Republican lawmaker accused of allowing Oregon anti-lockdown protesters into state capitol
Jake Dima, DCNF
An Oregon Republican lawmaker was accused of allowing anti-lockdown protesters to breach the state Capitol in a late December demonstration, fellow legislators said this week.
State Rep. Mike Nearman purportedly opened a door and allowed demonstrators, some of whom were armed, into the government building on Dec. 21, CNN reported. The group breached during a special session on coronavirus relief, and the gathering was dubbed the “Reopen Oregon” rally, KATU wrote.
“Oregon State Police (OSP) has confirmed and informed us that Representative Mike Nearman did open a door to allow demonstrators into the building,” Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek said Thursday, according to CNN.
A total of four people were arrested during the protest after an unlawful assembly was declared by heavily armed and riot-clad law enforcement, according to KATU. Officers apprehended a man accused of spraying bear mace at cops and another individual who allegedly tried to bust windows to gain entry to the state Capitol, the local outlet reported.
Anti-lockdown protesters try to gain access to the Oregon State Capitol as legislators hold a special session on Monday, Dec. 21. pic.twitter.com/pVUbeg0R35
— Abigail Dollins (@abigaildollins) December 21, 2020
Nearman has yet to be charged criminally, but Kotek called his alleged actions “unacceptable,” and she’s “looking into” ways to discipline the Republican legislator.
“Representative Nearman’s actions were completely unacceptable,” Kotek said, according to CNN. “It’s serious, and his behavior was reckless and dangerous.”
“We are looking into our options of how we can address his actions,” she continued. “We’ve been waiting for further advance on the criminal investigation, but we are not waiting until that’s concluded at this point.”