Greg Anderson, a Port of Seattle Police Officer and military veteran who has been with the department for a decade, was placed on administrative leave pending termination after he refused to delete a video in which he asked fellow officers not to enforce the coronavirus lockdown.
The now-viral video shows Anderson in uniform sitting in a patrol car on May 5.
He said, “I’m speaking to my peers – other fellow officers, people in any kind of law enforcement position.” He then stated that officers have been ordered to enforce “tyrannical orders against the people,” and that the orders are in direct conflict with Americans’ Constitutional rights.
He continued: “We need to start looking at ourselves as officers and thinking ‘is what I’m doing right?’ Regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus, we don’t have the authority to do those things to people just because a mayor or governor tells you otherwise. I don’t care if it’s your sergeant or your chief of police – 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.”
“We don’t hold power over our citizens. It’s contradictory to everything that our country stands for. Police have no right to stop people to check for documentation that they are ‘essential’ workers, nor can citizens be prohibited from gathering to protest or attending church,” he said. “What are you, the Gestapo? Is this 1930s Nazi Germany? You don’t get to stop people unless you have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they have committed a crime.”
He stated that enforcing the orders would “wake a sleeping giant,” saying: “If this continues, we’re going to see bloodshed in the streets…they are going to fight 10 times harder for their freedom on their soil. I don’t want to see fellow officers get injured or killed, and I certainly don’t want to see citizens get injured or killed.”
He said that he had already expressed his views to the department before he made the video.
“Luckily, I come from a department that I feel like my chain of command shares my view,” he said. “But I don’t care what department your part of or what your command thinks. You don’t get to trample on people’s liberty.”
He posted another video, stating that he had been praised for his “powerful message” by his command, but then three hours later he received another call from his superiors, this time asking him to take down the video.
He refused, stating that it would contradict his message: “If you believe in something in your heart, you have to stand by that conviction, even if it costs you everything. After putting that message out there and sharing it with America – and it was so well-received - I can’t then just say ‘even though that’s what I believe…I’m gonna retract my words, and I’m gonna allow my command to prevent me from sharing my heart and my truth.’”
He continued: “They said they determined the video was a violation of policy, and that if I wouldn’t take it down, that allegations would be made against me. Why was the message okay at 5 a.m. and then three hours later, there was a problem?”
Even after he received a call from the chief of police asking him to take down the video, he refused to do so. He was subsequently placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
He maintained: “I was told by both the agency and my union that this will result in termination due to it being an insubordination charge for refusing to take down the video. I’m not intimidated or upset by how this played out. I fought in the streets of Ramadi during ’04 and ’05. I came to terms long ago that my convictions and my beliefs may cost me everything…that truth still remains for me, so I don’t have an option to back down or feel sorry for myself or give in.”
“If they want to do me like this for standing up for liberty, they can do that. If you know of anyone accepting resumes, hit me up, ‘cause I might need it in the near future,” he added.
A fundraising campaign was started by a friend for Anderson and his wife, and over $235,000 has been raised to date.