STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

WATCH: Chief Skinner talks police accountability amid protests

The Eugene Police Department held a press conference on Friday.

Posted: Jun 5, 2020 1:56 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2020 5:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner held a press conference on Friday to address police accountability.

It followed a full week of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

"I am very pleased with the people that are coming out to be heard and are still angry and frustrated with what happened in Minnesota," he said Friday. "Making sure we have the right individuals in this community wearing this uniform -- I talk often about what we saw in Minnesota with Mr. Floyd was not a training issue, it was not a misapplied technique, it wasn't a lack of training, it was a character issue."

When it comes to keeping the peace here in Eugene, he agreed that mistakes have been made, including announcing a curfew on Sunday 30 minutes before it was enforced.

KEZI asked if Skinner believed people were given enough warning Sunday before action was taken -- whether that be arrests or methods used to disperse people.

"What I will tell you is that hindsight makes us a whole lot smarter and in hindsight the answer to your question is no," he said.

Sunday night crowds of protestors were met with tear gas and pepper balls -- including one journalist who was struck by a round launched by a Eugene officer. Now people are wondering if the officer will face consequences.

"We have a long list of -- a fairly detailed process we have to get through before we decide whether something is justified or unjustified and we would be doing a disservice to rush to judgement," said Skinner.

Skinner talked about police force accountability, introducing Mark Gissiner, the chief auditor for the department.

Gissiner is a private auditor -- he does not answer to the police force, which means he investigates all acts of misconduct independently. But certain laws make it difficult for him to share what he finds.

"There are 458 exemptions in the state of Oregon and I think at times that ties our hands with communicating with the community and the media about what happens here," he said.

Watch the full video here:

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 12438

Reported Deaths: 237
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah296672
Marion189354
Washington189221
Umatilla10418
Clackamas100628
Malheur4002
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Lane3093
Deschutes2680
Yamhill2059
Linn18210
Jackson1810
Polk17912
Jefferson1680
Morrow1541
Klamath1381
Wasco1171
Benton1156
Hood River1060
Douglas640
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Columbia540
Coos540
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa150
Baker120
Curry90
Sherman50
Gilliam20
Harney20
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 86°
Corvallis
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 85°
Roseburg
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 88°
North Bend
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events