911 suspect: Democratic cameraman Zach Wurtz in the front row at last week's King County Young Republicans Meeting.
The Washington State Democrats have posted the 911 calls from last Thursday night's commotion at the King County Young Republicans meeting at the North Bellevue Community Center when the club tried to kick a Democratic Party camera man out of a Rob McKenna speech.
As I reported last week, the police took their time responding to the Republicans' call. The tapes—comically—show how frustrated the Republicans got with the tardy (pretty blase) response. "Did you call earlier?" "Is it a traffic accident?" "Did you want North Bend?"
The call also shows that the Republicans were on shaky legal ground:
911: And is he making any threats or being uncooperative other than refusing to leave?
KCYRs Political Director: Umm we told him he could stay if he shut off his camera but he’s refusing to shut off his camera, he’s not making any threats or anything like that. He's disrupting our private meeting.
911: Is it like invitation only?
KCYRs Political Director: It's a club meeting, we've rented the space, it's not a public meeting. It's open to anybody who's wiling to follow the rules.
A half hour later, conservative Bellevue City Council candidate Patti Mann, looking for an ETA (nope), calls and reasserts that it's a "private meeting."
As we reported, the North Bellevue Community Center rules state:
The applicant agrees that, during the use of the Parks & Community Services facility [Name of Group] will not exclude anyone participation in, deny anyone the benefit of, or otherwise subject anyone to unlawful discrimination or harassment.
The police did eventually come. By that time, though, McKenna had left, and the meeting had disbanded. The camera man pretty much schooled the officer, telling her he had every right to be there. She didn't challenge him. She shrugged her shoulders, and he went on his way.
We have a call in to the ACLU to get a legal take on all this.