Rantz: Seattle cops forced to give personal texts, financial records to city under termination threat

Jun 15, 2021, 6:37 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2021, 5:20 am

Six Seattle police officers who attended President Donald Trump’s January 6 speech are being forced to prove their innocence during an investigation. And if they don’t submit personal documents to the city, they face termination.

The investigation into the officers began in January. Two officers posted photos on social media showing themselves at Trump’s speech at the Capitol. Then four other officers self-reported they, too, were in D.C. Each officer was on vacation, and none were in uniform.

Though there was no evidence that any of the officers participated in the riot, the civilian-led Office of Police Accountability (OPA) began a proactive investigation to see if any of the officers broke any laws. Months into the investigation, sources say no evidence has emerged of any wrongdoing. And none of the officers have been federally charged for any illegal behavior. That doesn’t mean OPA won’t offer findings of guilt against an officer for witnessing an illegal act at the Capitol without reporting it.

But now a new demand: Turn over private documents or be fired.

Rantz: Seattle City Dept. defends vicious all-staff email labeling cops white supremacists

Police ordered to turn over private documents

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has confirmed that the OPA ordered the officers to turn over several personal documents around their trip to D.C.

The documents include text messages to family or friends, photographs taken while in D.C. on vacation, receipts from hotels or restaurants they patronized, and even personal bank records during the time they were there.

According to an internal email from the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) to members, obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, “the city told us that Director Myerberg’s order was supported with the threat of termination.”

“I can confirm that OPA has ordered the officers to provide evidence of their whereabouts and activities on January 6 and, specifically, during the time that the insurrection was ongoing within and around the U.S. Capitol. This includes receipts, texts, photographs, and records of financial transactions,” OPA director Andrew Myerberg explained to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

OPA wasn’t done prying into the personal lives of the officers.

Police were asked questions about politics

At least some of the officers were also asked personal questions about their political beliefs by OPA. It’s unclear what specific questions were asked by OPA. Given the investigation, the officers were likely asked if they thought the election was stolen or if they attended the rally because they believed claims made by then-President Trump over election integrity.

At the time, SPOG leadership objected to the questioning.

“In several of the interviews, the named employees were ordered to answer personal protected political questions that in SPOG’s view had absolutely no bearing on this investigation,” SPOG president Mike Solan wrote in an email to members. “Our board of director representatives vehemently objected to these questions for the record as they were improper and exemplified a violation of civil rights.”

In Seattle, political ideology is a protected class under its discrimination law. It is also illegal to retaliate against someone based on their ideology.

What due process?

Myerberg insists these officers are being treated fairly.

“Officers are entitled to all of the rights and privileges set forth in the contract, including the officer bill of rights, as well as protections under city, state, and federal law,” he tells me.

But these officers are not being afforded legal protections. There was no evidence presented showing a crime, and yet they still face an investigation for engaging in indisputably protected political speech. City employees are legally allowed to attend a speech by the president, even if it’s Trump.

These officers aren’t afforded due process. And it comes off as less of an investigation and more of a politically-driven witch hunt.

OPA effectively asks the officers to prove they didn’t commit any crimes instead of relying on any evidence to show anything occurred beyond a trip to see the president. And to ask any political question is a remarkable abuse. The political positions of any of the officers, including their thoughts on the election, are irrelevant. Not a single answer to a political question would establish if an officer committed a crime.

War on Cops

It’s important to note this investigation is happening while progressives engage in a war on cops. Activists already falsely claim these officers were part of the riots. And city leaders have shown little interest in defending the police, let alone ensuring officers are treated fairly.

Last week, I broke the story of a leadership member of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) who sent a vicious, all-staff email condemning police as white supremacists. Rather than apologize for the employee’s email, a department spokesperson defended it.

The Seattle City Council is still trying to defund the police. They even want to fire officers based on their skin color (well, if they are white). Councilmember Kshama Sawant helped fuel the armed insurrection that created the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, chasing police out of their own precinct for a lawless zone where two Black teens were murdered. Councilmember Theresa Mosqueda even defended a man who threatened to murder police.

Rantz: Police officer cleared of wrongdoing after smear by Seattle Times

Who is looking out for them? Certainly not the media, which will hardly put pressure on the city to ensure fairness. Many reporters actively try to smear cops. The Seattle Times employs left-wing, anti-police staff like Mike Carter. When not smearing cops with hit pieces, the Times generally only covers law enforcement stories they can frame as anti-police.

Can the police get a fair shake in this city? It’s hard enough as it is.

So how is it appropriate to investigate police then effectively demand they provide evidence to clear themselves? Shouldn’t you have a reasonable suspicion of lawlessness or even evidence to justify an investigation to begin with?

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee speaks prior to U.S. President Joe Biden's appearance at Green...
MyNorthwest Staff

Gas shortages and record high prices plague Washington drivers

Gas stations in Washington are resetting their price boards to accommodate double digits in preparation for fuel prices potentially reaching $10 a gallon.
22 hours ago
Car Shot Seattle...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man nearly murdered in random Seattle drive-by while celebrating job promotion

My 25-year-old coworker had just finished hitting a bucket of golf balls at a North Seattle golf range. Moments later, his elation turned to terror as a man tried to murder him.
4 days ago
Bellingham Sex Shop...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School Board director hosts ‘Queer Youth Open Mic’ at sex shop

Unless Jenn Mason clears out the store, those children will be near sex toys, graphic books, and lingerie, with a curtained doorway keeping them away.
5 days ago
King County Courthouse from City Hall (flickr creative commons)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle judge slapped in the face, but refused to report assault to police

The unidentified suspect allegedly slapped a King County Superior Court Judge in the face, but the judge didn't want to be identified as a victim.
6 days ago
(Seattle Police Department)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Victim died as medics waited for critically understaffed Seattle Police to arrive to scene

Due to critically low staffing, Seattle Police were unable to quickly respond to a deadly hit and run as medics waited to be cleared to treat the victim.
7 days ago
Police officers block a street as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) ar...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Did Seattle councilmembers abuse police help, while defunding department?

I didn't come up empty-handed because I have no idea whether or not it's true. In this case, I was stopped from doing a part of my job.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Rantz: Seattle cops forced to give personal texts, financial records to city under termination threat