By Steve Neavling
Oregon’s Justice Department spied on Black Lives Matter supporters to determine whether they presented a threat, the Huffington Post reports.
The digital surveillance included reviewing people who used the movement’s hashtag, BlackLivesMatter.
“When I initially heard about this incident I was appalled,” state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a letter, which was in response to an earlier letter from the Portland chapter of the national civil rights organization the Urban League.
But Rosenblum discovered that at least one Justice Department investigator performed digital surveillance.
Rosenblum said the department put an end to the surveillance after it became known.
“It is improper, and potentially unlawful, for the Oregon Department of Justice to conduct surveillance and investigations on an Oregonian merely for expressing a viewpoint, or for being a part of a social movement,” the letter from Urban League of Portland reads. “We are concerned that such unwarranted investigations are racially motivated, and create a chilling effect on social justice advocates, political activists and others who wish to engage in discourse about the issues of our time.”