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Island County prosecutor addresses vulgar, anti-Republican post

Deception Pass State Park in Island County. (AP)

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks doesn’t hold back on his Facebook page — and he’s back at it again.

In the past, his posts have included the sharing of a meme implying that Trump voters were KKK members, and a statement that those who voted for Trump were “racist bullies with second-grade intellects and behavior disorders.”

After making those posts earlier this year, he issued a formal apology to his staff.

“I took responsibility for that — I think that was going too far. I mean, I’m like a lot of people, and we get on social media, we re-post these memes,” he said. “I had to step back and say, ‘You know, it’s easy to click a button and put that stuff out there … but yeah, I was wrong.'”

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He told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that he certainly does not believe every person who voted for Trump is like the people depicted in his social media posts. He noted that family members, friends, and colleagues have all cast their vote for the current president and are “fine people.”

However, Banks took to social media to vent against conservatives again this week. In a post showing a chart with tax rates, however, he wrote, “Dear Republicans: Shut the f*** up, already.”

“I intended that to be directed at the Trump administration and the Republican Congresspeople that jammed this tax cut through that benefits the wealthy … I guess I should have said ‘Republican leaders,'” he said.

Dori asked if he was concerned that any Trump supporters arrested for crimes in Island County might fear, based on these posts, that their prosecutor wouldn’t be fair to them.

Banks responded that he is an “equal opportunity prosecutor,” and that no one in his office has ever made any complaint of his ethics.

“We don’t ask people, ‘Who’d you vote for, what’s your party?’ I would never really know that,” he said. “The charges we make are based on the evidence, and then they’re reviewed by a judge. When we file charges, the very first thing we do is put it in front of a judge.”

He noted that in Washington, the Legislature has made the office of a prosecutor a partisan one. Still he said that he has never used political party as a reason for making a decision in the filing of charges.

The latest social media post was different from the previous ones because it was not “impugning the character” of Republican voters, he said.

“The post that went after the character of people I don’t know because they belong to a group was wrong,” he said.

He acknowledged that with the country’s current political polarization, “social media is causing all of us, in our discourse, to just sort of be decayed, and we’ve lowered ourselves.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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