MOSES LAKE — Gavin Seim has not revealed when or if he will return to the United States from Mexico to deal with his current charges in Grant County District Court. One thing that Seim is adamant about is that there is conspiracy against him and he will not comply.
Videos released by Seim on Friday indicate he has left the country for Mexico. Seim is currently charged in Grant County District Court with harassment and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, with the case tentatively set to go to trial Dec. 8.
He was arrested back in August after an encounter at the Ephrata Walmart with Ephrata Police Department Officer Patrick Canady. Court records allege Seim was video recording the officer, who was on a traffic stop, on his phone. Canady states Seim's overall demeanor made him feel uncomfortable and Seim was ultimately arrested, booked into the Grant County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bail.
The prosecution has been unable to crack Seim's password protected device, with Deputy Prosecutor Marc Fedorak filing a motion for a judge to consider forcing Seim to unlock the phone. Judge pro-tem Mark Chmielewski previously ruled there was probable cause for Seim's arrest and the device was properly seized.
Seim took issue with both rulings and has maintained that Canady “broke the law” when he performed the arrest. In an email sent to the Herald, Seim alleges that Canady broke the law again when he “lied” in the police report he submitted on the August arrest about a past video Seim released of a December 2014 run-in with the officer.
In his police report Canady laid out a series of past encounters with Seim, with the officer stating that during the December 2014 encounter Seim gave him an ultimatum to stop what he was doing or else. In his email to the Herald, Seim sent a link to the video, which is posted on his YouTube channel and has over 100,000 views to date. In the video, Canady shines a light in Seim's direction, as the officer was on a night traffic stop.
In the video Seim can be heard telling Canady, “This better not happen again, Canady. Do I make myself clear?” Seim was not arrested for harassment or making threats in connection with the incident.
Seim goes on in the email to state that at a Sept. 13 hearing Judge Janis Whitener-Moberg “tried to skip past the probable cause hearing,” which is required by Washington's court rules. He says he “pressed” to have the hearing and the judge and prosecutor could not “articulate probable cause.” He claims Whitener-Moberg didn't allow him to argue his case and she left the courtroom without addressing what he labeled is a “total lack of probable cause.”
“At the next hearing a pro-tem judge by the name of Mark Chmelewski was brought in. The blatant ignoring of my legal arguments continued. The prosecution admitted they had no evidence as they suggested they were unsure how to proceed without being able to access video on my phone,” Seim wrote. “This alone was evidence that there was never probable cause at all. This phone they presumably wanted, for a video that would already be released had that phone not been taken without a legal warrant. The judge even told me (in) open court that I would not be forced to give them access.”
Seim also draws into question the actions of Prosecutor Garth Dano, alleging that Dano himself is “manipulating” testimonies given by witnesses in an attempt to “create his own narrative.” Seim is of the belief that the actions of those involved point toward a conspiracy against himself to “create evidence and a case where no case exists.”
“That's a felony under 18 USC (U.S. Code) 241 and 242. But judges today don't care, because the they are no longer held accountable for their crimes. So when this court tolerated the consideration of me being forced under threats by (giving) them access to my devices, enough was enough.”
The codes Seim cites relate to the “conspiracy against rights” and “deprivation of rights under color of law.” Seim has filed motions in district court to have the case dismissed. It remains unclear what the prosecution intends to do now that Seim has left for Mexico and the Dec. 8 trial date is nearing. A call for comment from the prosecutor's office on the case has not been returned.
Seim says he does not currently know when, or if, he will return to the country or what he intends to do next with regard to the case.
“So why leave home over a phone? Because the truth demands a great price, but it also sets us free. How long will I be gone, what happens next? I can't say. The people of Mexico have much more freedom than the people of the USA and that feels good. But in the end it's not about a phone, it's about liberty and the God given rights we share as human beings. The officials in Grant County think they can rule over our rights. I choose to be a man who says no more. For my safety, for my family's safety and as an example to my people. I will not comply.”
Seim's video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyV61byHNqI .
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.