Emails Reveal Sheriff Mike Reese Conspired to Violate First Amendment

Blast Zone No. 1190
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Category: Police - County
Current Office Location:
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97214
Mike Reese Conspiracy Email Chain:
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

A chain of emails from 2017 reveal that Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese conspired with former deputy Todd Shanks, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer, and District Attorney Rod Underhill to violate the First Amendment rights of CopBlaster.com owner Cyrus Sullivan. The email chain began with a request from Shanks sent to Demer, Underhill, and Reese on April 24, 2017 that said:

Rod, Mike, and Kevin,

I hope you guys are all doing well, I am writing you this email to request your guidance and assistance in dealing with a recent post made by Cyrus Sullivan on COPBLAST attacking my credibility and integrity, and causing alarm to my family.

I am quite certain Kevin remembers Mr. Sullivan from approximately six years ago. At that time I was assigned to the Warrant Strilke Team working out of an office in the Courthouse. Deputy Reiter and I were called into Gary Meabe's office and a request was made by Gary that we assist in locating and arresting Mr. Sullivan for an outstanding warrant. Of course we agreed and began looking for Mr. Sullivan and he ultimately turned himself in to authorities.

I will not go into all of the details, but this is the second time Mr. Sullivan has Cyber Bullied me by posting something on the internet. This recent post was discovered by my daughter at school during a computer class. The post was made in February of this year and has my picture, address, and refers to me as a "River Shark" and a stalker. My family and I are very troubled by this false and inaccurate information being on the internet. I was just doing my job as a peace officer and don't feel I deserve this negative, untrue, and damaging jacket after 29 years of committed and dedicated service to the citizens of Multnomah County. To make matters worse I recently retired on March 1, 2O17, and am actively seeking employment opportunities besides my part time work with the Sheriff's Office. lf any potential employers look me up on google they will see this post which is on the first page of a google search for my name. I will be harmed and injured because of this post, and it may cost me any future job opportunities. I am asking for your assistance in this matter.

Thank you,

Todd Shanks

-End of Message

Shanks was referring to a post in which I criticized him for among other things not being able to take a joke several years ago. So, Todd Shanks' response to criticism saying "Sounds like someone couldn't take a joke" is to prove my point by freaking out over the post. Notice that even though the website at that time displayed his home address, his primary concern was over his Google results and his professional reputation. This email began a long stream of emails between Shanks, Reese, Demer, and Underhill. Eventually Sheriff Reese responded, "I saw your message that Mr. Sullivan is on supervision. Is it possible to have the sentencing Judge or supervising authority add a requirement that he not use social media or computers in this manner?"

Sheriff Reese suggested that my judge at the time, Marco Hernandez, should be asked to violate my First Amendment rights by ordering that I not be allowed to criticize deputy Shanks or law enforcement in general as part of my supervision. Eventually Assistant US Attorney Greg Nyhus did exactly that, but Hernandez refused to ban me from running the website. He did meet Nyhus halfway by banning me from posting home addresses while on supervision, which is also a violation of the First Amendment in my opinion, but my right to criticize Shanks based on the merits of his work, which he appears most concerned about, remains intact.

It is an abuse of power for an elected official to use the power of his office to violate the constitutional rights of a citizen or conspire to do so. By using his office to back an effort to violate my First Amendment rights he abused his office.

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