Landeros screenshot

A screenshot from the officer body camera footage of the incident at Cascade Middle School on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 (Lane County District Attorney). 

Editor’s note: Landeros used they/them pronouns. 

Following the death of community activist and former University of Oregon student Charlie Landeros, the Emerald filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine if the FBI had any records respondent to Landeros. 

Landeros was a well-known community activist who advocated for people of color and protested against tuition hikes at the UO. Landeros also made comments on Facebook that threatened violence against police. One comment, according to The Register-Guard, was reported to the Springfield Police Department an hour before Landeros was killed by Eugene Police Department officers outside of their child’s middle school following a custody dispute. 

The 25 pages of FBI documents released to the Emerald include information about a tip the FBI received in February 2018 from someone who served with Landeros while they were in the Army and said that Landeros had “legitimate plans to cause riots and uprisings with the goal of destabilizing local governments.” The FBI determined in July 2018 that Landeros did not pose a threat to national security. 

Read the files the FBI released to the Emerald. 

The FBI initially told the Emerald there were 339 pages of potentially responsive documents and that the request would take until March 2021 to fulfill. The Emerald negotiated with the FBI’s FOIA negotiation team and worked the response time down to a few months. The Emerald excluded files that were related to Landeros’ military service. The FBI redacted information and withheld the release of pages that would violate personal privacy or reveal the FBI’s techniques and procedures. 

The documents also include notes from interviews with those who knew Landeros as well as a summary of the FBI’s contact with Landeros. 

Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow concluded that the shooting of the well-known community activist was justified. The Civil Liberties Defense Center, a civil rights advocacy group, said that Landeros’ family would pursue an independent investigation of Landeros’ death and retain police practice experts.  

The Civil Liberties Defense Center could not immediately be reached for comment.

Michael is the Daily Emerald's Editor-in-Chief. He started at the Emerald as a reporter in May 2017 and has held the roles of senior news reporter and associate news editor. His work has been published in The Wall Street Journal and Eugene Weekly.