Medford Police say they were unfairly represented in online article

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Medford Police Department is speaking up after they say the department was unfairly represented in a recent article by “The Intercept“.

According to its website, “The Intercept” is in part quote… “Dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism.”

MPD says… the online magazine’s article alleges the department ‘improperly’ and ‘aggressively’ monitored social media accounts of local organizations who were organizing and participating in protests.

Prior to it’s publication… Medford police… in collaboration with the city attorney and communication team… submitted a written response addressing the allegations… to “The Intercept.”

However MPD says it’s statement was not included in it’s entirety… Leaving room for the city’s position to be unfairly represented.

Now, police are addressing this head on in an attempt to be transparent with the community.


The City disagrees with The Intercept’s characterization of emails related to Medford Police operations between 2016 and 2023.  

Monitoring social media accounts available to the general public does not violate any part of the constitution or any Oregon statute, including ORS 181A.010, which is simply a definition section for the chapter entitled “State Police.”

Law enforcement agencies, including the Medford Police Department, actively look at the public social media profiles of organizations and individuals when there is reported or self-evident concern of a public safety interest.  

These types of interests can include potential impacts to normal traffic flow, potential breaches of peace, potential conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters, and potential escalation including property damage or violence. As a professional law enforcement agency, we believe it is imperative to public safety for our officers to share information both internally and with law enforcement partners in order to prepare for worst-case scenarios in an effort to protect the general public. While most protests do not turn into worst-case scenarios, it is the Department’s responsibility to prepare for such situations. Medford Police takes seriously the responsibility to protect all citizens, including those exercising their First Amendment right to protest.

As to emails related to State grant funding being allocated to Stabbin Wagon, City staff expressing opinions about a State grant award or asking State officials questions about that State grant award is not uncommon.  It is routine and appropriate for inquiries to be made to public entities like the State of Oregon about how that public entity is allocating its resources, just as the City of Medford routinely receives inquiries and opinions from citizens and entities about the City’s grant allocations and other expenditures.”


The Medford Police News Release closes by stating “We aggressively deny this magazine’s allegations that our actions as a law enforcement agency in the incidents described by The Intercept were unlawful, improper, or a breach of constitutional rights.”

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