PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK.
NOW WILLAMETTE WEEK NEEDS YOU.

The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Oregon Department of Justice Releases Results of Black Lives Matter Probe

Outside investigator finds poor training and supervision but calls the profiling "isolated incident."

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today released the results of an examination of the circumstances in which two DOJ investigators used a law enforcement surveillance tool to track the social media activity of the agency's civil right chief, Erious Johnson.

Last October, Rosenblum informed one of her own agency's lawyers, Erious Johnson, that he had been profiled because of his use of the Black Lives Matter hashtag.

The matter became public Nov. 10, when the Urban League of Portland, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon and other groups wrote to Rosenblum asking for an investigation into the matter. Urban League of Portland CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson is married to Erious Johnson.

Rosenblum hired an outside lawyer, Carolyn Walker of the Stoel Rives firm, to find out what happened.

Walker's report says an agent in the the Oregon Fusion Center began searching Johnson's tweets after seeing an image of a man in gun crosshairs, and believing it to be a threat against law enforcement.

Walker writes that the agent believed the cartoon figure in the crosshairs was a police officer. She says he "(and many others) made this assumption."

But Walker recognized it as something else.

"I recognized the image as the logo for the hip hop group Public Enemy," she writes, "and the silhouette in the image as an individual wearing a hat that was popular urban fashion in the rap music industry."

Here's the conclusion Walker reached: