Fox News Article
Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.
A Port of Seattle police officer said Thursday that he made the now-viral video that got him suspended because he was worried about a violent reaction to stringent coronavirus stay-at-home orders at home and nationwide.
In an interview on “The Ingraham Angle” with host Laura Ingraham, Greg Anderson explained that his department had initially told him his May 6 video needed to be taken off of Instagram and it was “obvious that it was due to the content.”
However, in order to terminate Anderson, Port of Seattle Police Chief Rod Covey needed to find a policy violation. For refusing to take down his video more than once, the department and the police union told Anderson he would likely be terminated for insubordination.
“I think it’s pretty clear — the reason why they wanted the video taken down.”
In a statement posted on the Port of Seattle Police Department’s website, Covey said Anderson was on leave for violating the department’s policy on the use of social media.
“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,” Covey wrote in his statement. “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.”
The video, in which Anderson is wearing his uniform in what appeared to be his police car, has now garnered more than 850,000 views.
Anderson told Ingraham the reaction has been “overwhelming,” but he took to social media because he believes the policies are causing “tension” that could boil over.
“You know, the whole point to the video was to bridge the gap between the citizens and law enforcement. Because these orders that are going out [are] causing a lot of tension. And, in my opinion, it’s going to cause violence at some point,” he warned, adding that he has received “tens and thousands of emails from both citizens and law enforcement” thanking him for speaking out.
“The fact is if people want to leave their house and they want to go to church or they want to go for a drive, I don’t have the authority and no other police officer has the authority to tell them otherwise in the absence of a crime,” Anderson added, echoing comments in his video. “So, I feel like they’re putting us in a difficult situation [by] asking officers to go out there and enforce these things.”
They’re not the ones [who] are going to meet the resistance as the orders are being implemented or if they get litigated at a later time. It’s the officers that are going to be seen at fault, not the politicians [who] made the order to start with,” he pointed out.
As a former member of the U.S. military, Anderson said he understands what chaos and anarchy look like in the streets when human beings are deprived of essentials, noting that it can “go bad really quickly.”
“I just think it was something that needed to be said and the time for me was last week and it worked out well,” he concluded.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has relaxed shutdown rules in some rural areas, but stay-at-home orders remain in place for the Seattle area. Starting May 18, residents in Seattle and King County will be urged to wear face masks in public.