Representative Mike Nearman of Oregon, Who Let in Protesters, Is Charged


A Republican state legislator from Oregon who was captured on surveillance video allowing demonstrators to enter the State Capitol in December was charged on Friday in connection with the breach of the building, which led to a conflict between officers and protesters.

The lawmaker, Representative Mike Nearman, 57, was charged with official misconduct in the first degree and trespassing in the second degree, according to court documents.

Marion County prosecutors said in court documents that Mr. Nearman, “being a public servant, did unlawfully and knowingly perform an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another.”

On Dec. 21, while legislators were in session, Mr. Nearman calmly walked out a side door, allowing several demonstrators, many of them unmasked and holding American flags or pro-Trump signs, inside the State Capitol, in Salem. The moment was captured by widely circulated video surveillance of the breach.

Mr. Nearman kept walking as the protesters went inside and were quickly confronted by local and state police officers, who were shoved by some of the demonstrators as they struggled to get into the building.

The footage showed protesters knocking off the hats of police officials and striking at officers, some of whom wore riot gear.

At least five people were arrested during the breach, according to The Associated Press. One man was charged after he blasted police officers with bear spray.

More than 30 people made it into the vestibule and about 150 protesters were gathered right outside the door, according to the state’s legislative administrator.

Mr. Nearman, a former software engineer who lives just north of Independence and was elected in 2014, did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Saturday. It was unclear if he had a lawyer.



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