Seattle police officers take a stand, hang Gadsden flags from patrol car windows

Gadsden flags were photographed unfurled from the windows of Seattle police officers’ cars ahead of Washington state’s vaccine mandate going into effect next Monday that could result in up to 40 percent of the police force being terminated.

“Some officers plan on taking time off to decide what they will do long term. They don’t seem eager to stay with SPD. Others explained that they are going to leave the SPD by the end of the year as a result of this,” KTTH radio show host Jason Rantz tweeted. “Officers took these photos in protest of the mandate.”

State employees are being required to submit proof of vaccination by Monday. The police union is pushing back against the mandate looking for alternatives to keep officers from leaving an already gutted force during a crimewave. Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan remarked that officers will not be immediately terminated but they will face a “Loudermill hearing.” That is a hearing where they can make their case explaining why they refuse to comply with the mandate.

“Crime is surging in this city. Our community is demanding more police officers to answer the 911 calls, and the fact that we’ve already lost close to 350 police officers because of the politicians’ political betrayal,” Solan noted.

He remarked that before George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May 2020, city officials called SPD a “model department” when it came to police reform. But that all changed after Floyd’s death.

“This is the last straw with them as they feel that they’ve been targeted for just being cops here in the city, as they think that this mandate has been politicized,” Solan said, according to MyNorthwest.

It’s not just the police who are upset either. Thousands protested outside Washington state’s Capitol Building over the mandate earlier in October.

“We’re adults and we know how to take care of ourselves,” Kelly Coyle, who is a former state Department of Transportation employee, said during the protest. “I don’t believe you should force someone to inject something in their body that they don’t want and lose your livelihood.” She was reportedly forced into early retirement over Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate for state workers.

The demonstrators sang the national anthem and waved American flags. They held signs reading, “Stand for health freedom” and “No forced vaccination.”

Maher Youssef, who owns Youssef’s Pluto Organic Café in Belltown, fears for his safety already and the enforced mandate and further loss of police officers is ratcheting up his anxiety.

“I feel like I’m on my own. I can’t get help from anywhere. I just open the door every day and don’t know if I’m going to go home safe and good to my family or if something is going to happen,” he worried. “The tourists are not going to come, the people are not going to go out of their home to buy things. It’s going to be like a ghost city,” he told KING5 News last week.

On Friday, one patrol officer videoed himself saying that it was his last shift on the force because he is refusing to get the vaccine. He then gave a blistering message to Inslee.

“I wish I could say more, but this is it so state 10-34, this is the last time you’ll hear me in a state patrol car. And Jay Inslee can kiss my a**,” trooper Robert LaMay proclaimed during the video.

The officer thanked his colleagues for their work and told them he was asked to leave “because I am dirty.”

Seattle is not the only city where this is occurring.

Officers are threatening to walk out and quit in Chicago rather than submit to the mandate. John Catanzara, who is the president of the FOP local in Chicago, said approximately half of his members have not been vaccinated and called a mandate requiring inoculation “absolutely wrong, ” according to the Seattle Times.

In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated that he won’t force his 18,000 employees to be vaccinated despite a county mandate. “I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight,” he commented last week.

Hundreds of police officers in San Diego said they would consider quitting as well instead of complying with a vaccine mandate. And there are officers in many other cities claiming they will do the same if forced to choose.

(Video Credit: NBC News)


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