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Chief Skinner talks MLK Day, FBI bulletin warning of potential armed protests

He said his department is working with the local FBI office and other local law enforcement agencies to assess any intelligence involving unrest in the community.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 7:17 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2021 9:29 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner addressed the community Wednesday, talking about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the FBI bulletin warning about more armed protests leading up to inauguration day.

Skinner said Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not just a day off from work and school. He said it should be a time for the public to reflect on becoming more active in the community. After a year of protests for racial equity and police reform, Skinner said this year he and the city are working to make sure everyone's lives are more inclusive. He continued to reassert Eugene Police condemns hate, racism, and white supremacy of any kind. 

But it was clear, the security of the Eugene community is his highest priority after an internal FBI bulletin released this week warned of more armed protests around the country leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Skinner said there's no intelligence indicating any large-scale protests in Eugene. But he said anything can change on a daily basis. The department doesn't tolerate any violence or criminal activity, Skinner said.

"Those folks that are coming to town specifically with violence and destruction on their mind, they're not welcome here," Skinner said. "I don't care if you're a Proud Boy or Patriot Prayer, you're not welcome here. If you're specifically Antifa and you want to damage and destroy businesses, you're not welcome here."

Skinner said that his department is apolitical and will always be apolitical. If protests do break out from any side of the political spectrum, he said they will be treated equally under the law. 

He said his department is working with the local FBI office and other local law enforcement agencies to assess any intelligence involving unrest in the community. 

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