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Oregon Police Let Man Go After He Threatens To Stone Gay City Official During Public Meeting

Oregon Police Let Man Go After He Threatens To Stone Gay City Official During Public Meeting
@Eric Osterberg/ Facebook

On Monday, August 2, 2021, Eric Osterberg, the assistant city manager of Klamath Falls, Oregon, was ready to deliver the findings of a task force on racial equity.

But when Osterberg entered the Town Hall chambers, a man sat down next to him, holding a conspicuously large rock in his hand.

Speaking to the Herald and News, Osterberg said the man made no effort to hide his intentions for the rock.

"You are a sinner and you need to be stoned. That is why I brought this stone"

Osterberg went on to say that the unidentified man also called him "blasphemous" and accused him of spreading HIV and AIDS throughout the community.

The man was escorted out of the building by police chief Robert Dentiger. Before addressing the results of the task force, Osterberg recounted his terrifying encounter to the city council.

As evidenced by video footage posted to the Twitter account of writer and podcaster Hemant Mehta, Osterberg managed to remain calm and composed.

After repeating the threats the man made against his life, Osterberg mad a point of how this encounter emphasized the importance of his task force.

"I just want to start the meeting off by pointing to you that just having a simple conversation about racism in our community is gaining that level of violence, that threat of violence."

Osterberg went on to tell The Herald and News that he hoped upon leaving the building, the man, whose identity has not been disclosed, would be arrested.

"I would hope that he was arrested since he made a direct threat to me, and I think it would be pretty bad if he was allowed to just leave."

Unfortunately, that's just what happened.

Chief Dentiger claimed there was "not enough information" to arrest him, but should things escalate, the KFPD would "have a talk with him."

Osterberg was was extremely disappointed with this decision.

"I think this proves that there is such a violent reaction to the idea that there is even racism in the community."
"That people are being threatened by violence in order to try and silence them. And I think that is pretty damning of the community."

Osterberg was not alone in his dissatisfaction that a man publicly threatened his life with seemingly no consequences, as evidenced by reactions to the video on Twitter.

Several people aptly addressed the fact that this man's actions were anything but Christian.

Others wondered whether or not an arrest would have been made if it had been a Black man threatening the life of a white man, and pointed out the weapon of choice should not have been a factor.

With his personal safety in jeopardy, Osterberg might be feeling lucky that he'll soon be leaving Klamath Falls to begin a new job as City Manager of Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson made headlines following the death of 18-year-old African-American man Michael Brown at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson, who faced no charges, resulting in nationwide protests.

Considering the class and dignity with which Osterberg carried himself, it looks like Ferguson will be in very good hands.