COVID-19 Informants Get Death Threats; WA Released ID

People who reported COVID-19 violations get death threats after state releases their names

by Craig Sailor (5-8-20)
Craig Sailor

Washington residents who are concerned that non-essential businesses are violating Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to shut down can now file an on-line complaint. The state said the “vast majority” of businesses are complying.
Some people who reported suspected violations of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home proclamations are receiving death threats and harassment after their names and contact information were released by the state and made public on social media by people who obtained the information.
Nine spreadsheets containing thousands of names, phone numbers and email addresses were posted on Facebook pages Wednesday.
On Thursday, hundreds people listed on the documents received an email titled, “Lowlife scumbag whistleblower snitches,” which singled out people who complained about businesses in the Sumner and Puyallup areas.
The email writer, who identified themselves as “Julie Johnson,” called the recipients derogatory names and pointed out nine people who made more than one complaint. The e-mailer did not immediately respond to an interview request from The News Tribune.
Tacoma resident Aram West received the email on Thursday. He had made a complaint about a Tacoma pawn shop that was open and operating in late March.
West thought his complaint would remain anonymous.
“I would have assumed that a state website would have that under control,” he said, referring to nondisclosure of identities.
Since he made the complaint in March, emotions and the political climate around stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus have increased across the nation.
“At the time, people were also not as unhinged as they are now,” West told The News Tribune. “I didn’t think people would get quite this extreme.”
One of Facebook pages that posted the spreadsheets, Reopen Washington State, promotes the termination of stay-at-home orders and demands the reopening of businesses.
“Here you go Washingtonians: 25,000+ ‘violations’ your neighbors reported on you through the Governor’s gestapo line, maintained by the state military department,” stated the Reopen Washington State post that first displayed the spreadsheets.
A message sent to the Reopen Washington State Facebook page was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.
Following the disclosure on Wednesday, a King County woman received more than 30 death threats and other harassing messages, she said. In one phone message she forwarded to The News Tribune, a male caller identifies as an associate of the business she reported for being open.
“You got 48 hours to get the (expletive) out of Washington or I’m coming for you,” the caller states.
The King County woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of more harassment, doesn’t believe the message was from the business. She said she was fairly high up on the list and thinks that’s why she’s been getting so many messages.
“I’m getting bombarded,” she said Friday. “It’s terrifying. It’s really scary. It’s causing me a lot of stress.”
In another phone message, a female caller expresses hopes that the King County woman chokes on the virus.
“So glad it’s public disclosure,” the caller says.
An Arlington woman who reported an open massage parlor in late March said she was a recipient of emails about the spreadsheet releases beginning on Wednesday. One was from Julie Johnson.
The Arlington woman asked to remain anonymous for fear of further retribution.
Several individuals made public disclosure requests for the violation information now being posted online, according to Chelsea Hodgson, a spokeswoman for the state’s COVID-19 Response Joint Information Center.
The nine spreadsheets include headings like “Social distancing not followed,” “large gatherings,” “restaurant violations” and others. The spreadsheet that seems to have generated the vitriolic responses is titled “Non-essential biz open.”
The website page where citizens can report violations has a clear statement on privacy.
“All of the information collected at this site is considered public information,” the disclaimer states. “All of the information collected at this site is considered public information and may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, per RCW 42.56.”
The Arlington resident said she didn’t see a disclaimer when she filled out the form.
“It never occurred to me that the Governor’s Office would be like, ‘Yes, please tell us about these things and then we can tell everybody you put this out so they can go hunt you down,’” the woman said. “That would have required a more prominent disclaimer that said, ‘By the way, if you give me your name and email and phone number, we’re going to be able to give that out to anyone who wants it.’ That was nowhere on the form.”
It turns out there was no disclaimer in late March, according to research by The News Tribune. It was added in April and was not present on the form as late as March 31, according to snapshots made by the waybackmachine internet archive.
Questions put to the state by The News Tribune about when the disclaimer appeared were not immediately answered.
“Though the form indicates the information contained in the form is subject to public disclosure, additional steps have been taken to make clear on the complaint form that complaints are subject to public disclosure,” Hodgson said Friday. “Individuals may also submit a complaint anonymously.”
The Arlington woman said she was just trying to do the right thing when she reported the massage parlor. She figured her name and contact information would be redacted if anyone asked for it.
“It’s kind of disappointing,” she said. “They need to make an even bigger disclaimer that says, ‘Your contact information is optional and understand that we will release it to anyone who asks for it.’”
The King County woman, who lives on the east side of Lake Washington, said she’ll never again report anything to the state.
“There’s no way I would have filled that out had that been on there,” she said, referring to the disclaimer. She filed her complaint on March 30.
“I was trying to be a good citizen and be helpful and save lives, and this is the thanks I get for it,” she said. “I would never submit anything to the state again. I don’t feel like my information was protected.” Gov. Jay Inslee’s office did not respond to repeated requests for information on Friday.
Garrett Allawatt

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1 Response to COVID-19 Informants Get Death Threats; WA Released ID

  1. admin says:

    Garrett Allawatt said:

    Report your neighbor data (SNITCHING) has been released. Here are all those from Shelton (more towns to come).

    Unfortunately not all the sheep filled in all the boxes on complaints, but those who did can be found below.

    04/02/20 7:05 PM DOH Non-essential business is open ProBuild Other Lumber yard 1st Street Shelton Lots of people there during the day Gary Hansen 13604637417

    03/31/20 9:52 AM Essential Business Non-essential business is open Matthaeius camco Inc Other Cedar mill 6400 E. Agate Rd Shelton All companies they do work for our closed. Yet they are still open. Owner put a closed to the public sign out front. Andrea Barnes 360463745
    04/04/20 6:50 PM Essential Business Non-essential business is open Sierra Pacific Other Lumber.mill Hwy 108 Shelton Still working with workers in close proximity Anonymous N/a N/a

    04/28/20 1:50 PM LCB Non-essential business is open Salish Cliffs Golf Course Other Golf Course 91 WA -108 Shelton Spoke with gold course. I asked why and how they were open prior to May 5, 2020 when golfing was to be re-opened, they explained they have been open.

    04/02/20 5:23 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open Rent-a-center Other Furniture rental 60 E MelissaLane Shelton Business appears open everyday John Harrison 3604904648

    04/06/20 11:07 AM No Agency Non-essential business is open Williams flower and gift Other Flower 331 railroad ave Shelton What is essential about a flower shop? They sent me an email saying they are remaining open Nicholas Flanagan 2063274332

    04/11/20 1:35 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open Games and Needful Things Other pawn shop/antique shop 317 S 1st St Shelton Their door is propped open as of 4/11/20 at 11 am TRUE Shannon A Murphree 7203848942

    4/11/20 7:11 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open AlphaTest corpoation Other Manufacturing 261 w Business park loop Shelton We do not fill we are essential,and have ask how do they know we are we make testing parts for future things,for st Jude,and others,we have parts we have been trying to make for months,We were told one day if w do not fill safe working We can go home,take off the next day we were going to have A meeting,the next day at the meeting we were told there staying open because there essential,but Did not show us proff,when we ask.and we understood that we could not get unemployment if we didn’t come to work.we want them checked out to see please..also we keep the 6ft thing the best we can but fill the peers do not,they act like its a joke.afraid to give you my name. I can’t give my name can you please check thank you

    04/16/20 1:53 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open Shelton Athletic Club Other Fitness club State Route 3 Shelton I can see people working out inside this fitness center parking lot is full TRUE Doug Pearson 253-326-1139

    4/17/20 3:58 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open Kar Wash Other Car Wash 2330 Olympic Hwy N Shelton They are still open and washing cars TRUE Molly Lonigan 2062742607

    04/23/20 1:09 PM No Agency Non-essential business is open Kapowsin skydiving Other skydiving airport Shelton 10 people plus pilot skydiving TRUE Harry S Griffith III 3604271366

    04/20/20 12:26 AM DOL Non-essential business is open DesertSun Other tanning salon 60 E MelissaLane Shelton Saw business open TRUE John Harrison 360-427-3104
    04/24/20 4:17 PM DOL Non-essential business is open Dogcon Other Auto dealership 66 SE LYNCH RD SHELTON Made a comment on Facebook that he has been openly selling cars and spreading misinformation about the current crisis. Threatens to sue the state or anyone who tries to take his license from him.

    03/31/20 7:21 AM L&I Non-essential business is open Brady trucking and landscaping Other Landscaping 922 E johns prairie Rd Shelton Non essential ans encouraging people to come in . Margarito N/A

    03/31/20 7:22 AM L&I Non-essential business is open Brady trucking and landscaping Other Landscaping 922 E johns prairie Rd Shelton Non essential ans encouraging people to come in . Roxanne N/A

    04/07/20 7:11 AM L&I Non-essential business is open B-Line Construction 2971 E Phillips Lake Loop Rd Shelton Working at a construction site at 861 E Coulter Creek Rd. They have been working through the entire lockdown. Ryan 3603406295

    04/09/20 8:02 PM L&I Non-essential business is open Foxhead Construction LLC Construction 1091 SE Craig Road Shelton Foxhead construction is continuing to work on residential projects as a general contractor and crew of sub-contractors (non-essential).

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