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Rosenblum Admits Oregon DOJ Conducted Surveillance on Black Lives Matter

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum responded to accusations that the Oregon Department of Justice spied on Oregonians using the Black Lives Matter hashtag, admitting that an investigator used an online search tool to search the hashtag.

“When I initially heard about this incident I was appalled,” Rosenblum wrote in a letter to the ACLU and others who had levied accusations against the DOJ. “I immediately ordered the Criminal Justice Division to stop the use of this online search tool, or any other similar tool. I also shared the information I had received with the member of my team who was the subject of the profiling. To my knowledge the materials generated by this inquiry were not distributed or used beyond the Oregon Department of Justice. But this raises many troubling questions.”

Teressa Raiford, an organizer with Don’t Shoot PDX, told GoLocal that she was glad the Attorney General was investigating the matter.

“What they’re doing is highly illegal," Raiford said. "What ever happened to civil rights in Oregon? This is why we have the problems that we have. It’s a corrupt system that we have here in Oregon.”

Rosenblum said that an HR investigation is being conducted, as is an investigation by Carolyn Walker, an attorney with Stoel Rives LLP, who will serve as a “Special Assistant Attorney General.”

One employee has already been put on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues, and Rosenblum said she is “prepared to take appropriate action in response to the investigation, including personnel actions.”


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