At a press conference Aug. 13, at the scene of the Aug. 12 standoff between activists and U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell told the crowd: “We absolutely will look into whether or not the Bend Police were aiding ICE agents,” during the Aug. 12 incident. Campbell mentioned “allegations that ICE agents were, for example, charging their phones in our police cars.”
We reviewed our own footage of the events of Aug. 12 and found video of an ICE official inside a Bend PD vehicle, alongside a Bend PD officer.
- Kyle Switzer
- A man wearing an ICE badge, at left, sitting inside a Bend PD patrol vehicle Aug. 12.
“After review of laws and policies I do not consider the charging of a phone or providing food and water, any sort of legal violation or policy violation. The persons in custody were already in custody, and we did not assist in those custodies. There is nothing preventative, legally or in policy, that would prohibit us from allowing someone to charge a phone or sit in a car during a static situation that did not involve the “use of agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons who only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law” (ORS 181A.820).
- Kyle Switzer
“My goal is to ensure our police officers are able to provide basic human needs such as food and water, and to support communication abilities for the federal agents so they could report to their supervisors that they were safe. Additionally, I do believe it was in everyone’s best interest to have those federal employees to be able to communicate to their supervisors the dynamics of the activities and report that the event was peaceful,” Krantz wrote in an email Aug. 17.
A representative from the Rural Organizing Project—a group dedicated to “advocating for democracy in rural Oregon,” according to its Facebook page, told the Source that it is working with its legal team to address the issue of ICE using Bend PD resources on Aug. 12.
“Oregon’s sanctuary law is intended to protect the people of Oregon from ICE’s unlawful actions,” Emma Ronai-Durning, organizer for the ROP told the Source. “There is no doubt that the Bend Police Department’s actions supported the needless separation of two Bend families, not to mention a tear gassed assault on peaceful protesters.”
The Source spoke with several people at the protest who had been pepper sprayed by U.S. Border Patrol police who arrived on the scene late into the night. Another attendee, who asked to remain anonymous, also reported seeing clouds of what appeared to be tear gas billowing from the area where border patrol officers carried the two detainees after removing them from the ICE bus Wednesday night.
The Source has requested documentation of the interactions between Bend PD and officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before and after the Aug. 12 incident. We are still awaiting those records.