This is the Seattle Police Officer who voiced opposition to unconstitutional orders and was fired for it.
Just donated. It’s ridiculous that he is being fired for this.
@MikeBKY Out of curiosity, is not firing him either
- A violation of his 1st Amendment Rights. Since it is the Government that is firing him for speaking out.
- Shouldn’t he have whistleblower protections, as he is speaking out against policies, that he views as unconstitutional.
I’m not nearly as smart as @MikeBKY, but…
Probably not, because in his video he was sitting in his squad car and in uniform. Please don’t mistake me, I’m not saying I disagree with anything he said. I’m just saying that the First Amendment may not protect you when you represent your workplace, especially when that workplace is a government agency. If he had been wearing a UPS uniform and sitting in a brown truck, UPS could have fired him. This goes double for uniformed government employees. In fact, there are specific 1st Amendment limitations to government agents in uniform.
I don’t think whistleblower statutes come into play, here. I’m not sure what the laws are in his state, but he’s not reporting specific wrongdoing through any official channels. He’s expressing his personal opinions on the internet.
I agree with your opinion, I actually am fairly well informed on whistle blower status. But he did say one thing in the video. That made me think the possibility of whistleblower status could be invoked. That was he stated he had reported to his superiors about the increased danger he felt from the erosion of the public trust by the actions of other LEO’s @ around 7:04 in the video.
Now the being in the police car in uniform, yeah he probably has no 1st Amendment claim.
Just trying to spitball possible options for a defense. It doesn’t feel right that he should be fired for this.
In another thread, @Spence had mentioned that a militia in Michigan was protecting a barber who had to open his shop so he could earn a living, as he fell through the social safety net because he wasn’t eligible for unemployment. Then rather than give the barber his day in court to argue against the Governor she had his business license revoked.
That’s the kicker that probably got him fired. He’s using his uniform as a platform and not talking kindly about others in uniform.
The First Amendment is a trick bag for government employees. As has already been discussed, what is done and said by an employee on the clock, or as here, where he is in uniform and would be perceived as speaking as an agent for his department/government could be actionable by the department and would not be protected under the First Amendment. At the same time, government employees are often at the forefront of knowing where the government is running afoul and courts will usually require that the government make a substantial showing that the speech would be disruptive.
There is a good chance that if he had posted his video from his back yard in a tee shirt, there would have been little that could be done.
Also keep in mind that LEOs are generally made very aware of what they can and cannot do/say on the job versus off the job.
As for whistle blower protection, what he said was primarily opinion (although a great number of people and most LEOs agree). Whistle blower laws are generally used to protect the whistle blower form repercussions of reporting covert violations of laws, regulations, policies or standards. Everything he was talking about is overtly happening everyday across the country right now; there is nothing covert about it.
As for the distrust of police, I agree the current situation worsens it, but most of it started in the middle to latter years of the first decade of the millennium.
For most employees, employers can fire at will just as an employee can quit at will. Most UPS employees are union and have a contract that would control any possible discipline. My guess is the Seattle FOP is also protesting the firing of Officer Anderson.
Again, just spitballing ideas. My primary experience with whistleblowers comes from the Sarbanes/Oxley Act Section 806.
I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. But this is why I feel that at least a fig leaf of cover from being a whistleblower could be invoked is that he did go through proper channels to his chain of command about concerns of increased dangers to other officers, due to extralegal actions being taken by other officers.
I’m not sure what triggers probable cause to make a traffic stop for the express purpose of checking someone’s papers to see if they are an essential employee.
That reminds me of an event a long time ago where yours truly made the news. I was a young screaming seaman on a submarine at the ripe old age of 18 ish. The Gramm-Rudman act was all over the news. I was 18 lived in the barracks, listened to cassette tapes on my boom box, didn’t have a TV and CNN and Fox News didn’t exist. So there I am out in town in my dungarees and I stopped for gas, my hot rod 77 T-bird always needed gas. I’m just finishing up and this hot little blonde comes running up with a microphone in her hand and some dude with a camera behind her. “I’m so n so from XYZ news and we’d like your opinion on the Gramm- Rudman.” I had no idea what she was talking about but it sounded like Grand Marnier. So me being me, I put on my best smile and said “I never really like orange flavored drinks but if its something your into I can get a bottle and let you show me the error of my ways.”
She turned red and walked away, I got in my car and drove off.
The next morning I’m standing topside watch and I hear “SEAMAN XXXXXXXX (Me) report to the wardroom!!” over the 1MC (The WHOLE ship’s announcing system) SO I keyed the 1MC “Wardroom - Topside JA.” The next thing I know the duty officer arrives and the duty chief arrives I am relieved of my post and sent below. I reported i the most proper military manner I knew how and got screamed at for 45 minutes by an Admiral, 2 Captains, 3 Master Chiefs and my CO and XO. I was called me everything from a traitor to a disgrace to the uniform and I had no idea what they were talking about.
Finally my COB, (Chief of the Boat) speaks up, "Gentlemen, would you mind if I asked Seaman XXXXXX (Me) a question before we draw, quarter, keel haul and shoot him? By this time I am visibly shaking while at attention.
“Son, do you know what Gramm-Rudman is?”
“COB, you are the second person to ever ask me that question and I am guessing it’s not an Orange Flavored Liqueur.”
“Did you know you made the News last night?”
“Do you watch the news?”
“No COB, I don’t have a TV.”
“What did you listen to on the way into the boat this morning?”
“ZZ Top, Eliminator.”
The COB shook his head and looked at the assembled Brass “What we have is not an attempt to discredit the Navy but a case of ignorance of pending legislation and politics. I can only imagine that there are several hundred if not thousand young men just like him that have no idea what this is about. We have failed them in that we did not tell them how to react to such a question.”
I got a good lecture from the COB about how to handle the News media ESPECIALLY in uniform and the term “No Comment” was introduced into my vocabulary as well as “I can neither confirm nor deny XYZ all questions of that nature need to be directed to the Public Affairs Officer.”
Being in uniform changes all the rules.
I understand the formal excuse to fire this officer. The statement he made is examplary. It is exactly what I want to hear from every LEO. Him being in uniform in the video only gives strength to his statement.
Being fired for being a very honorable man and doing the right thing and taking a stand for following the laws of the U.S.A. is shameful. He should be honored for making a commitment to do the right thing and follow the law and not overreaching government agencies. I am proud of this man for doing the right thing and he has my full support.
How do we promote Officer Anderson to Patriot Anderson?
Really, what more can we do for this guy as a community?
Opinion - ANYONE who proclaims to be pro 2A and pro America that watches the first video without then offering support is a hypocrite (assuming you have the ability).
“…I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
Taking a stand is a great thing. However, using your employer’s platform isn’t a great idea. He used his police uniform to help make his point. While I don’t disagree with what he said, I do think he should have done it on his own platform. Being in the squad car and wearing the uniform definitely helped make his point, but was probably against the employers guidelines.
Speaking pro-constitution in uniform is against his department’s guidelines, or speaking ‘anything’ in uniform is against his department’s guidelines…hmmmm
I expect in the end it does comes down to department policy, but I have to wonder how the people who pay ‘their’ salaries (aka the tax payers) feel about that. Isn’t Washington one of the states that declared the stay at home orders unconstitutional?
Good news though, he now has enough money in his go fund me account to fund a bid for police chief next time around… now wouldn’t that be something?2
I get what you’re saying @Greg35, but if you let one person make a statement about something on the job, you have to let everyone make a statement about everything in today’s age.
edited for clarity “on the job” Dawn
You don’t have to wonder, you pretty much know how the people feel about it.
How the sheeple feel about it does not matter. That’s why they are told to lock themselves up, while felons are being released upon them from prisons in Washington state.
@Dawn, I disagree, this is not “something”, it is a concern of a LEO over potential order to violate the law, the Bill of Rights, no less.
Dud you just say that out loud? I think that’s called the first amendment, isn’t it?
I know what you’re saying, @Alexander8 and we’re in agreement. There are a lot of people out there who would disagree with us though.