First Responders

Officer Greg Anderson on Administrative Leave After Social Media Video

May 12, 2020Joshua Skovlund
Greg Anderson Coffee or Die

Greg Anderson, a law enforcement officer with the Port of Seattle Police Department and veteran of the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, has been threatened with termination of duty after posting a video to Instagram on May 5 detailing his views on enforcing restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anderson’s video has been viewed millions of times since it was posted, and stoked conversation around the country about the boundaries between constitutional rights and public health measures.

“We need to start looking at ourselves as officers, and thinking … is what I’m doing right.” Anderson said in the now-viral video. He went on to request that all fellow police officers cease any further “tyrannical orders against the people,” explaining that arresting people for going to church, surfing, and other “banned” activities are de facto arrests and unconstitutional.

[ig_post url=”” /]

Anderson expressed anger toward officers who are arresting people for reasons that violate the Constitution. He said that they are endangering him and other fellow officers.

“I’m afraid that these actions are going to wake a sleeping giant — i.e., the American people,” he said, adding that stripping rights from Americans will lead to bloodshed in the streets. He said that he believes it would take 10 minutes for the American people to strip law enforcement powers away from police. He urged fellow officers to stand up for what’s right and not follow the unlawful orders. “You don’t get to trample on people’s liberty.” 

Anderson also talked in the video about his combat experiences overseas. He had a foreboding message about the American citizens: “They are going to fight 10 times harder for their freedom on their soil than anything you’ve ever seen before.” He went on to say that the American spirit of defiance will be a force to be reckoned with.

greg anderson
Greg Anderson working out in a photo posted to his Instagram. Photo courtesy of Greg Anderson/Instagram

According to a follow up video that Anderson posted on Instagram titled “A Hill I’ll Die On,” he initially received a message from his chain of command commending him on his video and that they 100 percent agreed with him. Three hours later, Anderson’s command called him back and informed him that his video was now at 400,000 views and that they were ordered to tell him to take it down. His response to the order? “No, I can’t take the video down. If you believe in something in your heart, you have to stand by that conviction, even if it costs you everything.”

Following the second exchange with his command, Anderson said he received another call from his command demanding that he take the video down and accept a letter of reprimand or “we’re going to take a very different approach to this if you say no again.” Anderson said that his command was accusing him of violating different policies, often changing their reasoning for the reprimand. He went on to say that he had already put himself on this hill and he’s willing to die for it, and that he would have to respectfully decline. 

According to Anderson, the Chief of Police later called him and told him that if he openly defies his governor that he wouldn’t be a police officer in the state of Washington. Anderson said that the Constitution takes precedence over any unjust laws, quoting case laws that support his stance.

[ig_post url=”” /]

Anderson further clarified that he was “trying to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the public.” He believes that doing what is right will prevent clashes between the American people and law enforcement.

Anderson said he is now on administrative leave for refusing a direct order, which is an insubordination charge. At the time of publication, neither the Port of Seattle Police Department nor Officer Greg Anderson had responded to requests for an interview.


Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Dear Jack: I'm Retiring From The Military — Help!

In this installment of “Dear Jack,” Marine veteran Jack Mandaville helps a career service member figure out life after retirement.

March 31, 2023Jack Mandaville
navy chaplains suicide prevention
US Navy Deploys More Chaplains For Suicide Prevention

Growing mental health distress in the ranks carries such grave implications that the U.S. chief of n...

March 31, 2023Associated Press
ukraine lessons learned
Opinion & Essay
Nolan Peterson: Lessons From Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

After living in and reporting from Ukraine the last nine years, conflict journalist Nolan Peterson h...

March 30, 2023Nolan Peterson
black hawk crash kentucky
9 Killed In Army Black Hawk Helicopter Crash In Kentucky

Nondice Thurman, a spokesperson for Fort Campbell, said Thursday morning that the deaths happened the previous night in southwestern Kentucky during a routine training mission.

March 30, 2023Associated Press
richard stayskal act military medical malpractice
DOD Denies Most Stayskal Act Malpractice Claims

Master Sgt. Richard Stayskal was diagnosed with lung cancer long after military doctors missed a tum...

March 29, 2023Maggie BenZvi
ukrainian wounded soldiers
‘On Tour In Hell’: Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Evacuated

With bandaged heads and splinted limbs, the wounded soldiers are stretchered into the waiting medica...

March 27, 2023Associated Press
US oil mission
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria After Drone Kills US Worker

While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded airstrikes in Syria, the attack and the ...

March 24, 2023Associated Press
The Gift jason dunham
‘The Gift’ Explores the Life and Legacy of Medal of Honor Recipient Jason Dunham

"The Gift" tells the story of the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. ...

March 24, 2023Mac Caltrider
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved