An Oregon Democrat who recently won a congressional primary was behind a progressive criminal justice reform bill in the state legislature backed by defund the police groups that critics say would have made the community less safe.

Janelle Bynum, an Oregon state representative who owns multiple McDonald’s franchises, was the chief sponsor of HB 2002 in the state legislature in 2021 which was described as “an omnibus bill that modifies many aspects of public safety, including a repeal of certain mandatory sentences, amending limitations on reductions in prison and probationary sentences, reducing law enforcement arrest authority, and directing Justice Reinvestment funds to be distributed to culturally specific and response service providers.” 

The bill also appropriated taxpayer dollars into a “Reimagine Safety Fund.”

Additionally the text of the bill said it “Prohibits arrest without warrant for misdemeanor other than person Class A misdemeanor unless offense committed in presence of law enforcement officer.” 

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The bill was put forward “at the request of” progressive groups who called for police defunding that included Partnership for Safety and Justice, Latino Network, Coalition of Communities of Color, Central City Concern, Red Lodge Transition Services, Bridges to Change, Sponsors, Inc, OCDLA, and ACLU of Oregon.

Several of these groups have openly advocated for defunding the police, including the Latino Network, whose executive director has previously said, “We stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters, and individuals on the call to defund the police and for the increased investment in black communities.”

“DEFUND THE POLICE!” Imagine Black, another group that supported the bill, previously stated, adding, “we have concluded that nothing short of police and prison abolition is sufficient.”

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Bynum’s bill followed the unrest in the summer of 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd when riots erupted in Portland for over 100 days straight. Following those riots, Fox News Digital reported that violent crime erupted in Portland ravaging the community and causing a population exodus. 

Some law enforcement figures opposed the bill at the time including a group of police officials who signed a joint letter taking issue with prohibiting arrests for more than 20 misdemeanor crimes including criminal trespassing and second and third degree theft, Oregon Live reported.

The letter said the bill “makes sweeping changes to the public safety system from initial stop, to arrest, to the sentence and to probation … all without, in our opinion, the thoughtful exchange necessary to ensure these reform driven measures don’t result in unintended impacts and real safety risks to Oregonians.”

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Zack Smith, a senior legal fellow at Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital that Bynum’s bill would have made Oregon less safe had it been implemented.

“The policies promoted by HB 2002 would not make Oregon’s communities safer and would, in fact, have made Oregon’s streets even more dangerous,” Smith, who recently helped produce an online series titled “Societal Rot” documenting the effects of progressive policies on crime, said. 

“This bill contained some of the same policies that other left-leaning jurisdictions (like Washington, D.C.) were promoting around the same time.  It should be obvious that empowering police to appropriately and effectively do their jobs and then prosecuting criminals is the best way to keep communities safe.”

Smith also pointed out that the legislation was supported by a George Soros-style prosecutor who was recently defeated in a primary election in Portland.

“Interestingly, recently defeated Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt, who is part of the Soros rogue prosecutor movement, provided testimony in support of this bill,” Smith said. “As his recent defeat shows, even voters in very liberal Portland recognize that public safety must be a priority or lawlessness and chaos will reign.”

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The National Republican Congressional Committee told Fox News Digital that Bynum’s proposed legislation was “reckless.”

“Oregon voters revolting against Janelle Bynum’s brand of soft-on-crime insanity just threw a far-left Soros DA out of office,” NRCC Spokesperson Ben Petersen said. “Bynum teaming up with unhinged defund-the-police activists to introduce extreme legislation isn’t just reckless, it’s a slap in the face to Oregonians demanding safe communities and voters won’t forget it come November.”

Bynum will be squaring off in November against Republican Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer in a race the Cook Political Report scores as a “Republican toss up” which will make OR-05 a closely watched race as Republicans attempt to hold their narrow majority in the House.

“Congresswoman Chavez-DeRemer has worked tirelessly to address the public safety crisis by supporting tough-on-crime policies,” Chavez-DeRemer campaign spokesperson Aaron Britt told Fox News Digital. “With Oregon recently being named one of the most dangerous states in America, she will continue fighting to restore law and order by strongly supporting law enforcement, pushing to repeal Measure 110, and backing strict penalties for fentanyl traffickers.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Bynum’s office and campaign for comment but did not receive a response.

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