The state of Washington became a hotbed of far-left lawlessness amid nationwide anti-police protests and riots in 2020, resulting in dangerous experiments like Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which was an area essentially abandoned by local law enforcement.
The mayor of another Washington city had no problem getting authorities involved, however, when she encountered a group of individuals gathering signatures for a petition outside of a Walmart in Yakima recently.
Mayor Janice Deccio is now facing local backlash and even calls for censure after calling 911 to report “some far-right-wing petitioners” who refused to leave the premises.
The incident occurred earlier this month and involved volunteers who sought to attract support for a slate of ballot initiatives that the mayor clearly found objectionable. When she contacted authorities, though, she was informed that state law permits the individuals to remain at the location and gather signatures unless Walmart chose to obtain a court order instructing them to leave.
Deccio reportedly admitted during the 911 call that her complaint was not an emergency, prompting conservative radio host Ari Hoffman’s attempt to find out more about her motives.
When he reached her for a comment, she simply stated: “Good morning, Ari. Thank you for reaching out and for your concern. Have a great day.”
She did provide a slightly longer response to the controversy during a subsequent city council meeting, reiterating her initial claim that “an extreme right-wing group was petitioning at Walmart and creating problems for shoppers.”
Without specifying why she labeled the volunteers as “extreme,” the mayor went on to admit that she did not “even know what they were petitioning about.”
Of course, she is not the only local leader who railed against the mere presence of individuals who did not espouse a leftist worldview. Former Democratic congressional candidate Doug White denounced the petitioners in a social media post at the time.
Illegal petitioners outside west valley Walmart. They have been trying to get rid of them for a week but refuse to leave. Police and sheriff will do nothing. Sgt Shepard of the YPD states “it’s their constitutional right”. Do you agree? What will you do about it? pic.twitter.com/9q2Hro9YyT
— Doug White (@DougWhiteRAU) September 3, 2023
Deccio has since issued a statement that stopped short of apologizing for her behavior.
“I admit I was unaware of all the nuances of the law at that time, though, and, in hindsight, I could have waited to hear from the chief,” she said. “No one told the group they couldn’t petition, and it was certainly not my intention to stop them.”