Great Falls Democrat Activist Smears Cops As Racist Cowards, Calls For Defund

Editor’s note: The cover photo for this story shows Jasmine Taylor (right) posing with Cascade County Democrat Central Committee Vice Chair Helena Lovick for their wtf406 blog.

On Friday morning E-City received an email containing screenshots of several posts on a Facebook page called ‘Jasmine Taylor For Montana’.

Taylor is a Cascade County Democrat Central Committee precinct captain in precinct 22A in Great Falls, according to the CCDCC website.

She also ran for state legislature in 2020 and for Great Falls city commission in 2019, losing both times.

Below are the screenshots of the Taylors posts from this week.

“Everything about our country’s policing system is shameful…I will say again, defund the police.” – Jasmine Taylor, Cascade County Democrat Precinct Captain

The full text of Taylor’s post on the above screenshot.

Taylor implies cops are racist by sharing this:

Great Falls Event To Support Local Law Enforcement Called ‘KKK Rally’

This past Saturday we held a Ride and Rally to show support for local law enforcement in Great Falls.

One of the reasons that the ride and rally resonated here is because there are many local law enforcement folks and their families who feel like they’ve been left out of the conversation the last several months.

Saturday’s rally and ride was not a statement against Black Lives Matter or any other organization, but rather a way to show support for the Great Falls Police Department, MHP and the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.

I am proud to be a part of this community because of the love, appreciation and support we show on a daily basis for our law enforcement, and all of our great first responders here.

But I am also greatly disappointed and troubled by comments on local social media about the events on Saturday. Here’s an example from the Great Falls Tribune Facebook page on a post about their story before the rally –

Cops don’t deserve a parade?

Our police are ‘nothing but a bunch of murderous thugs’?

Citizens showing up to support our law enforcement is a KKK rally?

Here are a couple of more from a Tribune FB post after the rally –

A White Supremacist Rally? Stupid? Creeping Authoritarianism?

Oh, and here’s one from a charming and intelligent young lady on the KFBB Facebook page –

Thankfully these idiotic, hateful, and yes, evil comments and memes do not represent the majority of our citizens sentiments.

But my message to those who spew out this kind of garbage is simple – we don’t want your vile hate in our community.

Sally Demarais-Smith Still Missing

Editors note – as a public service E-City Beat is publishing the following information bulletin from GFPD concerning the missing woman, Sally Smith.

Great Falls MT Police Department

September 29 at 12:35 PM  · MISSING ENDAGERED PERSON ALERT! We are concerned for the welfare of Sally Demarais-Smith. Smith was last seen on the afternoon of Friday, September 25th, 2020 in Great Falls. Smith may have traveled to the Malta area and is likely driving a 2005 gold Toyota Corolla bearing Montana license plate 231335B. If you have any information regarding Sally Smith’s whereabouts please call 911 or Detective Taylor at 406-564-8718, or leave a private message here.

SALLY DEMARAIS – SMITH- 52 year old white female- Brown hair and brown eyes- 5’7” tall, 140 lbs- Unknown clothing description- Driving a 2005 gold Toyota Corolla with plate MT 231335B

***Post corrected – Smith is 52 years old not 53***

Great Falls Shows Appreciation For Local Law Enforcement

Wednesday, July 29 was local Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in Great Falls and in addition to local residents purchasing and displaying “406 Back the Blue” signs, there were several other displays of appreciation for the work the Great Falls Police Department and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office do for our community.

George Nikolakakos organized a GoFundMe page fundraiser which raised $635 to benefit the Great Falls Police Community Foundation.

A local anonymous donor in conjunction with three local businesses contributed some food and drink to local law enforcement.

  • Double Barrel Coffee House Cafe delivered lunch to the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Teriyaki Madness catered lunch for the Great Falls Police Department.
  • Morning Light Roasters delivered coffee and some baked goods to both the GFPD and the CCSO for breakfast.

A law enforcement support rally originally scheduled for Wednesday evening was postponed and will be rescheduled to take place latter this summer, according to organizer Rick Tryon.

Great Falls Rally Postponed, LE Appreciation Day Goes Forward

Editors note: below is the post from Friday on rally organizer Rick Tryon’s Facebook page.

“After a lot of thought and consultation we have decided to go forward with the Local Law Enforcement Appreciation Day next Wednesday, July 29 but we are postponing the rally that evening until a later date.

Here’s why:

I have received numerous messages and communications from folks who really want to attend a rally and show their support for GFPD and CCSO but don’t feel safe just yet because of COVID-19.

There were 20 new cases reported in Cascade County today, Friday.

Regardless of what folks think about masks and social distancing etc. there are a lot of people who just don’t feel comfortable being at a larger gathering right now, even if it’s outdoors, and we want the rally to support law-enforcement to be an event that’s well and enthusiastically attended.

So we will postpone the rally until later on this summer or fall but continue with the other great events scheduled for next Wednesday.

In addition, please remember that tomorrow, Saturday, you can pick up ‘406 Back The Blue’ signs at 518 Central Ave. between 10 and 2 PM. All proceeds will go to the Great Falls community police foundation and we will have some great ideas on how you can use that sign next Wednesday.

Also please go to the go fund me page here and donate to the Great Falls community police foundation. Stay tuned, lots more coming up.”

Man With First-Hand Experience In Local Triple Homicide Responds To ‘Defund GFPD’

Editors note: by permission from Mr. Copeland we are publishing his letter and Facebook post.

City Commissioners,

I am writing in regards to the national and now local calls to “Defund the Police”. I have been a resident of Great Falls for over ten years, minus a few attempts to move away that lasted less than a year in total. I am a proud member of our community and town, and as such have nothing but respect and admiration for our law enforcement heroes.

I hope that none of you have taken these calls to defund our police department with even an ounce of serious thought. Our police department is the core of our communities “First Responders” and are often if not always the first to any scene resulting in a call for help.

Our officers are medics, providing life saving first aid until paramedics arrive. Our officers are counselors, expertly de-escalating dangerous situations and dangerous people in distress. Our officers are shoulders to cry on when they respond to tragedy with grieving family members standing by. Our officers are tactical warriors, responding to homicide calls and preserving the lives of our citizens.

For these reasons, I say increase their funding! Training costs money and because of the vast set of circumstances an officer may encounter they need more tools in their belt than ever.

On the thought of “militarized police force”, I will end with this thought:
When Ricky Gaurdipee banged on my door at 5:45 am this past December, approximately two minutes before he was shot and killed by officers, I called 911 and asked for police. I needed police assistance immediately as I had no idea why someone was so aggressively beating on my door.

I was behind the door armed and ready to defend my family had he made entry, however I am not a law enforcement officer and going outside to confront an unknown threat is out of the question for me.

After the news broke of who was banging on my door and what he had done, I can confidently say that I don’t care if GFPD would have responded with assault weapons, humvees, tanks or F16’s.

Please feel free to share my thoughts with our local police leadership and anyone else you feel should read these words.

Very Respectfully,
Josh Copeland
Proud Great Falls Resident

Who Is Sending ‘Defund GFPD’ Emails To Commissioners?

As of this afternoon I have received 14 robo-emails addressed to each of us Great Falls City Commissioners ‘demanding’ that we ‘defund’ the Great Falls Police Department. I also got a call from a Kalispell city commissioner this morning informing me that they have been receiving the same emails.

See my response to the emails here.

I’ve been asked to publish the names of the senders of these emails, and I could do that since they are all subject to a public information request and available for anyone to see at any time.

But actually there’s not much sense in publishing the names because the email is a form email and most of the names and emails are not local or wouldn’t have any relevance to Great Falls.

Here’s a breakdown of the 14 emails:

Nine have various names with no indication as to where they are from or with an out-of-state return email indicator – for example, which is from Virginia I believe.

One is from Philipsburg MT and one from Billings MT.

Three say they are Great Falls residents. Checking several online resources for the names given, only one of them appears in a search and matches as a Great Falls resident, but it appears to be the persons parents who currently live here. The emailer’s age is given as “in 20’s” and an address listed online as being in Missoula.

So out of 14 robo-mails so far only one of them appears to actually be a possible current Great Falls resident.

If that person, or anyone else, would like to contact me and discuss the issue of defunding the Great Falls Police Department, I will be available to do so any time. But there are three things I would ask beforehand:

  1. You are currently a taxpaying resident of Great Falls.
  2. You use your real name and are willing to do so publicly without ‘demanding’ things.
  3. You discuss the issue using a local context and data, in the full light of objective scrutiny and without using a mass form letter containing outrageous, false, ignorant accusations against our local law enforcement.

I’m not sure why some folks think that George Floyd’s murder by a bad cop in Minneapolis means that we need to ‘defund’ the Great Falls Police Department but I’m willing to discuss it honestly and openly, not with form letters, baseless accusations against our law enforcement community in Great Falls, and anonymous demands.

By the way, one of the emailers forgot to fill in the form data on their little robo-email and I’m including a screenshot here. If the group behind this campaign to ‘defund’ police would let us know who they are, or if anyone else knows and could reveal their identity, it would be helpful.

Commissioner Responds To Demands To Defund GFPD

Here is the text of an email which all five members of the Great Falls City Commission received on Monday, demanding we defund the Great Falls Polices Department. This is apparently a form email because I received it from four different individuals.

I read it with a mixture of disbelief and, I admit, a little bit of anger. I have included my response here as well.

“Dear Great Falls City Commissioners,

I am writing to demand that the City Commission adopts a budget that prioritizes community well-being and redirects funding away from the police.

Many Montanans may be tempted to think the unique nature of such a vast, yet sparsely-populated state minimizes the likelihood of police brutality in our small city communities. However, as reported by the Billings Gazette last year, Montana ranked ninth in killings by police per capita. In 2017, the Great Falls Tribune reported Montana police killings reached a total higher than the previous six years. These figures are alarming, but don’t tell the full story. Under Montana Code § 2-6-102 and Article II, Section 10 of the Montana Constitution, police disciplinary records are exempt from disclosure if there is an “individual privacy interest that clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.” Montana police forces operate within a culture of impunity, and as the members of the communities they are supposed to be protecting, we can’t even begin to grasp the scope of their violence.

We are in the midst of widespread upheaval over the systemic violence of policing. Empty gestures and suggestions of “reform” are inadequate and unacceptable. I am demanding that real change be made to the way this city allocates its resources.

Support for communities in need is necessary now, more than ever. I am demanding that the City Commission meaningfully defund the Great Falls Police Department. I join the calls of those across the country to defund the police. I am demanding a budget that adequately and effectively meets the needs of at-risk Great Falls residents during this trying and uncertain time. I am demanding a budget that supports community wellbeing, rather than empowering the police forces that tear them apart.

As the City Commission, the budget proposal is in your hands. It is your duty to represent your constituents. I am urging you to completely revise the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and to fund the social programs proven to be more effective than policing at promoting community safety and equity. Have the courage to be a leader of the change this city, state, and country desperately needs.

Thank you for your time,”

My response:

Dear ——,

I have received and read your form-letter email and I must say that I am offended. First, because it appears to me that you don’t actually live in Great Falls (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that), because if you did live here you wouldn’t make ignorant and idiotic statements which suggest our Great Falls Police Department “tears apart” our community or that “we can’t begin to grasp the scope of the violence” our officers are engaged in here. What rubbish!

Secondly, because you seem to think that you can lecture us and “demand” actions when you obviously have no idea what you’re even talking about when it comes to how Great Falls citizens regard our awesome local law enforcement community. We love, respect and appreciate the officers and employees at the GFPD and the Cascade County Sheriffs Office.

No institution is perfect but our community recognizes that the overwhelming majority of our local LE personnel do their jobs responsibly with dedication and fairness. And they do it every day, faithfully and with courage.

So, no I won’t be supporting any half-baked, knee jerk, ridiculous “demands” by you or anyone else to “defund” our police department here.

As a matter of fact I will be fully supporting our local LE enforcement and I will continue to advocate for more resources to help them do their job and keep our streets safe from criminals.

I hope that’s clear enough.


Commissioner Rick Tryon”

What Do We Support?

Over the course of this year’s school election, we have been critical of Great Falls Public Schools’ efforts to impose another permanent tax levy on the public.

More than one of our readers have asked us: is there anything E-City Beat does support?

In short, the answer is yes.

Broadly, we believe in fewer regulations, lower taxes, and whenever feasible, limited government.

More specifically, and although antithetical to the above, we would emphatically endorse a public safety levy in Great Falls.

For the better part of a decade, crime has risen in Great Falls. Nevertheless, our excellent police department remains dramatically understaffed.

On July 13, 2019, Rick Tryon posted to his Facebook page:

According to the FBI and other sources, the commonly accepted best officer-to-citizen ratio is between 16.7 and 20 sworn officers for every 10,000 in population, so Great Falls should have between 100-112 police officers. The Great Falls Police Department currently employs 88 officers.

Over the past five years, voters approved a $100 million school bond issue, as well as the formation of a $13 million park district.

School district backers often cite “economic development” as a reason to pass annual mill levies. The truth is, the voting public has already demonstrated tremendous generosity by investing in big ticket infrastructure items. However, our community has not realized an economic boom as a result. On the contrary, Great Falls has remained statistically stagnant.

The schools received a tenth of a billion dollar boon, the park and rec department hauled in over eight figures, but what good are new buildings and pristine parks if our community continues to become less safe?

We don’t often agree with the New York Times, but it is worth highlighting when they are correct. Three years ago, the Times argued that the single greatest factor in attracting a professional workforce is crime — not pay raises for school administrators.

“There are all sorts of potential other amenities, whether it’s cafes, restaurants, bars, nicer parks, better schools,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University.

“But a huge piece of it,” she said, “I think is crime.”

We agree.

If we want to welcome new community members to enjoy our city’s schools and parks system, it is high time we focus our attention, and yes, our resources where they should have been along: on public safety.

Poll: GFPD Vs. The Great Falls Tribune

On Friday, the Great Falls Police Department issued a media release responding to a Tribune story about the Great Falls Rescue Mission. You can read the Tribune’s response to the GFPD release here.

Can anyone recall the GFPD ever scolding local media like this? The fact that our (excellent) police department felt compelled to make any kind of statement says a lot, frankly.

But what do you think? Do you agree with the GFPD, or did the Tribune get it right? Vote in our poll, and tell us why in the Comments…


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