Greg Anderson is a military special forces veteran and police officer with the Port of Seattle Police Department in Washington who was placed on administrative leave after he recorded a viral video urging law enforcement officers to refuse to enforce “tyrannical” orders against citizens for doing things like going to church, to parks and to their businesses.
A GoFundMe page in support of Anderson has raised more than $266,000 as of May 12. Anderson said in a Facebook video he is “humbled” by the response his video got. He said he’s received support from all over the country. “The overwhelming majority of it has been positive.”
Anderson wrote on Facebook on May 11 that he had not been terminated yet but he expects to be fired because he refused to take down the video. “So I figured I should explain. I have been placed on administrative leave (still being paid) pending investigation,” he wrote. “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 sure what the timeline looks like. I walk un-intimidated into the fray. Thank you for all the support🙏🏻”
Here’s what you need to know about Greg Anderson:
1. Anderson Says in the Video That Officers Nationwide Have Enforced ‘Tyrannical Orders Against the People’
The video was originally posted to Anderson’s Instagram page in early May 2020, where it has had almost 700,000 views by May 12. In the caption, he wrote, “Are you doing the right thing? 👮♀️ Many officers out there are trampling on people’s liberties. Ask yourself are you doing the right thing? #police #lawenforcement #quarantine #civilliberties #constitution #freedom #america.”
In the video, Anderson, who is wearing a police uniform and is sitting in a squad car, says:
You know as a police officer I am compelled to make this video, I’ve been in law enforcement for 10 years, and I’m speaking to my peers, other fellow officers, people in any type of law enforcement position. I’ve seen officers nationwide enforcing tyrannical orders against the people, and I’m hoping it’s a minority of officers, but I’m not sure anymore because every time I turn on the television, I look to the internet, I’m seeing people arrested or cited for going to church, traveling on the roadways, for going surfing, opening their business, going to the park with their families or doing nails out of their own house, using their own house as their place of business and having undercover agents go there and arrest them and charge them with what? With a crime? I don’t know what crime people are committing by doing nails in their own house. We are seeing this more and more and more, and we need to start looking at ourselves as officers and thinking is what I am doing right? I want to remind you regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus, we don’t have the authority to do those things – to do those things to people. Just because a mayor or a governor tells you otherwise. I don’t care if it’s your sergeant or chief of police. We don’t get to violate someone’s constitutional rights because someone in our chain of command tells us otherwise. It’s not how this country works. Those are defacto arrests. We are violating people’s rights and taking money from them or even worse arresting them and depriving them of their freedom when they are exercising their constitutional rights. So let’s talk about that. Let’s read something right here, the Declaration of Independence.
He then reads the Declaration of Independence and says:
Our power and any governmental official’s power is derived from the people, okay? We don’t hold power over our citizens. It’s contradictory to everything our country stands for. This is what I am seeing, First Amendment rights. Telling people they can’t go to church, freedom of religion. Telling people they can’t protest, freedom of assembly. Fourth Amendment violations, illegal traffic stops to check for papers. 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. And I know people that have personally been stopped saying we want to see papers saying you’re essential.
A radio call comes in at that time.
What really has been pissing me off lately is the fact that these officers who have been going out here and enforcing these tyrannical orders. They’re putting my job and my safety at risk because you’re widening the gap between public trust and law enforcement officers. Look at what’s happened to law enforcement in the last 10 years. Less and less public trust and more often than not that’s the result of isolated incidents blown out of proportion. They’re not isolated anymore. They’re happening every single day. Our power that we hold as law enforcement officers is nothing more than a façade. It’s a badge and a gun. If you haven’t lived in anarchy, if you haven’t seen combat, things can be stripped from people in a heartbeat, and that’s what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid these actions are going to awake a sleeping giant, i.e. the American people. They are going to be put in a position where they won’t have their rights trampled anymore, and us as law enforcement officers, we will have our ability to enforce the law stripped from us in about 10 minutes. I think what is going to happen is we’re going to see bloodshed in the streets. I don’t want to see bloodshed in the streets on either side of this coin.
He said that “most of you out there doing these tyrannical acts against our citizens, you’re not ready for combat. … I promise you you don’t want to go through that, and I hope I never have to go through that again.”
2. The Port of Seattle Police Department’s Chief Said Anderson Is a ‘Good Police Officer & an Exceptional American’
Chief Rod Covey of the Port of Seattle Police Department posted a lengthy statement giving his side on the department’s website. He said that Anderson was on paid administrative leave and stressed that Anderson is “clearly a good police officer and exceptional American.” However, he wrote, Anderson’s “right to speech has limitations.”
The chief wrote:
Thank you for looking at our website. Chances are that right now you are looking to post something in regard to how the Port of Seattle Police Department is handling allegations against Officer Greg Anderson. I understand the frustration and anger that many people are feeling at this time in our country’s history because of how our world is being turned upside down in so many significant ways. And there is not much that any of us can do except be patient while we work as a country to get this virus under control.
To the reason for your visit to our site, Officer Greg Anderson is on paid administrative leave while we look into allegations that he violated our policy on the use of social media. I hired Greg, and he and I have always had a mutually respectful relationship. That respect continues to this day. He is clearly a good police officer and an exceptional American. That said, as a police officer wearing one of our uniforms, his right to speech has limitations on which he has been well-trained and that he has understood since joining the policing profession. 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. Every police officer in the country understands that. 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. 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.
For 43 years I have served in the law enforcement profession and plan to do so for a couple of more years. I have been proud to serve alongside heroes throughout my career. I work with over 120 of them right now at the Port of Seattle Police Department. But another 20 of my heroes have their names on the walls of the Peace Officer Memorials in Washington, DC and in Phoenix, AZ where I served 32 years with the Arizona State Patrol. These men were my colleagues….they were my friends. This week is National Police Week and Friday, May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. While you stand up for Greg this week, please take time to also remember all of the heroes that have given their lives while serving and protecting others.
It is sad that we have become such a divided country because if you got to know me and the men and women working in our police department, you would find that in many ways we are probably not that different. In my case, the one main way that we are different is that I have the responsibility to make sure that all of my officers do what we all signed up to do which is to protect and serve all Americans. And to do it while adhering to our training and our policies – all of them.
Anderson said that once his video reached 400,000 views his commanders urged him to “pull the plug” but he refused.
3. Anderson Has Received Support From Donald Trump Jr., Along With Militia Groups & ‘Reopen’ Protesters, & a GoFundMe Campaign for Him Has Raised More Than $200,000
Jessica McLaughlin set up the GoFundMe page for Anderson’s family. She says she’s Anderson’s wife’s best friend.
“He recently made a video urging officers to stand for liberty and integrity, the video has gone viral and has been positively received across the nation!” she wrote.
“… His department the Port of Seattle Police is in the process of termination as the video was deemed a violation of policy. I am attempting to raise funds for them as they are going to seek legal representation and to help cover any costs that the unforeseen future brings during this drastic change in their lives. Thank you for your kind words and support.”
He has received support from a variety of corners, including average people who want their states to reopen, militia groups and the president’s son. Some support has come from extremist corners.
However, even the president’s son weighed in. Donald Trump Jr. commented, “great post, thank you” on Anderson’s original Instagram post.
Anderson said he had great respect for his chief of police but said the chief told him, “Greg if you openly defy your governor, you can’t be a police officer in the State of Washington.”
Anderson has been voicing similar views for some time. In April, Anderson wrote on Facebook:
Received my travel documents in the mail today. Listen I’m not downplaying the virus or the need for social distancing. My best friend on this earth is an ER physician in New York as we speak. I talked to him today for over an hour about the death and chaos overtaking that city. With that said, we social distance and stay at home out of respect for our elderly and vulnerable, not because our governors order it. Remember any law/ executive order that attempts to undermine the constitution is automatically invalidated.
That was determined in 1803. I’m a police officer and seeing these fucking cops all over the country acting like the Gestapo is making me fucking sick. Arresting paddle boarders, arresting a man playing catch with his young daughter, prohibiting church services, asking for travel papers! They have forcefully shut down our businesses/ livelihoods and detained us in our homes. You do NOT have that authority regardless of what your governor / overlord or agency thinks. Adhere to your fucking oath and serve the people. Refuse unlawful orders. Your actions will cause bloodshed and that’s on you! Kneel to no king, be Americans.
4. Anderson Joined the Port of Seattle Police Department After Serving in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment
Anderson said in the video that he was a special operations veteran who fought on the streets of Iraq “under the U.S. government’s guise of freedom, and I’m telling you what, the American people, you’re going to wake a sleeping giant, and they’re going to fight 10 times harder for their freedom on their soil than anything you’ve ever seen before.”
He said the “American spirit of defiance is going to rise again, and it’s gonna be a big problem for our country.” He said he once served in the Army.
“No matter what situation you’re put in, if you look inside yourself and ask yourself one question, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ If you ask yourself that, you know the answer.”
On Facebook, Anderson wrote that he “worked at The 75th Ranger Regiment” and “studied Exercise Sciences at American Military University.” He went to Snohomish Senior High School, lives in Lake Stevens, Washington, and is from Snohomish, Washington.
5. Anderson, a Father of 3, Is a Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt & Owns His Own Gym in Lake Stevens, Washington
On his Instagram page, Anderson wrote that he is a “father to 3 little ladies” and a “75th Vet” who is owner of Electric North Jiu Jitsu. His business Instagram page says, “Train Hard Train Often! We are team Checkmat out of Lake Stevens, WA. No easy rolls, Let’s train!”
He also indicates on Instagram that he is married and a “Jiu jitsu Blackbelt.” He is very into fitness, writing on Instagram a week ago, “46 hours into a 48 hour water fast. I felt surprisingly well during my WOD today, and it’s crazy how quickly you lean out on a fast! That said I can’t wait for a 🥩 in two hours! 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼” He fills his Instagram page with family photos.
Anderson said he doesn’t buy it when people say they’re just following orders or need to keep their job.
“Guess what, I need to keep this job more than anybody. I have three young children, I have two houses, and I have the same sob story the rest of you guys have,” he said.
He said it doesn’t allow him to “trample on people’s rights. You need to stand up for what’s right. If you’re a part of a department or agency that is asking their officers or deputies to impose on people’s rights and infringe on their freedoms, you need to say no.. and if that costs you your job, so be it. At least you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror at night.”
He said he comes from a department where he feels the chain of command shares his view.