Spokane sheriff criticizes HuffPost story on arrest of Democratic Socialist co-chair

Last week HuffPost published a story about the arrest of Jeremy Logan in Spokane, WA. Logan is a co-chair of the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America and, according to him, he was “abducted” by unidentifed officers who put him in an unmarked van.

Jeremy Logan — a 40-year-old DSA member, tenants rights organizer, and owner of a painting company ― believes the whole ordeal was either an attempt to pressure him into providing intel on his fellow anti-fascist activists, or retaliation for past statements he’s made criticizing police…

It all started at around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, Logan told HuffPost, after he parked his car near the site of a protest against police brutality in Spokane. As he walked to join up with a few friends on their way to the protest, Logan says he found himself suddenly apprehended by two men, one of whom wore a green tactical vest and was carrying a gun.

About four other men, all in plainclothes, also suddenly surrounded Logan. They threw him into the back of an unmarked silver Dodge Caravan, telling him he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant…

Logan says the officers never showed him a badge and repeatedly refused to identify the agencies for which they worked. They also made contradictory statements about the alleged warrant, at different times saying it had been issued in Chelan or Okanogan counties. Spokane, where the arrest took place, is in Spokane County…

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office initiated Logan’s arrest, Cpl. Mark Gregory told HuffPost in an email, “because we learned he had a valid felony warrant.”

“He has made threatening public statements toward law enforcement in the past,” Gregory said, although he would not elaborate on the nature of the supposed statements. (Logan laughed at the accusation that he’d somehow threatened cops. “I’ve been really critical,” he said, “but never made a threat of any kind.”)

So that’s what happened according to Jeremy Logan and HuffPost. He is being persecuted for his beliefs by people who wore no badges and, oh yeah, he never made any threats against police.

Yesterday, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich held a press conference to discuss Logan’s claims as they appeared in the HuffPost story. “I’m a little dumbfounded that I’m actually doing this press conference because and individual was arrested that had a warrant, ” Sheriff Knezovich said. He then brought up a slide showing the HuffPost story and read part of the headline and a summary of the claims in the story.

The sheriff said the only true part of what he’d read is that he is not a fan of Antifa. But in order to make the point that his views were not based on political partisanship, Sheriff Knezovich spent the next several minutes reviewing the fact that he had warned the community in the past about white supremacists who were in the area. “For me, law enforcement isn’t about politics it’s about keeping you safe. And if there’s a threat on the left or the right I will let you know,” he said. He showed slides of several white supremacist groups that his office had gone after and put in jail. Then he turned back to the HuffPost story.

“Never showed him badges. Nope, they did show him badges. They actually had the badges hanging around their neck,” he said adding that Logan’s claim to the contrary was “Not a true statement.”

As for the county from which the warrant arose, the Sheriff said the deputies involved “may have been a bit confused” because the warrant mentions all three counties. He explained that police had been looking to arrest Logan on the warrant since June and had even gone to his house but he disappeared for a while. They later found out he had gone to Seattle to spend time at CHAZ/CHOP. When he returned, they learned he was back, found out where he was and arrested him before he got to the site of the protest because they didn’t want to risk making the arrest in the midst of other activists which might incite them.

The sheriff also said Logan’s claim that he never made any threatening comments about police was false. Later he put up an image taken from Facebook in which Logan had written, “I am not going to lie. I want to take these pigs heads off with a hand saw.” He then posted a photograph of Logan brandishing a machete.

The Sheriff wrapped up his statement with this: “I just want to close it this way. For eight years I warned you about the right…I’ve also warned you about the left. And I’m watching the left act exactly like the right did…but it’s time for you to come to a realization that we got a problem here.”

Here’s the full press conference featuring Sheriff Knezovich: