As protesters left the rally and vigil on Monday June 1, police were prepared for another night of disturbances. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Salem city officials on Monday released Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore’s review of police actions during the protests in late May and early June, a report that recounts chaotic circumstances in downtown Salem, clashes between protesters and militia, and police efforts to keep the two separated.
Moore sent the review to City Manager Steve Powers on Wednesday, June 24. The review details the events on May 30, 31 and June 1 when the Salem Police Department used crowd control methods like tear gas for the first time and details how the department could improve its response to such events.
The Salem City Council called for the review at its June 8 meeting.
DOCUMENT LINK: Salem Police Department review
The report also addresses a widely criticized video of a Salem police officer telling a group of armed militia members outside Glamour Salon in downtown Salem how to keep from running afoul the citywide-curfew imposed the night of May 30.
“The widespread, controversial video of our officer interacting with the armed individuals was an example of what officers throughout the city were doing - making every effort to deescalate tense situations and convince everyone to abide by the laws so that no one would be arrested. Based on the fact that no one was arrested simply for curfew anywhere in the city, it appears that approach was successful,” Moore’s report reads.
Moore said the officers’ attempts to de-escalate situations with armed militia members doesn’t make them white supremacists.
Moore said the agency should have intervened in protests sooner, needed more officers on duty and should have sought earlier invocation of a citywide curfew.
This story will be updated.
SUPPORT ESSENTIAL REPORTING FOR SALEM - A subscription starts at $5 a month for around-the-clock access to stories and email alerts sent directly to you. Your support matters. Go HERE.
Have a story tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.