Idaho Dispatch

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Coeur d’Alene Battle Over the Use of Speech

By • July 7, 2024

Coeur d’Alene is in a battle over the use of speech.

At the city council meeting on July 2, a new chapter of the city municipal code was adopted. The new chapter was deemed by the Mayor and Council “to be in the best interests of the City of Coeur d’Alene.’

The ordinance adds to language already in Idaho law that a person is also guilty of a “hate crime” at the city level if the reason for intimidation, malicious, injury to property, harassment, assault and battery, public nuisance, disorderly conduct, threat, or conspiracy is racially motivated or falls under one of the other categories listed. From the “history” section of the ordinance, the council mentions an alleged incident in March 2024 as well as another incident in May 2024. It then says,

“Many communities throughout the United States have also discovered that common ordinances prohibiting disorderly conduct and similar offenses are simply not broad enough to criminalize the type of conduct demonstrated in these two incidents. Accordingly, Staff is proposing a new Chapter to the City Code, modeled after ordinances in other communities which have dealt with such abhorrent behavior and select federal laws. This new Chapter creates an offense known as a “hate crime,” which is the commission of certain, already established crimes, but motivated by a person’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or national origin. The criminalization of this behavior will enable the City to prosecute racially motivated crimes, leading to separate charges and enhanced penalties in appropriate cases.”

You can see the text of the ordinance here, courtesy of Idaho Tribune.

Two days later on July 4 during the Coeur d’Alene Independence Day parade, city councilman Dan Gookin was riding on a float and shouted at parade spectators Casey Whalen of North Idaho Exposed and David Reilly calling the two men “white supremacists.” Whalen detailed the incident here, with video. Whalen called the Coeur d’Alene police and reported the incident as a possible violation of the new hate crime ordinance. His article says the FBI will begin an investigation Monday, July 8.

Councilman Gookin posted on his Twitter account,

“Look! I called out a couple of white supremacists at the Independence Day Parade and they’re hot mad about it! I would do it again!

We cannot let these bipedal vermin infect our community. I will not stand idly by.”


Feature image of dowtown Coeur d’Alene courtesy of TripSavvy

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Tags: City Council, Coeur d'Alene, Dan Gookin, Hate Crimes, Racial Slur, Speech

25 thoughts on “Coeur d’Alene Battle Over the Use of Speech

  1. I was unaware of these Details and like most stories you never really know unless you were there, Regardless, when we have a society that punishes people for what they say, we have lost our freedom of speech. You would think with all the publicity against any Kind of racist speech you Would refrain from using racial slurs. I’m not a fan of that at all. I’m also not a fan of people dropping F bombs in front of my kids and when they do so I speak up. Most people apologize, do not when they do not I have been known to tell them that they have the freedom of speech to talk the way they want, but I also have the freedom of speech to tell them that they are rude and ignorant in my opinion and they do not respect children or women or God above and it’s freedom of speech that allows me to say that. I believe his punishment should be in the public discourse of how people talk about this situation and their feelings on such speech. Should not be something handled by the courts aren’t we all getting sick and tired of seeing the courts used as a way of persecution for those we don’t agree with or for those that don’t agree with us. This is a dangerous path and will work against those who are promoting it at some point down the road.

  2. Who decides what “hate” is? Hate crime laws worked so well in Scotland, didn’t they? (Look it up). I am aghast that hate crime laws exist anywhere in Idaho. I am guessing that the “racist incident” (not caught on anyone’s cell phones, hmmm) earlier in the year led to this new ordinance? See how that happens?

    Who else referred to human beings and fellow countrymen as “vermin” historically? It’s a tactic to dehumanize your enemies so you can justify the worst offenses against them.

  3. Well, it appears liberal Marxism has taken root in Idaho which means Coeur d’Alene will never be visited by me. I will not have my speech compelled, or my freedoms removed, by people akin to Nazi fascists.

    1. It appears that you can’t call a Jerk by his title/name, hey jerk, because you may offend them. Sure glad I don’t live in that town. Welcome to CdA California.

  4. I live in CDA, I don’t go downtown for anything, no car shows, farmers market nothing.
    My spouse and I are thinking about selling out and moving north.

    1. I agree with the idea of staying away from downtown. This is especially true during the summer months and during “festivals”. But do not move out. Make a list of advantages and disadvantages in your immediate surroundings. My wife is a Post Falls native. When we moved here in 2015, she was shocked by all of the changes which had happened during the 20+ years she was gone.
      However, it did not deter her or me from building a comfortable and secure lifestyle which is suitable. Heading for the hills can create a score of other unpleasant issues such as increased driving distances to hospitals and doctors, shopping, etc. Think and plan. Best wishes.

  5. Vermin? I guess the same could be said for individuals who believe they are exempt from the very ordinance they helped create. Your perception of reality is distorted, Mr. Gookin. How many Jussie Smollet incidents will this create?

  6. It’s a well known fact Idaho is being invaded by liberals from blue states that destroyed them and had to leave because of their own destructive policies. Everywhere you go, there you are. Soon, you will not be able to call a pedophile, a pedophile, a terrorist a terrorist, a murderer, a murderer or a rapist, a rapist. Drip, drip, drip…. Am I allowed to say liberals are crazy? Is that a hate crime?

    1. Everyone I’ve met who came from a blue state was extremely conservative. Blue state refugees that are still liberal are moving to places like Austin tx, Tennessee, Arizona, etc. Florida and Idaho are the least preferred because of reputation. A lot of apolitical people have moved out of blue states to red without voting in either place, this is expected since the majority of Americans don’t vote at all.

      It seems to me like the problem is people not paying attention or alternately refusing to get involved in politics locally. Blaming Californians makes it seem like an unsolvable problem, and I doubt it is. There is very little will to inform voters of what is happening so they can respond, and very little will to challenge poor leadership by running. Ask around and see what percentage of residents are even aware of the ordinance.

  7. Wow, just wow. Gookin is an A$$. I would be beyond mad if someone called me that in public. It is unacceptable and damaging for anyone to go around name calling. Didn’t we learn that in elementary school? Isn’t that what the city council is trying to put a stop to?
    Virtue signaling at its finest!

    1. The post by “Dan_Gookin_Political” and cited in this article as an acceptable example is also hate speech and would be subject to this new ordinance by the city, hate speech laws cut both ways and it all depends on the district attorney and how they want to apply the law. Truth be told liberals try to evoke hate speech laws to quell their opposition, thus anyone that disagrees with their point of view is committing hate speech. A liberal Society is a society of Chaos, destruction and weaponization of the government. A conservative Society is one of morality respect for one’s fellow man and peaceful by own nature, this no need for such nonsense feel good laws.

  8. As messed up as Gookin is, SPEECH is NOT a crime. Isn’t that the point of speaking against the ordinance? The First Amendment PROTECTS speech and thoughts. Yes, the ordinance is stupid and prosecuting it will depend upon OPINION rather than facts, but Gookin yelling out bad words and calling people bad names at the parade is not a crime. I get why they are trying to make a big deal out of it given the timing and Gookin’s stupidity, but this will go nowhere.

  9. I would really hope that this is not what/who voted for but here it is. Gookin is an enemy of all that is good..

    Feel bad for him.

  10. Dan Gookin is the very reason Idaho code 50-406 needs to be eliminated. Under this code city candidates are disallowed to reveal their party affiliation, thereby creating a blind electoral process. People will choose to skip an election when a candidates party is kept from the ballot.
    I am convinced CDA will be stuck with a liberal mayor and city council until this ridiculous code is dropped.

  11. I have been against so called “hate speech” and “hate crimes” for years! It is quite Orwellian. In the United States we have “Freedom of Speech.” Does the city council in Coeur d’Alene really believe they are so “special” that they can suspend the Civil Rights of people simply because the people happen to be within their city limits?

    The trouble with this kind of legislation is that no sooner is it passed, than those responsible are right there in the crosshairs for having violated their own stupid laws.

    Should this go to a trial, it is unlikely that the taxpayer dollars of the citizens of Coeur d’Alene will be well-spent — unless you are on the receiving end by being one of the defendants who exercise free speech in that fair city.

  12. So North Idaho Exposed is considered by this corrupt punk of a city council man to be “white supremacists” and racist? Hmm… FYI they’re alternative media and they’re great at exposing corrupt government officials especially the likes of you.

  13. So… a POS hyopcrite who supports limits on free speech just called out two citizens in a crowd as White Supremacists, and doesn’t see anything wrong with that? And CDA’s approach to protecting it’s citizens’ rights is to strip its citizens of their rights, while concurrently refusing to apply the same rules to a POS who clearly feels free to attack people based on their race. Brilliant CDA.. Brilliant. I’ll be shopping North, not South from now on. CDA can kiss my ass.

  14. We citizens of Cd’A vote for who represents us on the city council. REMEMBER this incident when Dan Gookin is up for reelection. He has shown his true colors. Do you want a slandering hater representing you?

  15. Creating more victims the California way. Next we’ll hear the buzz words “bully” “racist”. Get these CA victims out one way or the other.

  16. CDA is headed down the wrong path. It’s up to the citizens to put a stop to it. No one else will.

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