Seattle leaders make move to end drug and prostitution loitering law which “targeted people of color”

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Seattle, Washington – Apparently Seattle is well on it’s way to getting rid of certain loitering related laws that can lead to arrest, since proponents are proclaiming the adverse effects it has on “people of color”.

Two bills have recently passed by way of the Seattle City Council on June 22nd that will stop police from being able to arrest someone for loitering when related to either drug or prostitution suspicions, according to reports.

The existence of these laws that targeted loitering started to gain more popularity right around the time that the war on drugs was in full-swing within the 1990s. But apparently, these laws are now being construed as something racist.

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, who co-sponsored both of the bills, stated the following about the passing of the bills:

“Today we’re taking a step in the right direction, making sure our laws reflect our values and don’t create additional burdens on our Black and brown community members.”

Now, these laws don’t mean that people can’t be arrested for prostitution or drug possession/dealing – it just means that the arrest cannot simply be for loitering with the suspicion of drugs or prostitution. Meaning that if police catch someone in the act of soliciting their body or narcotics, then they can still expect to get hemmed up by police in Seattle.

Still, there’s speculation that the removal of these laws that afforded police to enact arrests for loitering will have a downward spiral effect.

Many are a fan of what’s known as “broken window policing” – a form of patrolling that bases off-the-cuff investigating under the mantra of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.

Of course, others are arguing that just because “people of color” have been affected by the existence of these laws, it doesn’t mean that they were created as a means to “target” certain ethnicities.

Regardless of one’s position on the matter, those championing the bills’ passing are going to claim it a victory and then frame the “drop in crime/arrests” as proof that they worked out. Yet, when you make something no longer illegal, of course crime will drop – because a “crime” was no longer committed.

In the meantime, the mayor of Seattle says it’s official – they’re cutting the budget for the police department amid calls to “defund the police”.

This, despite the fact that insurrectionists have taken over part of the city and blocked out police.

She said it’s time to deal with racism.

In a letter that was leaked to Law Enforcement Today, she said it’s been a long time coming:

We must as a City government reckon with our own legacy of injustice. We work within a system that has helped perpetuate institutional racism and we have work to do to eradicate these failings. For our Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) neighbors, the pain and consequences of this moment are life and death.

How did she determine what the budget should be?  By determining what the “values” of the city are.  And among those values are funding for “support for immigrant and refugee residents”.

She said that support, among other expenditures during this current “crisis” has caused a $300 million budget shortfall.

Keep in mind all of this comes as her office has taken over all communications with the media for the police department.  And as she claims she’s going to “take back” the autonomous zone, despite seemingly having no plans for how to actually do it.

Here’s the full text of her letter:

Dear City Family,

Our city and country are at a historic crossroads. We have seen great upheaval across our country – first with the impacts of a global pandemic of COVID-19, next with the devastating economic consequences and record unemployment, and now with a civil rights movement against generations of racism and inequity, caused by hard-built systems that rely upon and foster injustice.

We must as a City government reckon with our own legacy of injustice. We work within a system that has helped perpetuate institutional racism and we have work to do to eradicate these failings. For our Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) neighbors, the pain and consequences of this moment are life and death.

A budget is always a reflection of our values. And this year, the size and scale of these crises is unlike anything that has previously faced our City. We have had to make hard decisions on our City programs and budget by listening to the needs of our community.

This week, I will be transmitting our updated 2020 budget to the City Council. Even in this unprecedented and challenging moment, I believe our 2020 budget addresses in part our community’s needs at this critical time, especially our investments in COVID-19 relief resources for vulnerable and BIPOC communities like: housing, child care, education, testing, shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness, small business support, and support for immigrant and refugee residents.

Our City employees have been a lifeline to the community during COVID-19. Through investments in direct assistance like grocery vouchers and rental assistance, economic support for small businesses, artists and nonprofits, free citywide testing, and investments to support our most vulnerable neighbors, the City has incurred over $200 million in unbudgeted new expenses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Much of this funding will be able to be reimbursed from the federal government and State resources through the budget legislation I sent to the City Council today.

The economic consequences have left the City with an almost $300 million budget shortfall. In recent months, our City employees have been dedicated to spending the funds we have and making cuts.

To rebalance the budget, we are significantly relying on state and federal resources, which have been a critical lifeline to our city and residents. In addition, we will be using approximately 25 percent of emergency funds and significant underspend from 2019.

We also enacted hard decisions in March including a hiring freeze and cuts to discretionary spending like travel and consultants – this had led to approximately $70 million in budget reductions.

We will be submitting a $20 million cut from the Seattle Police Department, and we will have to postpone some capital projects. In order to fully balance the 2020 budget, the City is exploring options for $11 million in additional savings.

Balancing the budget for the remainder of this year has required tough conversations. And we know there are incredibly tough conversations remaining. In September, I will propose the biennial budget for 2021 and 2022. This summer we will have many necessary and critical conversations about where we must redirect our resources and where additional budget savings should be taken.

I am incredibly grateful to all of you on the ground and remotely doing the work that keeps our City running. I know these have been a series of hard weeks on top of hard months, and I am in awe of your commitment to building a better future for our City.

In partnership,

Jenny

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan stated on Monday, June 22, they will begin to end the police-free zone called the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP) after one deadly shooting and one other shooting.

But is there really a plan to do it?  Or is it all hot air?  We’re getting conflicting messages between the mayor’s office and our sources within the Seattle Police Department.

CHOP was organized about two weeks ago when police evacuated the ransacked East precinct building in the city’s Capitol Hill. The CHOP activists barricaded the area off in protest to racial inequity and police brutality after the controversial killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

Fox News quoted Durkan as saying:

“The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents. The impacts have increased, and the safety has decreased.”

Fox News also quoted Durkan as reporting that police, the mayor’s office and fire officials are working to make changes on Capitol Hill partnering with black-led community associations, supporters, small businesses, residents, and trustworthy messengers who will facilitate de-escalation.

Seattle Chief of Police sent her officers a letter

“Thank all of you for your hard work over the weekend and over the last several weeks. I know you are frustrated, and I know you are tired.   

My ask of you all is to hold steady and continue acting with integrity and professionalism. 

East Precinct Operations

I am advocating every day for options that get officers back into the precinct. There is no definitive timeline, but the department is pushing for it to be as soon as possible. In the interim we are considering a variety of options to mitigate the stress and strain the current circumstances are putting on each of you, as well as the broader community. A community that wants you back in that precinct as well.

The Broader Conversation

It should come as no surprise that the city, and really the entire country, are looking for new ideas on how to best support community safety. This department has shown it can be a leader in this work, and we will be again. Today, I am releasing the initial ideas of the SPD – first to you, and then to the community.

We also are launching the first in a series of efforts to hear directly from you about how to make this department even stronger. It will soon be on the internal homepage, but here is the link to the new digital suggestion form. I ask you to be honest, but constructive. I promise you, I and the command team will review every suggestion. Your ideas – small or large – will help move the department through this extraordinary time.

 I support you. I appreciate you.  

Be safe and take care of one another.”

Carmen Best

Chief of Police

On Saturday, a 19-year-old male was shot to death while another person was injured.

On Sunday, a 17-year-old was shot in the arm. 

Due to difficulties in emergency personnel responding to the CHOP – aka protestors blocking police and fire responders – the volunteer medics inside the area took the shooting victims to the Harborview Medical Center instead of waiting on emergency personnel.

The list of demands by protestors include defunding the police and for other social-justice causes to be addressed by city, state, and federal leaders. This list was presented on Monday by CHOP members.

Other issues were presented in a letter by the 25 activists and volunteers (CHOP) asking leaders to organize safe use areas on the perimeter of the zone, to create signs to help keep drunk individuals away and to implement a curfew to prevent vandalism and other disorderly behavior during the night time hours.

https://twitter.com/ChopVoices/status/1274657465565450240

The activists wrote:

“We would like to acknowledge that no organization, protests, or revolutions are perfect. We must all be willing to collectively learn and react quickly to mistakes made within our movement. We do not want to see what was started with the intention of lifting the BLM message destroyed before us all.”

The letter was written on June 21 to the CHOP organizers, leaders, and community as a whole. It was a request for “change” with in the CHOP area so they could present their message in a peaceful organized manner.

They want to be heard and to be organized with hours of operation (8am-8pm), make the zone safer, and not be a battle zone or zone of destruction. CHOP wants to be able to grow by coordinating Collective Signal/Telegram groups to make safety comms and organizing less difficult.

Lastly, the letter says:

“We want to keep fighting and stand our ground. We want to take back the purpose of this all. We want to raise the correct message. We developed a space that could accomplish this.

A hub for organizing, learning, and protesting. Before it is dismantled from inside out or vise versa, let’s make a collective effort to change. Let’s grow from this.”

Fox News interviewed Mike Solan, President of Seattle Police Officers Guild who stated:

“The CHOP zone is a direct result of city elected officials failing the reasonable community of Seattle to enforce  the rule of law and this just isn’t the area occupied in a six block zone where police are still forbidden and still don’t have their East Precinct. This is now impacting our entire city.”

City officials have also chosen to remove less lethal chemical munitions from police hampering the police’s ability to disperse unruly violent crowds. Mike Solan tells Fox News that is matter is of great concern and should be noted by all Americans.

Mike Solan further notes that the zone needs to be dismantled immediately.

He also isn’t sure that the city leaders they have in place are the right people to do it. The Seattle Police Officers Guild is also being asked to step down by a Seattle Labor Group because the guild will not agree that they are a racist institution.

Law Enforcement Today spoke with sources within the Seattle Police Department, who all expressed concern that the city doesn’t have an actual plan for how to do it.

One of the reasons?  There are armed protestors who have vowed to not let the “autonomous zone” fall.

“Let’s be clear about something,” a Seattle officer, who asked us to conceal his identity, shared with Law Enforcement Today.  “You’ve got armed insurrectionists, you’ve banned us from using non-lethal, and you think we’re all just going to walk in there and they’ll surrender?  Here’s an idea – you first, Mayor.”

And on Monday June 15th, 2020 The City Council in Seattle voted unanimously 9-0 to ban the Seattle PD from purchasing or utilizing CS Gas (Tear Gas), Noise Flash Diversionary Devices (Flash Bang Grenades) or Foam/Rubber Tipped Projectiles.

This vote comes after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best placed a temporary ban on CS Gas Friday June 12th, 2020.

Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda tells KIRO 7 News that she has begun an “inquest” into SPD”s budget.

How much of the $409 million dollar police budget is spent on riot control or demonstrations? Approximately $68,000 was budgeted with $9800 being spent on tear gas, pepper spray and other chemical agents. $2300 on flash bang grenades and $19,000 on “other less than lethal weapons.”

Mosqueda went on to say she hopes to cut funding of SPD up to 50% so the city can invest in more “public health style responses.”

Mosqueda states that then the police can “be more focused on the issues they really signed up for.” Most police officers if asked would most likely say these are the issues they signed up for, with number one on the list being maintaining law and order.

What does Chief Best say about the council taking away less lethal force options?

On Monday, Chief Best was quoted by KING 5 News as saying:

“It has been historically known through the evidence and other research that the use of CS gas, otherwise known as tear gas, can often be a less lethal way of dispersing a crowd without having to go hands on, without using our riot batons. So it has been determined to be less dangerous to do that. That said, it has been very clear to us that people are not wanting us to use the CS.” 

Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who sponsored the bill, took to Twitter after the unanimous vote claiming a victory for “her party and the movement.”

Now Seattle Police Officers are left with very limited less lethal options during a time when law enforcement is being criticized for using excessive force.

The protests happening all over the country are supposedly to end police brutality? So, voting to save $68,000 which is a negligible amount on tear gas and pepper spray is going to help police use less force how?

Even Chief Best says that CS Gas was an acceptable less lethal option for civil disorder and followed up with “it’s been made very clear to us that people don’t want us using the CS.”

How about the people who don’t want to feel the effects of CS Gas just comply with lawful orders?

We know, that’s a crazy notion.

Seattle Police Officers were injured when demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and even Improvised Explosive Devices at them on Friday June 6th during a night of violent protests. This was after officers advised the demonstrators not to move a barricades outside SPD’s East Precinct on the corner of 11th and Pine Streets.

The good news is we don’t have to worry about the East Precinct anymore because it belongs to occupiers now who have created the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ. City Leaders as well as Chief Best herself have decided that the occupiers needed the space more than the police did.

Here’s more on CHAZ, or CHOP, whichever they prefer today, as brought to you by Law Enforcement Today.

This below editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

The insurrectionist misfits that have taken over part of Seattle and renamed it CHAZ, or CHOP or whatever lame-brained name of the day they have come up with, are now reported to have acquired assault rifles. This is what happens when you have a gutless mayor and a gutless governor. This little anarchist utopia should have been put down days ago.

 

RT is reporting that the so-called “leader of the pack,” self-declared “warlord” Raz Simone, was shown on video handing out assault rifles apparently to minors. That would be felony in the state of Washington if only the police were actually being permitted to do their job. The video was posted by Simone on his own Facebook page on June 10.

Under Washington state law, anyone between the age of 18 to 21 can only possess a semi-automatic assault rifle or semi-automatic pistol in their place of business, or in their residence. There is also an  exception for traveling “to and from” storage locations for example.

It is not known if such laws are applicable in CHOP, which had declared itself a sovereign entity last week, at least until there was a dumpster fire when they called the Seattle Fire Department for help. In normal times and in a city that had leadership with some intestinal fortitude, they would have told them to go pound sand.

The leftist utopia, kind of like the 2020 version of Woodstock where all is love, peace, drugs and rap [unless you go in there and try to preach apparently], which has borders around it [thought those were bad to leftists] has been defended by left-wing Mayor Jenny Durkan, who has said that the six-block district would resemble a “summer of love.”

Durkan hasn’t done anything to try to gain control of the area and has pretty much made herself a laughingstock. One can imagine if this was a group of right-wing, MAGA hat wearing conservatives that took possession of six blocks of a city. It would be 24/7 on CNN, with calls to have cruise missiles fired into the middle of it to take out the evil right-wing zealots.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Or course, the leadership of CHOP or CHAZ or whatever they’re calling it originally claimed the area was something of a “cop-free zone,” where no law enforcement was allowed. Of course, once the self-proclaimed leader of the pack got a taste of some power, he created what is being referred to as a “de facto police replacement ‘to keep peace and unity, honestly that’s it.’”

Chaz also had to dodge a bit of homophobic dirt, claiming that he was “hacked” several years ago after some conservative journalists found tweets from back then when he used homophobic language. Nothing will send a self-proclaimed woke leader to the scrap heap than having any indication of homophobia come out of the closet.

RT also reports that residents (or campers, or squatters, whatever you want to call them) are getting tired of Raz’s apparent power trip. After all, nobody elected him to be the leader of the pack. Who died and made him boss anyway?

Last week, MYNorthwest reported that organizers of CHAZ had confirmed that there were people with guns inside, the guns weren’t visible, despite pictures showing otherwise.

“It is not our intent to create any paradox to try to incite violence or have that be a motif,” said one of the occupiers, Maurice Cola. “We’re not trying to us our guns to flash around—it’s for defense.”

In what can only be considered a beautiful coincidence, Cola said that while people are free to come and go without being stopped, the guns are for defensive purposes to guard against “violent white supremacist groups.”

“There’s local groups of white supremacists who facilitated in trying to give us threats by marching up with their own weaponry, so we are utilizing our rights and bearing arms,” he said. “There are a few people who are monitoring the gate just for our safety, as we already had an active shooter on site.”

Rights? If this is an autonomous territory, what rights is he talking about? Considering these people want to become autonomous and therefore independent from the United States, it isn’t clear what rights he is referring to.

The active shooter reference was relative to an incident last Sunday when an armed man allegedly drove through the crowd and allegedly shot a protester in the arm.

Anyway, the current occupants of Camelot, otherwise known as CHAZ, are apparently tiring of the autonomous zone descending into anarchy (talk about karma). Raz has been facing accusations of punching journalists and having people removed who committed heinous acts of vandalism such as unapproved tagging.

The following post was received from a Seattle police officer, who has chosen to remain anonymous. This is the inside story, the one the media is not providing.

Hey guys, I have a little down time so here is an update on things here.

Absolute madness here. Can’t even express it all. Day 12 for us and our Mayor and chief abandoned a major precinct and gave it to the anarchists. Unthinkable. 9 blocks of our city under the complete control of these terrorists. No joke. This is unreal. No police, no fire dept, no sanity allowed in.

They have an armed force patrolling, manning checkpoints and stopping cars and citizens at gun point. They are creating a currency, an ID system, a supply system that includes food, water, ammo, and chemical weapons. They have access to the precinct and have made it their hq. Our “leaders” are completely silent, and the city council is completely complicit. Yes, they have been on the front lines WITH the anarchists and yes, last night one council member let about 200 into city hall.

The warlord in charge of the new “capitol hill autonomous zone” (CHAZ) drives a tesla and has been arrested for drugs, guns, pimping and crimes against children and is on a federal child porn watch list. He carries an AK-47 and has already started abusing people inside. WTF? You can’t make this up.

We have been castrated. There is no recovering from this. We can’t go near the zone and have been warned by our dept to stay away. We are only working for each other now. We have been in battles where these psychopaths have hit us with rocks, cinderblocks, homemade napalm, and even IEDs. Multiple injuries and THEN we gave up the precinct. Now the guns are out.

This city can burn. I’m working on my exit plan now. The city and state hates us and gives us no support, in fact the leaders are actively supporting this very real insurgency. Yet, all you hear in the media is that they are merely peaceful protesters. This is real. There is a part of our country that is no longer under our control. People need to know. This is not about race. It’s about control.

There was also a video released that showed some of Raz’s gangstas putting a Christian preacher in a chokehold last week.

Wait, isn’t that what started this whole thing?

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