Newly released body-cam footage shows officers in Pullman, Washington, telling partygoers to stay “out of sight, out of mind” to avoid getting fined for hosting a party in violation of local safety regulations. The officer, whose name has not been released, told more than 20 people who were gathered, maskless, outside the home of Washington State University women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge to go inside or stay in a backyard to avoid the newly implemented $250 “nuisance party” fine. The Daily Beast previously reported that Ethridge was one of 12 people cited under the ordinance in the first several weeks of classes at WSU. Ethridge paid a $150 fine and later publicly apologized for the gathering, which she said she did not host.
In a statement sent to local news station KREM, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins called the messaging in the video “inappropriate.” “After viewing the video, I made it clear to all my staff that messaging should be to gain compliance with the nuisance party ordinance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread in the community,” he said.