The following editorial is written by a retired police officer and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
SEATTLE, WA- ROFLMAO…if you are not familiar with texting parlance, that means “roll on the floor, laugh my ass off.”
That is all we could say when we saw the unadulterated load of crap coming out of Seattle. If you missed it, a lawsuit was filed on Friday that accuses the city and state of failing to protect rioters, er “protesters” from injury and death.
You see, the police are just supposed to let these overgrown children loot and destroy the city without repercussions.
Below are some examples of “peaceful” Seattle protesters.
The suit also alleges that the Seattle PD allegedly broke laws and violated the state constitution, as well as the department’s own policies, the Patch reported.
The 100-page lawsuit was brought by an apparent ambulance-chasing law firm, specifically Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore and Cedar Law PLLC. The suit seeks damages, as well as lawyers’ fees, expenses and for protesters’ arrest records to be expunged, purged and/or sealed.
Cry us a river.
The suit represents dozens of rioters, including a man named Daniel Gregory, who was injured in a shooting at a Capitol Hill protest in June, as well as Aubreanna Inda, who ended up in the hospital after allegedly being struck by a police projectile adjacent to the East Precinct.
One of the plaintiffs is the family of Summer Taylor, who was playing on Interstate 5 during a July 4 demonstration and was hit by a driver. Taylor died from her injuries.
“This lawsuit is brought on behalf of peaceful protesters,” said Karen Koehler, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “These protesters did not attack the police, they did not commit violence, they did not loot. They are like 99 percent of the protesters who have tried to protest on behalf of Black Lives Matter. Their peaceful protests were met with the very thing they are protesting against.”
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According to KUOW, the lawsuit is arguing that police used excessive, unprovoked force on “peaceful” protesters.
One complainant, for example, claims that an officer picked her out of the crowd and said:
“I’m going to beat the shit out of you.”
Another one is reportedly with the University of Washington’s daily newspaper The Daily. They were allegedly displaying identification showing they were members of the media when they allege they were struck with a police baton.
Yet another person complaining is a man who tried to stop a driver from entering a crowded protest area. The driver shot him, then turned himself into police.
The lawsuit makes numerous allegations that tries to remove responsibility from the rioting lunatics and transfer it to the police department.
The lawsuit alleges the following negligent actions by the Seattle police:
- Failing to post signage, block off streets, or accurately communicate with protesters about safety measures.
- The police department did not deescalate conflict or avoid unreasonably escalating conflict
- The department did not communicate warnings to protesters or give protesters reasonable opportunity to comply with warnings.
- City officials did not prohibit unreasonable use of force, and the police department violated its own policies and reasonable policing practices regarding use of force.
- The department did not properly plan for the demonstrations or adequately communicate with officers.
- The department did not properly protect protesters in Capitol Hill or adequately set up barriers to prevent cars from driving into the area.
- Seattle PD and state did not properly supervise officers.
Specific complaints range from unconstitutional excessive force to unconstitutional restraints and punishment of free speech and assembly, negligence, false imprisonment and wrongful death.
The complaint alleges that some of the “peaceful protesters” were hit with “crowd control weapons” such as “blast balls” and pepper spray and goes through a laundry list of injuries allegedly at the hands of police.
The attorneys also allege that the police used a disproportionate number of officers, used “haphazard and improper force,” targeted “legal” observers, journalists, and medical personnel and infringed on constitutional rights.
The Seattle Times reported that the city attorney’s office intends to defend Seattle against the claims, however the state has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.
Apparently, the only thing the “peaceful protesters” are not asking for is ice cream and lollipops.
Bottom line, if you are gonna play with fire, expect to get burned.
This is a case where these ridiculous suits should be tossed out on summary judgment.
As if that isn’t enough, businesses in Seattle are fleeing in part, due to deteriorating safety conditions.
SEATTLE, WA – Seattle downtown businesses continue to suffer the aftermath of the year’s protests-turned-riots and COVID-19. Many have closed permanently, reflecting the devastating outcome of a downtown area that has now been called a ghost town.
According to Don Blakeney, spokesperson for the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), deteriorating safety conditions and COVID restrictions are combining to push businesses out.
Last week, the DSA sent a letter to City Hall, inviting elected leaders to see what is happening on the ground and hoping they make a pledge to keep businesses safe. Blakeney said:
“There hasn’t been a huge reply from the City Council to be honest.”
Two months ago, some downtown businesses sued the City Council for not keeping their neighborhoods safe for their employees and customers.
The DSA reports that since March, more than 100 street-level businesses in Seattle have called it quits. One recent closing was Columbia Sportwear, and two days ago, the IGA grocery store at the corner of 3rd and Pike, closed after 12 years operating at that location.
In a written statement, IGA Store owners said:
“Economic, social and political issues associated with doing business in the city of Seattle are ultimately the reasons for closing.”
In an interview with KING 5, owners said they feel too many people were loitering around the store for safety, and they blamed the city of Seattle for not taking action.
DSA officials say COVID-19 and plummeting foot traffic have only exacerbated problems, including shoplifting and the cost of paying for security. Add that to the post-riot ghost town and graffiti laden appearance of the downtown area, and it is little wonder that business owners find it difficult to begin again.
Hard to Start Over After Riots
The lack of enthusiasm to begin anew is not surprising. Victor Matheson, professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross, looked back at the 1992 Los Angeles Rodney King riots.
“Economic activity in the areas affected didn’t return for at least 10 years, at least not to previous levels.”
He said Los Angeles riots cost almost $5 billion in economic activity measured in lost sales over 10 years.
“If people don’t feel safe where their businesses are, then they don’t feel a need to rebuild.”
It does appear that businesses are leaving the city in hordes, as evidenced by a slew of tweets from those departing the region.
Unfortunately, business closings are occurring all across the country post riot/COVID 2020. According to CNBC reporting of Yelp research data, 60% of businesses that had closed temporarily due to COVID have now made those closures permanent.
Riots: The Cost That Keeps On Rising
According to Axios, the damage caused by this year’s riots breaks records. With more than $1B in paid insurance claims, the damage from riots and looting across the United States following the death of George Floyd is estimated to be the costliest in insurance history – between $1 billion and $2 billion.
An often-overlooked cost of riots is the immediate funds needed to de-escalate violence and keep residents safe. Even during the early days of the protests and riots, Seattle Police Department reported that taxpayers would have expenses arising from police efforts, including $6.3 million in overtime, $67,478 on riot gear and $31,172 on pepper spray, flash bangs and other less than lethal weapons. That number today will likely make taxpayers reach for their smelling salts.
Tourism in Seattle
Many of these departing and failing businesses relied on tourists to stay open. Tourism plays a huge role in Seattle’s economy, with nearly 40 million tourists visiting annually pre-COVID, and more than 20 million overnight visitors, likely business travelers.
In 2019, more than 165,000 Seattle-area jobs were supported by the tourism industry, generating direct income of $5.7 billion. These tourism industry jobs represent 3.5% of all jobs in the state, and the economic activity supported by visitors supports a total of 5.1 percent of all jobs in Washington.
Many of these departing and failing Seattle businesses relied on tourists to stay open.
But once the tourists again have the chance to visit Seattle, will they? Most Americans, hearing of the violence and viewing it nightly on their television news, will not choose to go somewhere they are not safe. “Defunding” the police, at least in the short run, is proving to lessen the safety of the citizens and visitors of a city.
And despite calls on the city council to adequately finance the police to keep the downtown area safe, the council continues to go forward with its plans to “defund.” On September 22, Twitter user Jon Huntley (@renwa82), a self-described political moderate, tweeted:
“I’m staying out of any city that doesn’t have an adequate police force. I imagine crime is going to get more frequent and bold. This will hurt Seattle’s economy by way of less tourism and by businesses leaving Seattle because it’s not safe to operate there.”
While protestors and rioters can choose to go home, or on to the next protest, Seattle businesses are left to deal with the remnants of violence, and they continue to pay.
Is Seattle Safe to Visit Today?
If potential tourists are interested in visiting Seattle, and want to know what it looks like today, one resident took to the streets to show folks the truth.
The long-reaching impact of the riots and unsafe downtown area will be felt for years to come.
But it’s not just Seattle:
August 25, 2020 – PORTLAND, OR – At the risk of sounding redundant, a riot was declared in Portland on the evening of August 24th.
After 10:00 p.m. Monday night, rioters marched from Arbor Lodge Park to the Portland Police Association headquarters and began spray-painting and causing damage to the building.
Police arrived quickly and declared a riot as the smoke from a fire set began rising in the front of the building. A second fire had also been set to the rear of the building.
Both were extinguished before they were able to cause further damage.
Arrests were made and tear gas was deployed to disburse the unlawful gathering.
During the march, rioters chanted the name of Jacob Blake, the man who was shot by police in Wisconsin Sunday. As in many other frivolous riots in Portland, the case involving Blake happened nearly 2,000 miles away from Portland and have zero to do with Portland Police.
Furthermore, Portlanders are seemingly up-in-arms over a suspect shot by police that has a history pulling guns out on people, committing sexual assault, domestic violence – and assaulting police officers.
Terrorists in Portland bragged about assaulting police officers, as seen in this tweet:
Commotion took over the streets again as people disbursed the area. A reporter on scene said that she saw a body loaded into an ambulance from the ground.
She was unable to tell if it was an officer or rioter and so far there has been no update as to that information.
Even the media couldn’t hold in their bias during this riot and were actively harassing the police.
The rioters chanted:
“What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now. If we don’t get it, burn it down.”
The chaos that ensued on the evening of the 24th marked the 89th night of some form of protesting or riot within Portland. Aside from the reported cases of arson and general vandalism against the police union building, the total damage done from the evening is not yet clear.
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