- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Port of Seattle police officer was placed on paid administrative leave this week after a video he posted on social media slamming the state’s “tyrannical” lockdown orders went viral.

In a May 7 video posted on his Instagram account, a uniformed Officer Greg Anderson encouraged police officers to “stand up for what’s right” and defy orders to infringe on people’s constitutional rights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m seeing people arrested or cited for going to church,” Officer Anderson said in the video, which was shot from inside a patrol car. “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?”

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

In the video, Officer Anderson praised his department for “luckily” sharing his views on the matter. But on Tuesday, after the video racked up hundreds of thousands of views, a Port of Seattle Police spokesman said the officer had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Police Chief Rod Covey posted on the Port of Seattle Police Department’s Facebook page that while he respects Officer Anderson as “a good police officer and an exceptional American,” he crossed the line when he shot the video in his uniform and using department property.

“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, ” Chief Covey wrote. “Greg has chosen this course of action even after he and I spoke and while also knowing that his actions were outside of well-established policy.”

In a second video by Officer Anderson, he explained that he was placed on leave after refusing orders to delete the video. He said he is preparing for his disciplinary hearing in the next couple days but expects to be fired for insubordination.

Two GoFundMe pages set up for Officer Anderson raised more than $360,000 as of Wednesday morning.

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