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Port of Seattle police officer suspended after speaking out against ‘tyrannical’ lockdown enforcement

PortandTerminal.com, May 14, 2020

“I don’t want to see the citizens get to a point where we have to defend our Constitutional rights against the government,”

SEATTLE, WA – A Port of Seattle police officer has been suspended with pay by his department, after he posted a video message on social media speaking out against law enforcement officers in the U.S. who are enforcing what he called “tyrannical orders” imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

“We don’t get to violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise. It’s not how this country works”

Officer Greg Anderson, Port of Seattle Police Officer

Officer Anderson’s nearly nine-minute video post on his Instagram page touched a nerve and went viral. Anderson has refused requests by his superiors to delete the post and is now being accused of insubordination, he told Seattle’s KOMO News on Tuesday.

Here’s a two-minute clip of his post:

He said he has no regrets about his post, and has doubled down on his message.

“I don’t want to see the citizens get to a point where we have to defend our Constitutional rights against the government,” Anderson said in the social media post.

Anderson said after weeks of watching police officers across the nation arrest or fine people for violating quarantine orders, Anderson said he had had enough.

“I’m just asking people to look inside themselves and do what they’re comfortable with,” he said.

In his social video, Anderson said, “I’m seeing people arrested or cited for going to church. I don’t know what crime people are committing for doing nails in their own house. We have to ask ourselves as officers, is what I am doing right?”

Although enforcement of Washington state’s stay-home order has been minimal to date, Anderson said if it does happen on a wide scale, he would urge his fellow officers not to comply, which got the attention of his chief.

“I don’t have a bad thing to say about the Port of Seattle,” Anderson said.

Port of Seattle response

After Anderson’s message went viral, and in an update to his Instagram account on Monday, he reported that he has been placed on administrative leave by the Port of Seattle Police Department pending an investigation.

Port of Seattle Police Chief Rod Covey confirmed Anderson’s paid suspension in a statement on the department’s website, writing, “Greg has always had the ability to express his opinions on what is going on in the country like all other Americans. However, he is not allowed to do so while on duty, wearing our uniform, wearing our badge and while driving our patrol car.”

Covey continued, “Every police officer in the country understands that. I personally told this to Greg and told him that I would support his right to talk about these issues as long as he did so while not claiming any affiliation to our police department. Greg has chosen this course of action ever after he and I spoke and while also knowing that his actions were outside of well-established policy.”

GundFundMe page has been launched for Anderson and his family, and its message states that the funds will go toward “legal representation and to help cover any costs that the unforeseen future brings during this drastic change to their lives.” As of this writing, it has raised more than $375,000 with a goal of raising $50,000.

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