle emergency situations,” said OSP Captain Timothy Fox.
On Jan. 6, five people died after a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and briefly halted the certification of the presidential election results.
That same day, Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed outside the Oregon Capitol in Salem. OSP declared an unlawful assembly and video shared on social media showed troopers using riot control agents on the crowd. Two people were arrested.