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Revealed: Everett police union president James Collier's racist, conspiracy-laden tweets
The sergeant promoted election misinformation, pandemic conspiracies, and defended violence against Black Lives Matter protestors.
Yesterday, Local Crank described how the excuse given by active-duty Everett cop and police union president James T. Collier—that his teenage son was in fact the person running the Twitter account @JTC2014—was false. Today, we present more of the content shared by Sgt. Collier that concerned me and activist @mutualisk who analyzed the archived tweets. (I encourage readers to give them a follow)
One of the many great tragedies of the pandemic has been the heinous spread of conspiracy theories about COVID-19. With Everett having been the location of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the U.S., it’s especially troublesome that one of Everett’s police officers would not only believe in, but advance conspiracies about the virus that has killed over half a million Americans. Despite the carnage and his responsibility to community safety, he instead prioritized defying public health orders and needlessly put others at risk.
Going further, Sgt. Collier was active in pushing conspiracies about the origins of COVID-19, repeatedly alleging that it was artificially created and intentionally released by China.
On April 10, 2020, Sgt. Collier in a reply to far-right propagandist Dinesh D’Souza said that the pandemic was “predictable” because China is “churning out viruses every YEAR!!”
Sgt. Collier would also share tweets from other far-right figures like Tucker Carlson, who alleged on September 15, 2020 that a “Chinese whistleblower” admitted that COVID-19 “was made in a lab”.
During the onset of the pandemic, Sgt. Collier shared a tweet from local conservative talking head Jason Rantz’s with a false assertion that “China is responsible for the coronavirus”.
On April 16th, Sgt. Collier responded to Nazi-collaborator Jack Posobiec once again blaming China for the pandemic.
Sgt. Collier repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of public health officials and openly spread doubt on their guidance. On November 15, 2020 he alleged that the Washington Department of Health was tampering with case numbers in order to influence the election.
He made a similar statement on July 13, 2020 when Sgt. Collier expressed his concern that “Democrats will find a way to count votes in November like they count Covid cases now,” going on to speculate “How many ‘probably votes’ will be cast for Biden/Inslee through stolen mail-in ballots?”.
On April 12, 2020, Sgt. Collier repeated a lie that hospitals were not facing compounding crises due to an influx of pandemic victims. “Hospitals are NOT overrun with COVID-19,” he wrote.
Predictably, belief in these conspiracies meant that Sgt. Collier was vocal about his disapproval of Governor Inslee’s public health measures. He was one of many far-right agitators online demanding that any and all lockdown orders be immediately lifted, like what Texas and Mississipii have irresponsibly done.
There is recall effort underway against Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney is partly motivated by his refusal to enforce Governor Inslee’s stay-at-home order, and other public health measures. Does that mean we can recall Sgt. Collier from employment by EPD for the same reason?
Sadly, Sgt. Collier deleted his account shortly after the election on November 16th, but he wasted no time in the two weeks between then and the election spreading misinformation. For somebody trusted by the public to exercise their best judgement when making life-or-death decisions, it doesn’t bode well that one of those trusted individuals peddles baseless conspiracy theories.
The day after the election, Sgt. Collier alleged that results from Arizona were illegitimate and that election officials “got caught … so now [they’re] trying to cover it up”.
Also on November 4th, Sgt. Collier implied a belief that voter fraud was responsible for Trump’s defeat when responding to a tweet from @komonews: [The average man owns at least 11…] “Ballots for #Biden?”
On November 12th, Sgt. Collier tweeted “#Dominion”, a reference to a Trump tweet from earlier that day where the disgraced former president repeated a lie that votes were deleted by voter machine company Dominion.
A rejection of scientific facts and COVID-19 conspiracies go hand-in-hand. Of course then it isn’t surprising that Sgt. James Collier is also a climate denier. Despite decades of scientific evidence, and impacts of the climate crisis all around us, Sgt. Collier is firmly of the belief that it is all a hoax. How incredibly depressing for the parent of children who, by James’s age, will experience climate catastrophes beyond anything we’re experiencing right now, to completely dismiss the existential threat ahead of us.
Promoting and Defending Violence
Sgt. Collier is unapologetic of his hatred for the Movement for Black Lives, often posting content critical of their message of civil rights by parroting racist tropes. When reacting to violence committed against protestors, he universally dismisses any concerns about wrongdoing and instead places blame on the victims. For an officer in uniform, this is extremely concerning. For an officer tasked with investigating sex crimes, it’s even more deeply troubling.
On July 8, 2020, Sgt. Collier blamed Summer Taylor for her own murder in Seattle because of her participation in a Black Lives Matter protest in a public thoroughfare. He called the 24-year old victim of vehicular homicide protesting for civil rights a “terrorist”.
On July 5, 2020, Sgt. Collier said that protestors on Interstate 5 were acting like “children” by risking their lives to demand civil rights for People of Color.
In August 2020, Sgt. Collier shared posts from far-right personality James Woods defending Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin with an assault rifle he illegally obtained.
In September 2019, Sgt. Collier predicted and pushed for a “civil war” that would pit right-wing lunatics like him against anybody who would dare to think differently. “Better re-up,” Sgt. Collier wrote, “it’s coming”.
Sgt. Collier defended extremist former-Washington state legislator Matt Shea by casting doubt on a bipartisan report about the Spokane representative’s involvement with far-right anti-government militias.
If he were to become a dictator, Sgt. Collier said that he would ban the Democratic Party and “snowflakes”. A hypothetical that would essentially have to include the mass arrest of anybody regarded to be critical of his far-right ideology.
In June 2020, Sgt. Collier defended Nikolas Fernandez, a radical right-wing counterprotestor who shot Black Lives Matter activists in Seattle. “Thank you for letting me know,” Sgt. Collier said in reaction to news about a fundraiser for the attacker’s legal fees, “I will be donating to Nikko”.
Repeating Racist Propaganda
Knowingly or not, Sgt. James Collier has—more than once—repeated propaganda boosted by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Eager to discredit any notion of a link between white supremacy, radical right-wing extremists, and anti-BLM rhetoric, Sgt. Collier was downright giddy to learn that Summer Taylor’s attackers were not white. Fascists and extremists allied to white supremacists do not have to be white, but nevertheless, Sgt. Collier felt a personal responsibility to argue that fact invalidated any point civil rights protestors wanted to make about the political beliefs of their opponents. “White supremacist, eh?!” Collier tweeted, “Nice try! #truthovertrump liar! #Trump2020”.
This kind of propaganda tactic is nothing new. Fascists and white supremacists jump on any opportunity they can to either “flip the logic” on racism by either demonstrating that some right-wing extremists can be People of Color or pointing to white victims of crime and ask where the outrage is. Sgt. Collier did the latter when using the death of Cannon Hinnant in an attempt to undermine Black Lives Matter. “All [the media is] focusing on is trying to make us believe race and anti-white hatred had zero part in this,” wrote a neo-Nazi on the white supremacist forum Stormfront, “links below if you want to see how the media is spinning this, and attempting to direct the lemmings mind back to [George Floyd]”. White supremacist Nick Fuentes called for Hinnant’s killer, a Black man, to be “lynched”.
Hinnant’s death was indeed a tragedy, and his killer was brought to justice. The same cannot be said for Trayvon Martin. Or Sandra Bland. Or Breonna Taylor. Or Tamir Rice. Or Freddie Gray. However, the willful ignorance of racists in order to resolve the delusionary thinking of their hate was something that Sgt. Collier participated in.
Sgt. Collier also liked to supply his media diet with a healthy dose of racists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. “The #Democrats want open borders. Radical Islam is here!!!” he wrote in response to an article from far-right website Breitbart, formerly headed by Trump special advisor (and white nationalist) Steve Bannon. To satisfy his cravings for hateful and prejudiced media, Sgt. Collier was an early adopter of Parler, a “free speech” social media site modeled after Twitter that became a haven for racists banned from other platforms. “Ditto did the same,” Sgt. Collier tweeted to Jason Rantz after he mentioned he registered on Parler himself. Both Rantz and Collier were among the first 20% of users on the platform famous for hosting racists.
Sgt. James Collier is not fit to be a cop, but his role as president of the police union makes me seriously question the beliefs of the rank and file in the Everett Police Department. His colleagues and friends must be aware of his violent, racist, and hateful views and either agree with him, or turn a blind eye.
We agree, James, lying cops should be ousted. Let’s start with you.