Oregon State Police Release Footage From Traffic Stops of State Rep. Travis Nelson

The department also released police reports from interactions with the Black lawmaker from Portland.

State Rep. Travis Nelson. (Mick Hangland-Skill)

After freshman lawmaker Travis Nelson (D-Portland) was pulled over by Oregon State Police twice this week, he took to Twitter to express his displeasure. “If I had an outstanding warrant, I’d be in jail. SMH,” he wrote.

Nelson is the only Black man in the Oregon House of Representatives, and he later elaborated to reporters that he didn’t feel he was being treated the same way as his white colleagues.

“I’ve been stopped by law enforcement over 40 times, so this is nothing new to me. My white colleagues have not been profiled the way I have throughout my lifetime, and they certainly have not been pulled over by OSP twice in three days for low-tier offenses as I have been,” he said.

Related: The Only Black Man Seated in the Oregon House Says State Police Pulled Him Over Twice in Three Days

Today, the Oregon State Police has released body- and dashboard-camera footage and accompanying police reports from the two stops. The reports simply list the infractions for which Nelson was pulled over. The videos show civil interactions between troopers and the lawmaker.

A spokesman for the Oregon State Police confirmed to WW today that the department found no wrongdoing by troopers during its review of the incidents.

“Both traffic contacts were found to be in line with OSP policies, procedures, rules, and patrol priorities based off our Fatal Five enforcement categories,” Capt. Kyle Kennedy told WW.

In a report released late last year, state analysts found no racial significant racial disparity in two years of traffic stop data submitted by the Oregon State Police. Analysts at the state’s Criminal Justice Commission did, however, find significant disparities in the outcomes of those stops: Black drivers were more likely than white drivers to be cited.

Nelson received a pair of warnings. He told reporters that he believed troopers were hunting for outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Here are the details and the videos (each is 11 or 12 minutes long):

When: 8:13 pm Jan. 30

Where: Milepost 266 on Interstate 5 northbound

Offense: Speeding (76 mph in a 65 mph zone), failing to drive within lane.

Result: Warning

Vehicle: 2005 Gray Toyota Corolla

Officers: Mike Nielson and Ryan Bambrick

Video 1 (dashboard camera):

Video 2 (body camera):

When: 5:55 pm Feb. 1

Where: Milepost 259 on Interstate 5 northbound

Offense: Driving while using an electronic device (second offense)

Result: Warning

Vehicle: 2005 Gray Toyota Corolla

Officer: Adrian Steeley

Video 1 (dashboard camera):

Video 2 (body camera):

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.