oregon state capitol protests

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The Oregon state representative who let far-right protesters into the State Capitol was removed from office after being caught on video plotting the breach.

On Thursday, the Oregon House passed a resolution that said GOP State Rep. Mike Nearman participated in “disorderly behavior” by opening the doors to the State Capitol as protesters gathered outside on December 21.

Nearman himself was the only member to vote against it. As a result of the vote, he was removed from his position.

The December 2020 protesters came to the Capitol to protest the state’s COVID-19 response. After gaining entry they went on to smash windows and spray police officers with “chemical agents,” the Oregon State Police said at the time.

Several were able to enter the building thanks to Nearman, who opened a door for a group waiting directly outside, as security tape from inside the building shows.

JUST IN: surveillance video at the Oregon Capitol shows @Oregon_GOP Rep. Mike Nearman opening the door for right wing demonstrators on December 21st. Nearman is under @ORStatePolice investigation. https://t.co/rw4kgPasvS pic.twitter.com/d5f9fXwqI5

— Dan Tilkin (@DanTilkinKOIN6) January 8, 2021

A second video, filmed days before the protest, showed Nearman telling a group of would-be protesters where to stand, how to text for help, and how to enter the building on December 21.

“And if you say, ‘I’m at the West entrance’ during the session and text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you’re standing there. But I don’t know anything about that,” Nearman can be heard telling his constituents, after giving them a cellphone number. 

Six police officers were injured on December 21 and the protesters caused thousands of dollars of damage.

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On April 30, Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson charged Nearman with official misconduct in the first degree for “unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another,” as Insider’s Lauren Frias previously reported.

He was also charged with one count of criminal trespass in the second degree for aiding and abetting “another to unlawfully and knowingly enter and remain in and upon the premises of the Oregon State Capitol.”

On Thursday, Nearman’s colleagues denounced his actions ahead of the vote.

“It couldn’t be any clearer. Rep. Mike Nearman intentionally allowed armed protestors, occupiers, to illegally enter the building during the peak of the pandemic,” State Rep. Paul Holvey said, per the Salem Statesman Journal.

“He coordinated with his supporters and extremist groups and then opened a door to let them in.”

Lawmakers in Oregon can vote to remove lawmakers from their positions for “disorderly behavior” under Article IV Section 15 of the state constitution.

Nearman is the first lawmaker to be expelled from the Oregon legislature in its 161-year history, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he has shown no remorse for jeopardizing the safety of every person in the Capitol that day,” House Speaker Tina Kotek, of the Democratic …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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