‘It’s not a political issue’: Spokane Co. Sheriff fires back against controversial arrest
SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly a week after a Spokane man claimed he was arrested for his political beliefs, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is firing back.
Jeremy Logan told 4 News Now and the Huffington Post that he was arrested before a Black Lives Matter protest on Aug. 30. He believes it’s because he’s an outspoken socialist and critical of law enforcement. The sheriff’s office said Logan was arrested because he had an outstanding warrant from Douglas County from seven years ago.
On Tuesday, the sheriff called a news conference to defend Logan’s arrest. The sheriff showed 53 PowerPoint slides about the arrest and several other topics.
The sheriff said the arrest was for the warrant, not politics. Logan is the co-chair of a group called Spokane Democratic Socialists.
“It’s a response to the fact that you had an individual that had a warrant and we identified that he had a warrant,” Knezovich said. “He was escalating in his rhetoric, and we removed him from the streets. He is now taking care of his warrant.”
The warrant is from 2013 for failure to pay legal obligations on a drug conviction. Logan claims he was arrested by unmarked officers and thrown into an unmarked van. The sheriff denies this claim.
“Never showed him badges,” a claim Knezovich read off a PowerPoint slide. “Nope, they did show him badges. They actually had the badges hanging around their neck. Not a true statement.”
Knezovich claims Logan made threats online.
“He also upped the ante by making threats and his rhetoric was increasingly violent, and we had been looking for him since June,” Knezovich said.
The rhetoric the sheriff is talking about is a Facebook post from Logan, shown to reporters on Tuesday. The post says, “I am not going to lie. I want to take these pigs heads off with a hand saw.” The sheriff called this “rather ISIS-like” and said the statement was “threatening” and “violent.”
Logan previously told 4 News Now that this wasn’t a threat, but about his frustration about the death of George Floyd.
The sheriff proceeded to show a slide where Logan was quoted and said he didn’t make a threat. The next slide the sheriff wrote, “maybe this little untruth is why he took his Facebook page down.”
In another slide titled “Why was he arrested/why now?” one bullet point said, “threatening statements about cutting the heads off police officers with a hand saw.”
Though the sheriff said Logan’s rhetoric was also increasingly violent, Logan was not charged with making any sort of threat. 4 News Now asked the sheriff why.
“That’s kinda how it happens nowadays, doesn’t it?,” Knezovich said. “We have people that threaten to kill their spouses and they’re out.”
Logan did post a $500 bond the next day and was out.
The sheriff said the FBI tried to talk to Logan. 4 News Now reached out to the FBI in Seattle.
There are no designated domestic terrorist organizations and the FBI does not designate groups as such. Domestic terrorists are individuals who commit violent criminal acts in furtherance of ideological goals stemming from domestic issues. A majority of our domestic terrorism cases fall into one of four categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism.
The FBI can never initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights and it’s important to note that membership in groups which espouse domestic extremist ideology is not illegal in and of itself. As to the specifics of Mr. Logan’s arrest, I would direct you to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Knezovich spent much of the press conference talking about white supremacy and Antifa. The sheriff claims Antifa and socialists caused the riot in downtown Spokane on May 31st. However, the sheriff has only provided photos with logos on protesters to back that claim.
“Our African American community did not cause that riot on May 31. They didn’t,” he said.
The sheriff also referenced the Huffington Post article during a portion of the press conference, showing quotes of the article on PowerPoint slides. The sheriff also proceeded to show pictures of Logan, one of which he was holding what seems to be a machete.
Towards the end of the conference, Knezovich showed another slide.
“So no matter how hard the Huffington Post or Mr. Logan or his ally, Breean Beggs try, Logan is not the victim here,” he read from the slide. “He is a felon who had a warrant.” Beggs is the Spokane City Council President.
Knezovich said Spokane is the victim of Begg’s and the Huffington Post’s “defense of Antifa violence and their self-proclaimed champions.”
When another reporter asked if they picked up anyone else on outstanding warrants the day of Logan’s arrest, the sheriff said, “We don’t have anybody else with outstanding warrants that we’re looking for right now.”
4 News Now asked if Logan is still on his office’s radar.
“He doesn’t have a warrant and you know, we’ll watch to see what happens,” Knezovich said. “If we get intelligence that there’s something more, he could be back on our radar.”
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