KING COUNTY, WA – One of the top prosecutors in the King County area met with lawmakers and law enforcement officials at their request to discuss the lack of consequences for criminals.
Instead of getting some type of promise that things would get better, instead, he told the room that there would be even fewer prosecutions in the future.
This seems a bit reactionary to me. Has the King County Prosecutor et al. indicated that they're going to offer RCP for some felonies in EVERY instance, or that it may be considered on a case-by-case basis?
— Car-dwelling Weirdo (@CarWeirdo) December 18, 2021
The meeting was called by the mayors of Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, and Renton on December 14th to discuss how the prosecutor’s office was going to help in ensuring crimes were prosecuted.
What they were told by King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and other members of their senior staff said there would be fewer prosecutions of juvenile offenses in the future.
King County Prosecutors informed the group that they had implemented a diversion program that was designed to ensure more juveniles accept certain services that are supposed to change the behavior of the troubled youth.
The juvenile offender’s participation in the program would lead to any criminal charges against them being dropped.
King County officials noted that the program, called Restorative Community Pathways, had been implemented in November of 2021 without anyone outside of the prosecutor’s office knowing.
The program “alarmed” the city leaders in attendance that several cases would no longer be criminally pursued. In a joint statement, the mayor’s said:
“[We are] alarmed to learn that felonies such as bringing a gun or other weapon to school or a physical assault will not result in an arrest, at a time when we are seeing rising violence and mental health crises in schools.”
During the meeting, King County prosecutors presented a PowerPoint presentation that broke down their belief and the need for utilizing a program called Restorative Community Pathways.
The goal of this program is to forward roughly 40 percent of all juvenile criminal cases to this program in the beginning, with the anticipation that the numbers will be higher in the future.
When a juvenile is taken into custody, instead of seeing a criminal juvenile judge which will determine innocence, guilt, or consequences for their actions, they will stand in front of a panel full of community activists.
Those activists would decide how if at all, the juvenile criminal will be held accountable.
The presentation then broke down a scenario in which a child is caught bringing a gun to school. In slide (8), it states:
“Young Timmy brings a pistol to school, brandishes it during a confrontation, and causes panic.”
The next slides go through different considerations that the prosecutor’s office will take into effect regarding the possibility of any criminal charges.
Things like: was a crime committed and what will happen to the juvenile if they face some type of criminal prosecution.
After speaking of different criminal statutes that may or may not apply in the situation, the PowerPoint goes on to say:
“Most likely, no time in custody and no ultimate conviction.”
While the prosecutor’s office somehow expected the full support of the city leadership and law enforcement members in the audience, they received the exact opposite.
The mayors of Renton, Kent, Federal Way, and Auburn all asked the prosecutor’s office to cease and desist. Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell noted his concern on the matter:
“One of the things that we’ve been very concerned about is guns at schools. We have had six guns taken off students in Federal Way high schools this school year already. So, the inclusion of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree and unlawful display of a weapon was alarming.
“Instead of trying to meet the cities halfway, the King County prosecutor’s office is running in the opposite direction. It’s an outrageous breach of public trust.”
The young adult was already on probation for three separate robberies.
On December 11th, a man called 911 after he had been carjacked by three people armed with guns.
The victim told the dispatcher that the three suspects held guns to his head and took his phone and vehicle before fleeing in the 7900 block of South Albany.
An Illinois State Trooper who was in the area saw the stolen vehicle pass by them and crash shortly after he observed the vehicle.
The Illinois State Trooper and other members of local law enforcement moved in as three males got out of the car and took off on foot.
The trooper was able to capture the driver, identified as 18-year-old Larry Grant, while other officers were able to catch one of the passengers, who was reportedly a juvenile.
There is no information regarding the third suspect in the case that would determine if he was captured or is still on the run.
Officers allege that when they caught up with the juvenile in a nearby laundromat, they found him armed with two different firearms.
The juvenile, whose age and name were not released, allegedly had a .22 caliber rifle hanging from his chest and a .9-millimeter handgun somewhere on the front of him.
Police detained both individuals until a show-up could be conducted by the victim in the case.
A show-up is when law enforcement picks up the victim and transports them to wherever the suspect has been located for the purposes of identification.
When the victim arrived with the police, he positively identified Grant as being one of the three who had held him at gunpoint while the group stole his vehicle.
There is no indication as to whether the victim was able to identify the juvenile that was arrested in the case.
When police researched Grant, they learned that he was on active juvenile probation for three different robberies which he had committed before becoming an adult.
Police noted that two of Grant’s prior robbery convictions were considered aggravated while one was listed as just a robbery.
Instead of spending any time in a juvenile confinement center for the three violent convictions, he was sentenced to only two years worth of juvenile probation.
Police have not reported if Grant was in a possession of a firearm when he was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the carjacking.
They did, however, note that Grant had an active warrant for domestic violence battery out of DeKalb County.
Grant was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, possessing a stolen vehicle, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. Grant appeared in front of Judge Charles Beach who assigned a bond of $350,000.
Violent crime in the area of Chicago is making everyone, including business owners, concerned with their safety and ability to thrive in the area.
People like Jack Lavin, the president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, noted that people are beginning to demand the political leaders in the city to step up and do something to deter crime. Lavin spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times and said:
“Our businesses – and it’s not just retail as you hear on the Mag Mile. It’s restaurants, offices, returning to work, banks. They want to know how are we gonna solve the violence and the public safety problem this week. This weekend. Tomorrow.”
While Lavin notes that he is in support of Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan on filling 1,000 Chicago Police vacancies as well as putting stimulus dollars to work, the business community wants something more.
They need to know there is a plan in place to stop the violence. He said:
“[We need a] strategy for the short and medium-term for how we’re gonna reduce retail theft, carjackings, shootings and who is prosecuted.”
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