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Tacoma officer on leave after posting video calling on DC police to resist orders to break up Freedom convoy

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Sean Robinson

The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

He’s already resigned, but Tacoma police officer Robert Hollingsworth has been placed on administrative leave by department leaders after the discovery of an online video that violates city policy. Hollingsworth, 33, recently created a video while sitting in a patrol car and wearing his department uniform that praised a planned trucker protest, and referred to Tacoma’s leaders as “spineless and tyrannical.”

“This message is to the police in DC and other cities that have spineless and tyrannical leaders such as mine,” Hollingsworth says. “Stop allowing the left and the media to use our profession for political gain.”

In the video, Hollingsworth then alludes to “the freedom convoy,” a political protest planned for Saturday in Olympia and other cities, mirroring a recent event of a similar nature in Canada. Hollingsworth warns other police officers not to hinder the protest. His statement is general, urging officers to resist “orders,” though he gives no specific examples.

“The freedom convoy is coming, and you will be tested,” he states in the video. “If you violate people’s constitutional rights due to the orders of some liberal tyrant, conservatives will turn on you, and they absolutely should for you doing so.”

Hollingsworth eventually finishes his statement with “now for the fun part.” He sends out a radio call from the patrol car, says that he’s signing off for the last time, and concludes with the phrase, “Let’s go, Brandon,” a slogan recently popularized by critics of President Joe Biden.

The original source of the video is unclear. It was posted Saturday on Twitter by Patriot Takes, an anonymously-run account that focuses on purported right-wing activity.

According to a statement from the Tacoma Police Department, Hollingsworth’s official resignation date is March 13. The posted video “was made at the end of Officer Hollingsworth’s last patrol shift,” the statement reads. It adds that the department was preparing Saturday to serve Hollingsworth administrative leave paperwork, which will require him to surrender his service weapon, badge and department identification.

“The Department had no prior knowledge of the individual’s personal political views, or their intention to post those views to social media while at work,” the statement concludes. “The opinion expressed by this employee does not reflect the opinions of the City of Tacoma Police Department.”

This story was originally published March 5, 2022 4:18 PM.

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