In what can only be described as the ultimate turning of the tables, a video has emerged of one clued-up Washington state citizen pulling over a policeman and issuing him with a warning for illegally patrolling in an unmarked vehicle.
“Constitutional activist”, Gavin Seim, spotted the unmarked patrol car while driving in Grant County, Washington, last Saturday, and decided to question the officer inside on the legality of his actions.
Approaching the vehicle, Seim asks the officer, who is later identified as Deputy Canfield of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, whether he is using the vehicle as part of registered undercover work, or whether it is being used for a patrol.
When the Deputy Canfield admits that he is using the vehicle for a patrol, Seim explains to Deputy Canfield that he is in fact breaking the law.
According to Washington state law, it is illegal for any non-state officer to carry out patrols in an unmarked vehicle and that any officer found carrying out an unmarked patrol could be arrested as a result.
The shocked Deputy then tells Seim, “This is not a game.”
To which Seim replies, “You are right, this isn’t a game, it is the law.”
After checking the officer’s ID, Seim says that in this instance he will only give the officer a warning in this instance and advises the officer to drive back to the station and talk to the sheriff about the incident.
The law which was brought in in 1937, and then clarified in 1975, states that “vehicle marking exemption for vehicles used by sheriffs, local police and local peace officers is continued but is limited to vehicles used for undercover or confidential investigative purposes” and was implemented to provide better public visibility of government owned vehicles.”
There is a precedent for the law too, when in 1999 a man escaped being charged after a chase, because the police car that was following him had been unmarked.
Gavin Seim, who is a former US Congressional challenger, describes himself as a constitutional activist and has a history of questioning officers that are seen, by Seim, to be violating the constitution or state laws.
According to Seim, the reason behind his actions are to “hold police and other state authorities accountable” and ensure that government are stopped from “disdaining the people and the law.”
The video has grown in popularity since being uploaded earlier this week, and has so far been viewed by nearly half a million Youtube users.