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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Police Guild joins calls for Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation over gathering of ‘intelligence’ on City Council members

Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, speaks Jan. 13, 2017, at a gun rights rally at the Capitol in Olympia. Boeing, Allstate, the timber company Weyerhaeuser and the Washington Health Care Association have joined the list of corporate donors that say they will no longer contribute to Shea’s re-election campaigns. (Ted Warren / AP)

The union representing the rank and file of the Spokane Police Department joined Spokane City Council members in calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation on Monday.

The demands follow reporting by The Spokesman-Review that revealed the Spokane Valley lawmaker collected “intelligence” on local progressive leaders, including Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Councilwoman Lori Kinnear and Councilman Breean Beggs.

“The Spokane Police Guild finds Representative Matt Shea’s actions in keeping city of Spokane officials under surveillance appalling and join with those asking for his immediate resignation,” the guild said in a Facebook post.

“It is the duty of both law enforcement and elected government officials to uphold the Constitution,” the guild said. “It is clear by Mr. Shea’s conduct he is more interested in promoting his own ideology than upholding the rights afforded to all citizens under the Constitution.”

Stuckart, Kinnear and Beggs called for Shea’s resignation over the weekend. So did the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, which said that Shea “uses his platform to promote hate and violence.”

Shea’s calls for a 51st state governed exclusively by Christians, as well as his participation in private chats that discussed violence against liberals, recently prompted the state House of Representatives to hire a team of private investigators to determine whether Shea has promoted political violence.

“Bundyville,” a podcast about right-wing extremism in the American West, recently explored Shea’s connections to the racist Christian Identity movement and the religious Marble community in northern Stevens County.

The Guardian and The Spokesman-Review reported last week that Shea had close ties with a group that claimed to conduct “patriotic and biblical training on war for young men.”

Further reporting by The Spokesman-Review on Sunday, based on leaked emails and other documents, detailed how Shea compiled dossiers on the City Council members in 2017, sought to purchase GPS trackers, fretted about contact with federal agents and kept a blacklist of suspected informants in his network.

The emails and documents also revealed that Shea plotted to establish a “provisional government” in the event of a collapse and boasted about his efforts to “turn back the tide” of those who practice Islam in the United States.

As of Monday evening, Shea, who rarely speaks to the news media, had not directly responded to the past week’s news reports about his surveillance and secession-planning activities. He wrote in a Facebook post to supporters on Friday: “WOW. THE OUTPOURING OF PRAYERS AND SUPPORT HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. Thank you and blessings to you all!”