A spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board acknowledged to KEPR Action News that two of its officers have received pressure to stop citing restaurants and bars who violate Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to discontinue indoor dining services. Reports the TV Station
In one instance, protestors allegedly camped out in front of an officers home to show their displeasure with the enforcement of the new orders. The spokesperson with the board also told Action News that another officer has received emails and text messages telling them to stop doing their job.
A video posted to Facebook shows a man using a mega phone in front of a home presumably belonging to an officer with the state liquor board. In the video, several people are standing on the sidewalk holding American flags.
Liquor and Cannabis Board Communications Director, Brian Smith, said, “It is unfortunate that there are misguided efforts by a handful of protestors to go to an LCB officer’s home to protest. Officer are just doing the job that is expected of them. The agency supports freedom of speech and peaceful protest, however sending texts, calling or protesting at LCB officer’s homes will not deter them from doing their jobs.”
The following is a statement from the LCB on the matter:
It is the responsibility of the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to enforce those laws that fall under our purview. Per the Governor’s directive, our officers are educating licensees and helping them remain in compliance. The vast majority of liquor-licensed businesses are in full compliance with the Governor’s directive despite the economic impact of doing so. Since the initial Stay Home, Stay Healthy order was issued in March, nearly all licensees remained in compliance. Education has been enough to bring others into compliance. For those few outlying licensees who choose to ignore the education provided by LCB officers, the LCB retains the ability to escalate penalties up to the point of seeking an emergency suspension where the agency seeks to suspend then revoke a license permanently.
It is unfortunate that there are misguided efforts by a handful of protestors to go to an LCB officer’s home to protest. Officers are just doing the job that is expected of them. The agency supports freedom of speech and peaceful protest, however sending texts, calling or protesting at LCB officer’s homes will not deter them from doing their jobs.
The LCB will continue carrying out our work to ensure Washington’s public health and safety laws are followed. We know these have been very difficult times for businesses and we appreciate the vast majority of businesses that are following the Governor’s directive during this challenging time.