Spokane, Wash. -KXLY4 TV issued a report, claiming that a Spokane Valley couple “tried to provoke a confrontation” with a deputy by following him in their SUV. The report admits that the activity “is not illegal” and that the couple was not arrested, but in the reporter’s opinion it is a “tremendous distraction” and speculated that the couple “were looking for trouble.”
The report looks like a propaganda piece in support of the embattled Sheriff. Following (and filming) police is not illegal for a good reason: it is the duty of the citizens to monitor police activities and make sure the cops are not abusing their authority. Recent cases involving the killings or mistreatment of citizens at the hands of the Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies prove that there is an urgent need for citizen oversight of the SCSO, and Sheriff Knezovich’s opposition to the establishment of an independent Citizen’s Oversight Board is forcing people to take it upon themselves to “police the police”.
The report concluded:
If you don’t care about nervous deputies who are now looking over their shoulders at people following them, consider this: A number of deputies were drawn away from patrolling neighborhoods and businesses so they could help figure out why the driver of the SUV was following this deputy.
If the deputies were drawn away from activities such as harassing a peaceful pro-life protester, humiliating a man in front of his neighbors while looking for porn at the wrong house, arresting a citizen who did not want to abandon his teenage niece with two male sheriff’s deputies, killing a pastor on his property, or running over a 15-year old boy while traveling at twice the speed limit, may we suggest that it may not be such a bad thing?