However, it’s not the cop’s blatant disregard for the law that ends up being the most infuriating part of the newly released video.
It’s the two “confidential informants” that confront Seim for “harassing” the officer.
The ones outed by Soap Lake police officer Ryan Cox at 2:30 in the video. The ones who later outed themselves when they confronted Seim after the 8:00 mark.
The video posted below, which was recorded last year but posted Friday, shows Cox operating an unmarked Chevy Tahoe in a parking lot while talking with the two young men. After the men walked away from the vehicle, Seim moves in with his camera recording and starts to ask the officer about his vehicle markings, or lack thereof.
But before Seim can even formulate a question, the officer rolls up his window and drives away. Unsatisfied with the officers answer and conduct, Seim gave chase and caught up with the officer again at the police station. In a town that covers only 1.25 square miles, it’s hard for police duck a relentless activist, such as Seim.
Clearly perturbed, officer Cox answers with a stern “NO” when asked for the second time if the vehicle had any markings. He further makes it clear to Seim that he is audio and video recording– a defense mechanism cops often display when being filmed by citizens.
“I’m trying to do an investigation and you’re interrupting me,” Cox explains. “You’re obstructing my investigation.”
Seim questions the officers claim that he was “investigating” anything, since the men walked away from his vehicle. Cox then blows the cover on his investigation by outing two “confidential informants” who would later steal the show.
“I’m trying to get confidential informants to talk to me and you keep interrupting that.” Cox replied.
After pleading with the officer to answer the question as to why the vehicle is unmarked in violation of state law, the officer refused. He just kept claiming that Seim was interrupting and obstructing an investigation, but we all know if Seim were really violating any laws, he would have been arrested as a retaliatory measure. Undeterred by the officers unwillingness to talk, Seim continues to relentlessly question the officer and even follows him inside the tiny police station.
As the officer attempts to escape the bright lights of citizen accountability, he runs for cover in the back room of the police station, safe from all those pesky citizens who expose police who believe they are exempt from the law. However, Seim went as far as sticking his foot in the door as the officer tried to shut it in his face.
“Talk to the Chief on Monday, he makes all the decisions about the cars.” Cox deflected.
Seim continued his questioning, “How does that make you feel that you’re not in compliance with the law? Does that bother you?”
The officer seemed to have a moment of self reflection as he stood speechless for a few seconds, unable to formulate any sort of defense for the ironic situation of breaking “the law” which police so often claim to risk their lives to defend. The only response he could muster was, “Could you move your foot, please, sir?”
Cox eventually threatens to escort Seim off the premises and slams the door shut, claiming that he will continue the conversation at the window, with a pane of glass separating the public servant from the citizen. Instead, the officer closes the window blinds in what could only be described as a metaphor for government transparency.
Just as Seim gives up on getting any sort of answer from officer Cox, he encounters another unmarked police vehicle driven by a Soap Lake officer. When confronted on the vehicle markings, the officer only responds, “thank you,” and disappears through the same door that officer Cox disappeared through just moments earlier.
At this point, most activists would have packed it up and called it a day, but not Seim, he was just getting started. Officer Cox eventually made his way back to his unmarked vehicle and Seim continued his pursuit.
“Window down, now! Down! Officer Cox, roll down your window please,” Seim demanded in a voice similar to that of an authoritative police officer during traffic stop.
Seim then repeatedly knocked on the officers window, reminiscent of the Virginia police officer who knocked on Leeshun William’s window for several minutes while he ate oatmeal. Officer Cox ignored the knocking until Seim eventually gave up. However, as Seim was making his way back to his vehicle, he was approached by the very “confidential informants” that the officer referenced in his earlier conversation.
The men, who appear to be in their early twenties took issue with Seim “harassing” a public servant who demonstrated no regard for the law, or a citizens complaint. Seim attempted to explain to the men, who are most likely low level drug informants, that the officer is not a private citizen and he works for him, therefore is subject to public grievances. Apparently the men hadn’t thought critically about where police draw their salaries or who they actually serve.
“He [the officer] doesn’t work you! Do you pay him to work for you?” one man asked
“Absolutely I pay him, I pay him with my taxes” Seim responded
Realizing that he had just been schooled, the man then claims that the officer “keeps us safe,” and therefore is somehow immune to criticism or the perceived harassment by a citizen. The men told Seim that he should get in his “fucking car” and leave, and implied that the “problems” in that town were a result of liberty activists like Seim.
Seim then asked the man if he knew and respected the Constitution, and he replied that “he didn’t know the Constitution.”
Seim offered them a copy.
“I don’t want the fucking copy bro.”
Seim asked the men, “don’t you know this is your liberty, guys? How old are you?”
As Seim held up a pocket Constitution to the men, they angrily replied:
“I don’t care about your Constitution. Fuck the Constitution. Fuck it. Why don’t you just take a shit, and wipe it [with the Constitution].”
Seim responded “I don’t care if you don’t like it, its the law and it will be followed in this country.”
As Seim continued to be verbally confronted by two men in the police station parking lot, officer Cox decided to drive away leaving his “confidential informants,” alone with Seim. Luckily, the verbal dispute never became physical and the men eventually left.
Gavin Seim has been on a crusade against unmarked police vehicles since this video was recorded. He has single handily made millions of people aware of local Washington police departments violating the law by confronting and recording officers who drive unmarked cars.
One video which went viral last fall, shows Seim pulling over an officer in a complete citizen-police officer role reversal. Seim even asks the officer for identification, registration, and proof of insurance, which the officer surprisingly provides. After a long lecture about the importance of police vehicle markings, Seim let the officer off with a “verbal warning.”
However, the officer seemed genuinely unaware of the law, and seemed to be concerned. A far cry from the behavior of the Soap Lake officers in Seim’s latest video.
But after his videos led to a public discussion of the law, a bill was introduced, which if passed, would allow cops to drive unmarked cars for “special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.”
While many see Seim’s tactics as extreme, they are not as disturbing as the citizens who are quick to defend police misconduct, regardless if police are clearly in the wrong.
I say with confidence that the majority of the world is unaware, or unwilling to admit, that centralized authority, left unchecked, will metastasize into violence against the very people they supposedly serve.
Seim summed up his motives quite nicely in a comment below his video:
America may be toast. That does not mean liberty is. But if liberty is lost, children will never say, you didn’t even try.