This month’s “What Was He Thinking” trophy goes out to Gav Seim, a self-proclaimed “Liberty Speaker” and Washington resident.  Seim recently pulled over, and admonished, a Grant County sheriff’s deputy for allegedly breaking the law.  Video of the incident has gone viral.

Typically, we award citizens with the “What Was He Thinking” trophy when they have foolishly placed other people in harm’s way.  Mr. Seim’s acts were obviously not foolish and they did not place anyone in harm’s way.  Nonetheless, his acts were so out of the norm that we had to pay them tribute.  While some people may award his acts, others may frown upon them.  We’re doing neither here.  We are simply recounting an event worth reporting on.  In doing so, we’re also saying (comically)…

Mr. Gav Seim, What Were You Thinking!?

According to video of the incident (which was posted on October 14th), Seim stopped a Grant County sheriff’s deputy for allegedly breaking the law by driving an unmarked car.  Let’s go back for a moment.  Seim not only stopped the deputy, but he reprimanded him.  Actually, he spoke to the deputy much like an officer would speak to a citizen.

The entire incident could form the basis for a perfect screenplay.  Follow along with us.

An ordinary citizen, Gav Seim, stops a sheriff’s deputy and approaches the car’s passenger side window.  Seim appears troubled.

Seim:  Hey, the reason I stopped you today is I saw this car was unmarked. 

The Deputy suffers from a loss for words.

Seim:  Is this a registered unmarked vehicle for undercover work?

The deputy patiently informs Seim that the car he’s in is for patrol work.  Seim counters back with a recitation of Washington law and informs the deputy that he is in violation of the Revised Code of Washington.  Seim then demands to see the deputy’s identification, registration and proof of insurance.

Deputy:  Can you see some ID of me?

Seim:  This isn’t a game.  It’s called law.

The two characters exchange dialogue.  The deputy finally hands over his ID to Seim.

Seim:  I’m not going to write you up today.  What I am going to encourage you to do is take this car back…you are in open violation of Washington State RCW.

Seim:  (almost imitating a superhero): If you continue to do this, you could be arrested.

The above is not fictitious.  The dialogue and descriptions are based upon the video of the incident.  Was Seim out of line in his actions; or, should they be applauded?  You tell us.  We’re curious to get your thoughts on the matter.

The Law in Question

Seim’s apparent concern was with RCW 46.08.065.  This law mandates that all publicly owned vehicles must be marked except for some Washington State Patrol vehicles, and other law enforcement vehicles that are given a special exemption.  Seim maintained that the law requires all vehicles to be marked unless for “special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.”  The Grant County sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car was not marked; and, as Seim fleshed out, the car was not being used for special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.

According to Kyle Foreman, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, the car in question was a brand new patrol car and was awaiting custom sized decals.  “We commend deputy Canfield for his tact and diplomacy,” said Foreman.  “It was simply a brand new car awaiting a decal.”

Markings have since been placed on the patrol car.

“This isn’t a game.  It’s called law.” 

Phillips Law Firm is not entering into a debate on whether Seim’s acts were justified, honorable, disreputable, etc.  We are merely recounting an incident and handing out a dubious trophy in the process.  On the “What Was He Thinking” meter, this one is definitely on the lighter side.

But, our firm cannot pass on highlighting one of Seim’s quotes.  That being, “This isn’t a game.  It’s called law.”  The attorneys at Phillips Law Firm are never about playing games when it comes to personal injury victims.  These attorneys know the law and they stand ready to assert, apply and protect it.  Our firm is not about games, it’s about providing justice!