Yakima Mayor Calls 911 About ‘Right-Wing Signature Collectors’
Yakima Mayor Janice Decio is being questioned about why she called 911 on what she calls “right-wing signature gatherers” on Sept. 3 in hopes police would respond to a West Valley Walmart store. Listen to the 9-1-1 call below.
During the call, Decio identified herself as the mayor of Yakima
In the call, which KIT News obtained through a public records request, Decio says she received a call from a constituent that “there are far-right petitioners at the West Yakima Walmart.” Desio says in the call that she also sent a message to Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray about signature collectors.
Officers did not respond to the store for good reason
Collecting signatures is a right protected by the Constitution. State law allows signatures to be collected on private property like Walmart’s as long as it doesn’t interfere with the business or customers. Both Decio and Vice Mayor Sonia Lund were told they needed a court order to remove the “right-wing signature gatherers.” Former Democratic congressional candidate Doug White also called police on the same day, calling them “far-right signature gatherers who should be removed from Walmart property.”
The mayor also sent an email to Police Chief Matthew Murray
Email sent to Chief Matthew Murray from the Mayor on the day she contacted police, September 3.
Good morning, Chief Murray
I just received a phone call from a constituent that there were far-right petitioners at the West Yakima Walmart.
Walmart apparently asked them to leave and called the police to remove them. The police came but told
Walmart can’t force them to leave. If the landlords want them to vacate the building, why can’t the police?
Get them off the property? They are not on public property. Can you tell me if this can be addressed? Thanks.
Mayor Desio was not available for comment Friday. We’ll keep trying to get to her this week.
Tim Eyman is expected to visit Yakima this week
Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman says in light of what happened, he will help collect signatures at the West Valley Walmart on Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. He says he will also attend the Yakima City Council meeting Tuesday night in hopes of confronting the city’s mayor about why she called the police on the signature gatherers.
Listen to the call:
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(tags for translation) Yakima News