Ericksen leads Senate in urging AG action on threats, intimidation at Puyallup Church

Senators sign letter urging investigation of possible civil rights violations

OLYMPIA – News reports of threats and intimidation at a Puyallup church warrant the attention of the state’s top law enforcement officials as a possible civil rights case, Washington senators declare in a letter to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, led efforts in the state Senate to bring the case to the attention of the Attorney General’s office. “If what we’re hearing is true, this incident of hatred and intolerance warrants investigation, prosecution and a strong statement that the state of Washington will stand up to protect its citizens’ civil rights.”

Media reports indicate Puyallup’s Motion Church was forced to cancel a speaking engagement by Charlie Kirk, director of Turning Point USA, after it received threats of arson to the church and the surrounding neighborhood. The threats are described by Pastor Roger Archer in a video posted to YouTube Friday.

The letter notes that the freedoms of speech, assembly and religion are founding principles of the nation. “Our Constitution guarantees the right of free speech to all Americans, not just those with whom we agree. Violence to force silence cannot be tolerated.”

The letter concludes by calling upon the Attorney General to “work with the Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies to ensure the protection of individual rights, freedoms and liberties.”