SALEM, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown sat down with three troopers involved in a recent mask controversy at a Corvallis coffee house.
A video posted by The Oregonian/OregonLive showed Oregon State Police troopers refusing to wear a mask at Allan’s Coffee and Tea.
The company issued a statement, which read in part, "We did not expect that within the first hour of the state mandate four uniformed State Police Officers would defy the orders, enter our café without wearing a face mask and refuse requests to wear one." Read their full statement here.
On Friday, Brown said that she spoke with three of the troopers about their families and the importance of setting a good example — saying that the troopers took responsibility and expressed regret.
“Here’s the thing: We’re all having to make adjustments to slow the spread of COVID-19. None of this is fun and some of it is really hard. But wearing a face covering to protect those around us? That’s easy. The officers and I agreed today that face coverings save lives. So you’ll see them – and me – wearing a face covering each and every day until we beat this virus,” Brown wrote.
It was not immediately clear why the fourth involved trooper was not in attendance.
"In the world of social media, it’s easy to condemn someone when they make a mistake and keep scrolling by. But you can judge a person’s character by whether they own up and make things right," Brown said.
Following the incident, OSP superintendent Travis Hampton spoke out against the “embarrassing and indefensible” conduct, apologizing to the community.
One of the troopers was placed on administrative leave.
“I hope my apology is accepted and the swift actions of my agency provide evidence of our commitment to accountability,” Hampton wrote in a Facebook post.