The leader of the far-right “Patriot Prayer” group and GOP Senate candidate was detained at the University of Washington after he led an open-carry stunt on a campus that doesn’t allow guns.
Seattle’s The Stranger newspaper reported that Senate candidate Joey Gibson was detained along with six other far-right activists Monday after police at UW got a call about a “man with a rifle” on campus. Video of the incident shows Gibson and his comrades lying on the ground while campus police search their weapons cache.
“What we learned is they were going to do some kind of open carry kind of thing on the campus,” UW Police Major Steven Rittereiser told the Stranger. “We simply informed them you can’t do that on campus.”
The police spokesperson went on to say bringing guns onto UW campuses, which goes against the school’s code and effectively makes it a “gun-free zone” of the likes Gibson and other far-right activists protest, is not an “arrestable offense.”
“Bringing a gun to campus leads to a progressive step where you could be trespassed from the campus,” Rittereiser said. “It never got to that level. We simply said take your stuff and go on your merry way.”
Cell phone recorded by Patriot Prayer member Tusitala “Tiny” Toese shows the group lying flat on their stomachs while being searched. Though the camera is pointed towards the ceiling of what appears to be a parking deck throughout much of the nearly 15-minute video, police handcuffing the men and joking around with them can be heard.
In an article about Gibson’s long-shot bid to unseat Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Southern Poverty Law Center characterized the Patriot Prayer leader as a Neo-Nazi.
Watch Toese’s video below: