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Evidence of Collaboration? 

Bend PD Chief says city police did not violate state sanctuary law when allowing ICE officials in their cars

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.  

click to enlarge A man wearing an ICE badge, at left, sitting inside a Bend PD patrol vehicle Aug. 12. - KYLE SWITZER
  • Kyle Switzer
  • A man wearing an ICE badge, at left, sitting inside a Bend PD patrol vehicle Aug. 12.
As Oregon’s sanctuary law states, no law enforcement agency in the state can use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending people thought to be in violation of federal immigration law. We asked Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz for comment, who responded:  

“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). 

click to enlarge KYLE SWITZER
  • Kyle Switzer
 “This is the State law specific to immigration prohibition that we are held to, and our local policy reflects this. The two persons who were in custody had already been sought out and apprehended. Bend Police being on scene and allowing the use of a vehicle to sit in and to provide food or water to any federal employee and the persons that were being detained do not violate ORS or Bend’s policy. 

“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. 

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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