“Oregon state police soldiers are not above the law and this conduct is being addressed immediately,” Travis Hampton, superintendent of Oregon state police, said in a statement emailed to CNN.
On Wednesday, four Oregon state police officers entered a Corvallis cafeteria without wearing face masks despite the state mandate issued by Governor Kate Brown requiring facial coatings in interior public spaces, Robert and Kathryn Morgan, owners of Allan’s, said in an email. Coffee and Tea. statement to CNN.
According to the Morgans, when soldiers were asked to put on masks, an officer “used profanity to belittle the governor and expressed his political opinion that the governor could not infringe on his civil liberties and that companies did not have to worry about comply with the order because the police would not be enforcing the order. “
Oregon State Police Captain Timothy Fox told CNN in an email that the officer who allegedly made those statements is currently on administrative leave. An internal investigation is currently underway and officials are not being named at this time, he said.
The Morgans posted a CNN surveillance video of the incident showing officers wearing no masks while two employees are seen wearing masks. Other users are seen in the video entering, some with masks and others without.
The four officers entered without masks around 8:30 a.m. on July 1 and sat in the store without masks after buying drinks.
“We knew the divisive climate during this time and the fact that face covers have become a politicized issue, so we expected that our employees might receive a backlash from customers regarding this new policy,” said the owners release.
“However, we did not expect that within the first hour of the state mandate four uniformed state police officers would defy orders, enter our cafe without wearing a face mask, and reject requests to wear one.”
Hampton, the state police superintendent, called the conduct “shameful and indefensible, especially as thousands of Oregon residents take to the streets every day to legitimately demand police accountability. Like any police misconduct , the actions of a few discredit the results. ” of dedicated officers who don’t believe they are above the law they have sworn to defend. “
Hampton apologized in his statement for the soldiers’ actions and said they will be responsible, although he did not specify whether they would receive disciplinary action and what the action would be.
“As the leader of the Oregon State Police, I would like to offer my apologies to the cafeteria employees and the community. Ultimately, I am responsible for all the actions of the OSP Troopers and should be responsible for their conduct,” he said. Hampton. “I hope that my apology is accepted and that the prompt actions of my agency demonstrate our commitment to responsibility.”