The Roseburg small business group Citizens for Truth has suspended its campaign to oust Roseburg Police Department Chief Gary Klopfenstein.
Joshua Brennon, spokesperson for Citizens for Truth, said via email Saturday that one of the group’s members had been “doxed” and concerns were brought up by other members.
“Because of this, we are suspending our campaign,” Brennon wrote. “Their safety and well-being comes first. Period. We asked the Chief (in our letter) to please look at how his actions, whether on purpose or not, have gave the assumption of bias policing to an already divided community concerning this mandate. We also explained our issue with his excuse of online system reporting absence and requested that he just be honest with the community in the future.”
The group further discontinued its website, timetogogary.com, on Thursday, but had reactivated the site by late Tuesday morning.
The change came just two days after The News-Review published an article citing the group’s complaints against Klopfenstein along with the chief’s rebuttal. The Citizens for Truth website had been online for approximately one week.
Citizens for Truth said Klopfenstein targeted Casey’s Restaurant in early May 2020 for COVID-19 violations, and ignored proper safety protocols during a Black Lives Matter rally in late May.
Klopfenstein said he was doing his job, which is to “educate, warn, then report.”
The group also asserts crime data reported by Roseburg Police Department to the FBI in 2019 was falsely inflated, resulting in Roseburg being named Oregon’s most dangerous city in a January 2020 report.
On its updated site, Citizens for Truth added a statement Sunday, specifying that the group was not anti-police nor did it have a specific political agenda.
“We believe that our timing to release (the) website and full information may have been confusing to some and a belief that we are associated with another group, Citizens Against Tyranny,” the statement reads. “We are not associated with this group. We are just a small group of small business owners and such that have concerns with our chief of police’s actions and statements.
“We just believe in holding public officials accountable.”
The group said they and their concerns are real, according to the website.
“Yes, we are real people with real concerns. We are not Russian disinformation operatives,” the website statement reads. “No, we will not be listing any prior or current members for the reasons stated above.”
Attempts to reach Brennon via phone went directly to voicemail.