Vancouver attorney releases documents addressing governor’s orders for June 19 Black Lives Matter event


D. Angus Lee believes documents show Gov. Jay Inslee ordered Washington State Patrol to ‘give’ the Interstate Bridge to BLM protesters

A Vancouver criminal defense and Civil Rights attorney who recently filed a lawsuit against the Washington State Patrol (WSP) for what he believes was the facilitation of the June 19 Black Lives Matter protest that shutdown Interstate 5 has released emails that he says show WSP officers were acting on the orders of Gov. Jay Inslee.

A Vancouver criminal defense who recently filed a lawsuit against the Washington State Patrol for what he believes was the facilitation of the June 19 Black Lives Matter protest that shutdown Interstate 5 has released emails that he says show WSP officers were acting on the orders of Gov. Jay Inslee. Photo by Mike Schultz
A Vancouver criminal defense who recently filed a lawsuit against the Washington State Patrol for what he believes was the facilitation of the June 19 Black Lives Matter protest that shutdown Interstate 5 has released emails that he says show WSP officers were acting on the orders of Gov. Jay Inslee. Photo by Mike Schultz

Attorney D. Angus Lee obtained the emails as a result of a public disclosure request and he shared them with Clark County Today and other members of the media this week. Lee stated that the emails show that Inslee ordered the closure of the freeway so that protesters could demonstrate in the mass gathering in spite of the governor’s own “Stay Home, Stay Healthy’’ orders. 

Lee’s disclosure includes a 15-page formal directive written by WSP Lieutenant Rob Brusseau and published internally by the Washington State Patrol a day before the BLM march that indicated the WSP planned to follow Inslee’s order to “give’’ the I-5 Bridge to the protesters on June 19. 

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According to the plan, the WSP formally planned to provide traffic control services in support of the protest despite the fact that churches and other organizations in the area were closed and forbidden to gather due to limitations imposed by Inslee to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Lee, the WSP formally planned to “provide traffic control services in support of the protest” (page 1).  Lee also stated that a long list of WSP high-ranking officials were involved in the plan to close the bridge to facilitate the BLM march (page 2).

Attorney D. Angus Lee obtained emails that he believes show that Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the closure of the freeway so that protesters could demonstrate in the mass gathering in spite of the governor’s own “Stay Home, Stay Healthy’’ orders. Photo by Mike Schultz
Attorney D. Angus Lee obtained emails that he believes show that Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the closure of the freeway so that protesters could demonstrate in the mass gathering in spite of the governor’s own “Stay Home, Stay Healthy’’ orders. Photo by Mike Schultz

Among the documents Lee released on Wednesday, was an internal email from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) in which Tim Martin wrote, “The freeway/bridge is being given to them by order of the Governor, and WSP has been told to divert traffic from I-5 onto SR-500.”

Click to open PDF.

Lee also released a June 19 email from WSP Trooper Tom Adams to Trooper Jason Linn. Adams wrote that he had received a complaint from a member of the public about the blockage of the I-5 bridge and Adams wrote that the caller was informed that “we were under the order of the Governor.” 

Click to open PDF.

In his email to Clark County Today, Lee stated: 

“It is abundantly clear that Governor Inslee believes that the First Amendment right to assemble only applies to protests he supports, and not prayer or religious worship.  He is wrong legally, ethically, and morally. 

“Governor Inslee has locked down Clark County, and many other counties, in phase 2 of Inslee’s unconstitutional lockdown plan.  He claims to be doing this because of the number of COVID infections in Clark County, but he is the one who closed the freeway and an interstate bridge to help make that massive gathering happen.

“He simply does not care about the impact his orders are having on local churches, small businesses, and families.” 

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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