On June 27 of this year, the Central Oregon Peacekeepers revealed Greg Walker’s history of racism, jokes about sexual assault, dehumanizing language about the homeless and making light of police violence.
This is not an opinion; we have the pictures to prove it directly from Mr. Walker’s Facebook account (that has since been scrubbed). When the Bulletin article was released, not only was the article riddled with Mr. Walker’s quotes, you failed to include quotes from our loosely formed organization that is run by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color). We may have decided to wait awhile before making a statement, but we would like to do just that in light of Mr. Walker’s column.
The main reason we released the information about Mr. Walker is simple. He attached himself to an organization run by a BIPOC despite clearly having hateful rhetoric in the public eye. It was also quite shocking to learn that this same person was supposed to be working with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office on something called Verbal Judo, which is essentially officer intervention.
Not only was this man, who has been proven to spew hate, going to be training sheriff’s office employees and other invited guests, he is also a close friend of Sheriff Shane Nelson and always appears right around when election time starts to heat up. This was a no-bid contract.
Learning that this is the case, we wanted to try and put our efforts into finding a BIPOC that leads a similar program to Mr. Walker’s. Since this was a no-bid contract, we assumed it would have been difficult to find another class or program like it. That was not the case. It was shared with us that the New Orleans Police Department recently put in a program called EPIC that is peer -to -peer intervention. Sound familiar? We had been told Mr. Walker’s program was one of a kind. It clearly is not.
Lastly, Mr. Walker was quoted saying we are “alienating him and a bunch of people” by saying “hey, kill cops, hurt cops.” Our group has never said this and it can be confirmed on our Facebook page. Mr. Walker said we were a bunch of high schoolers who hate police officers and promote violence. Again, if you check our Facebook page, this is simply just flat out false. Every chance we can, we remind our followers that we do not encourage violence.
The Peacekeepers are dedicated to the safety of the Central Oregon activist community. We organize safety volunteers, identify violent counter-protesters and research public figures. If you believe in justice, equity, and inclusion, we’re here for you.
We want to protect our activist community from any threats they receive if we can, we want to ensure people are able to use their right to protest, we want people to feel protected while they are protesting, and we want to expose anyone that is willing to be openly racist or otherwise hateful in the public eye.
While we may seem aggressive at times, we are tired of watching BIPOC, people who are LBGTQ and other groups be treated as second-class citizens. This country will never truly be the land of the free until everyone feels like it is. Our leader surely does not, other activists in the community surely do not and clearly this idea is worldwide. This country is in desperate need of a face-lift. There are people willing to put their lives on the line to spread the message of equality, they deserve this.
Walker once posted a picture of himself standing with a black man, and his good friend responded “Check your back pocket to make sure your wallet is still there.” Walker did nothing to challenge this blatant racism from his buddy.
We think Deschutes County should check it’s wallet, and ask itself how much more time and money it wants to spend on Greg Walker.