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Spokane County Sheriff Speaks Out About Extremist Groups, Matt Shea

Spokane County Sheriffs Office

Spokane County Ozzie Knezovich has been invited to speak at a Republican event in southern Idaho on the dangers of right wing extremist groups, a topic he has spoken about in the past.

Knezovich will give a presentation on Saturday at the Idaho Region Seven Republican Day Dinner in Idaho Falls.

“They’re concerned about the white supremacist movement," he said. "They are concerned about the so-called 'patriot' movement. I don’t like to call these people patriots, because they’re not patriots. They’ve hijacked that movement also. They find their niche in almost every sub group and then they take it over,” he said.

Knezovich says the Republican Party is unfairly associated with some of these groups or individuals, and says he thinks extremists are being associated with both major parties.

“I think the people that are touting this are John Birch Libertarians, they’re not Republicans. And it’s the same for the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has the same problem as the Republicans right now. You have progressive socialists that have hijacked the Democratic party, just as the liberation John Birchers have hijacked the Republican Party,” he said.

Knezovitch said one local individual stands out as being dangerous, state Rep. Matt Shea [R-Spokane Valley], who was stripped of his legislative committee assignments and suspended from having any role in the House Republican caucus, after an independent investigation found he was involved in domestic terrorism for his role in incidents like the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Knezovich says those who still defend Shea are either naive or lying.

“Matt Shea and his trolls have spun that report into an 'Oh, this is a media witch-hunt' or 'This is a progressive socialist Marxist Maoist, you name it, attempt to get rid of Matt Shea'. What they fail to tell the truth on is, the Democrats didn’t do this. It was Republicans that did this. Republicans came after Matt Shea because were tired of his nonsense. And Matt Shea, in my opinion, there is enough in that report that there should be an indictment on Matt Shea. He should be tried for domestic terrorism,” he said.

Shea has defined his role in the Malheur takeover as a negotiator, but email documents released after the investigation seem to point to more of a leadership role in the incident, with references to a military operation.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.