Gavin Seim, who describes himself as a liberty activist and who ran for Congress this year, recorded his interaction with Deputy Canfield in Grant County, Washington. The video, uploaded October 14, has garnered more than 1 million views.
Seim flagged down what appeared to be an unmarked police car on patrol. Under Washington law, all police vehicles must be clearly marked unless they're being used for undercover purposes. Seim first asks the office to see his I.D. The amused Deputy Canfield is reluctant at first to play the role of contrite motorist.
"This is my ID right here," the officer says, pointing to the police patch on his uniform.
"That's not ID, sir," Seim says. "If I showed you a badge if you stopped me, would you take that as ID? C'mon. Let's be reasonable. Anybody can have a patch, sir."
Deputy Canfield then realizes Seim is serious and hands him two forms of ID. Canfield admits he has been pulling motorists over and ticketing them in the unmarked car. Seim is understanding, however. Instead of calling for a sheriff to remove the illegal vehicle from the road, Seim issues Canfield a warning.
"I'm not going to write you up today," Seim says. "What I am going to encourage you to do is take this car back."
Seim posted video and described the interaction on his blog, Call Me Gav. He wrote that while Canfield was polite, and did everything right in this instance, citizens should not back down from police abuse of power.