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Local Leaders Respond To BLM Protests, Calls For Reform

City of Eugene Livestream

In a joint press conference, the mayors of Eugene and Springfield – as well as a Lane County Commissioner – condemned police brutality and the oppression of people of color.

Lucy Vinis, Christine Lundberg, and Heather Buch touched on Oregon’s racist history, and the largely peaceful protests that’ve taken place in the area since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

Credit Melorie Begay / KLCC
One of several posters found across the city, calling for Eugene's mayor to defund the police department.

In regards to the 8 Can’t Wait flyers posted across town -which propose changes to law enforcement procedures - Mayor Vinis says there are already reforms in place.

"We prohibit chokeholds, require de-escalation, and warnings before use of force. And require officers to intervene to prevent excessive force by other officers. We also require comprehensive reporting whenever physical force is used.”

Vinis also says there’s no plan to defund the Eugene Police Department as some activists have called for. Chief Chris Skinner says efforts continue to improve response times and community relations.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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