A Port of Seattle police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after posting a video online last week telling fellow officers they shouldn’t enforce coronavirus-related orders.
Officer Greg Anderson is on leave pending an investigation, according to a Port of Seattle spokesman, who declined to comment further on the pending personnel matter.
In the video posted on May 7, Anderson, in uniform and sitting in a patrol vehicle, says citing or arresting people in relation to what he called “tyrannical” social-distancing orders violates people’s constitutional rights.
“I want to remind you that 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 a governor tells you otherwise,” he says. “We don’t get to violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise.”
Anderson said he was disturbed at the implication people would be violating the law by “going to church, for traveling on the roadways, for going surfing, opening their businesses, going to the park with their families or doing nails out of their own house using their own house as a place of business.”
Port of Seattle Police Chief Rod Covey on Tuesday posted an explanation of the department’s response to Anderson’s video in a Facebook post.