Who is Jay St James? Black activist sex worker arrested for protesting alleged stalking and rape by Oregon cop
EUGENE, OREGAN: A Black activist from Eugene, Oregan, recently opened up about the events that followed after she was raped by police officer on May 24, 2020. The woman, who goes by the name Jay St James, spoke to Vice News in length about the events that happened before and during the alleged sexual assault by officer Christopher Drumm. She also spoke about her subsequent arrest and harassment she faced at the hands of Eugene Police Department.
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Who is Jay St James?
As reported by VICE, St James is a Black activist and licensed nurse who has been 'open about her status as a sex worker.'
'St James' is the last name she uses to protect her family's privacy, it's also one that she uses for her sex work and activism. She moved to Eugene in 2015 and has been active in the community ever since. Her activism work includes training events hosted in 2019 on how to file public records requests, advocating for voting and housing justice, among other things.
What happened on May 24, 2020?
As recounted in the article, St James was raped on May 24 in her home by Drumm. Prior to this, he stalked her for three days, seeing that he had previously visited her home along with 3 other officers when she contacted CAHOOTS, Eugene’s community intervention program, seeing that there was dispute at her home between her and her ex-partner.
At the time, St James had requested for a mental health professional, but four uniformed officers were sent to her home, one among them was Drumm. As opposed to addressing the situation, the article states that Drumm and his colleagues began harassing her, with Drumm refusing to file the report, saying, "What am I going to write down? That this guy should be smashing that ass instead of smashing bottles?"
St James reported the rape on May 28. However, as per the Oregon Department of Public Safety and Standards, Drumm was placed on a leave of absence the next day. The article even mentions that as per a personnel form from the Eugene Police Department, he resigned from the force on June 10.
Why was she arrested?
On July 15, St James, along with a group of protesters gathered outside the Eugene Police Department headquarters. The group was comprised of 10 others, a combination of friends and community members who has read about her assault allegations on Facebook.
However, during the protest, the police arrested her. She was charged with felony riot, interfering with a peace officer, criminal mischief in the second degree, and resisting arrest.
The Eugene Police Department responded to the articles
In light of the article, Eugene Police Department Chief Chris Skinner put out a press release addressing the same. "The VICE article was written without the benefit of access to full independent investigation and may have inaccurate information," he said. "Currently, Mr Drumm's police certification is inactive and he has been flagged for review and possible revocation for moral fitness," Skinner added, as reported by KEZI 9.
Skinner also noted he takes "allegations of sexual assault very seriously and appreciates the system we have in place to hold us accountable to this community and their expectations." Clark was arrested in connection to a protest that formed outside police headquarters in response to her claims.
The investigation against Drumm remains; KEZI reported that a press release from Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow maintains that the investigation is open, however, St James has declined to testify. St James' attorney said that the request was a recent one and that there might still be a possibility of her testifying. Perlow also pointed out that there are discrepancies between St James' statements in the VICE article and her legally issued court statements.