SEATTLE, WA- A “peaceful protestor” is now federal facing charges for his role in Seattle’s violent riots. Tyre Wayne Means Jr. is being charged for lighting a cop car on fire and stealing a police rifle out of another patrol car.
Allegedly, Means attended a riot in Seattle on May 30th and decided to engage in criminal activity. The suspect is being charged with multiple felonies which include arson, possession of a stolen firearm, and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
Means has an extensive history with law enforcement. In the state of Georgia the suspect was convicted of two felonies, serious injury by vehicle and obstructing law enforcement by use of threats or violence. Means also has a no-contact order against him and a felony conviction for domestic violence. All of his prior convictions would prohibit Means from possessing a firearm.
In addition to the suspect’s several convictions is a still open criminal case. AP News reports that, at the time of attending the Seattle riots, Means was awaiting trial on a burglary case.
AP News explains:
“Means is simultaneously awaiting trial scheduled for Nov. 16 in Kitsap County Superior Court for a 2018 burglary charge stemming from a prior domestic violence conviction.”
The criminal complaint from May 30 that details the crimes explains that shortly after 4:00PM on May 30, Means was seen on video lighting a paper towel on fire and placing it inside the back of a Seattle police car that was stationed on 6th avenue in downtown Seattle. Other riots then stepped in to add lighter fluid and other chemicals to the fire causing it to completely engulf the car in flames. The police car was destroyed.
Then, Means was spotted taking a rifle bag from the back of another patrol car. The suspect reached in through the car’s destroyed back window and took the bag, he then opened it to search for a gun.
A man approaches Means and the two begin fighting over the rifle. Means flees the scene and reappears on surveillance video on Pine Street, just around the corner from the flaming patrol car.
Means then gets into another fight with a different man. While Means is distracted an unidentified man steals the rifle bag and walks away. The rifle was returned to the Seattle Police West Precinct later the same day by an anonymous man.
The US Department of Justice explained in a press release that Means was identifiable by his “distinctive clothing, jewelry, tattoos.” The department also took notice of a woman Means was with who “had distinctive tattoos and a significant social media presence.”
The suspect was arrested on Thursday in Bremerton, Washington while he was checking in with his state Department of Corrections officer.
U.S. Attorney Moran released a statement on the arrest saying:
“This is just the latest in a series of cases where our office has brought federal criminal charges related to civil disorder, and should be a wake-up call for those who think they can commit crimes hidden by a crowd.”
Moran continued that police are using photo and video to track down violent rioters:
“Federal law enforcement and local police are piecing together publicly available video and photographic evidence to identify and ultimately prosecute those who thought they could escape accountability for their actions. In this case it means a felon, who is legally barred from possessing firearms, now faces tough federal sanctions.”
Means would face a combined maximum of 50 years in prison if convicted on all four of the charges.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
They just want anarchy: Black Lives Matter rejects invite by Seattle mayor to be on city task force
Seattle, OR – Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan created a task force in order to determine how the city will invest $100 million dollars in minority communities.
But an organization that was invited to participate, Black Lives Matter, declined the invitation.
— jseattle (@jseattle) October 15, 2020
Durkan most assuredly assumed that Black Lives Matter would want to take part of her “Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force”.
After all, the organization was one of the louder voices in defunding the Seattle Police Department and having those funds funneled to somehow spur growth and safeguard minority communities.
However, it was only after they were mentioned in taking part that she most likely learned they had no interest and working with her.
The 29-member Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force will be charged with leading the process to produce recommendations on where the funds should go. https://t.co/TEUa4qpRDw
— KOMO News (@komonews) October 14, 2020
Chris Nelson, a spokesman for the Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, said that any claims they would be participating were incorrect. He noted that they were invited to join, “but declined the invitation.”
BLMSKC released a press statement which read:
“Once the Mayor identified chairs and focus areas for the Task Force, the Black community had already been relegated to assistant player. A new body with the specific aim of meaningfully supporting the Black community should be designed and led by the Black community.”
Durkan had announced there were 29 people from varying communities and organizations that would be giving their input on where to spend the money. The organizations mentioned by her officer were the Black Farmers collective, two different unions, and the Muslim Housing Services.
History has placed us in a time of a worsening pandemic, an economic crisis, and a racial reckoning. Still, these unprecedented challenges also impose a moral obligation to act now to create healthy, just, and resilient communities for our BIPOC neighbors.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) October 14, 2020
In addition, the president of the Seattle Central Community College as well as the director of Ventures is on the task force. However, BLMSKC, is seemingly upset that they are not overseeing the effort.
A spokeswoman for Durkan’s office, Kamaria Hightower, alleged that BLMSCK wants to form a “third process separate from both the Equitable Communities Initiative and King County Equity Now.”
That process would be a “Defund Task Force and an interim Black Commission” which would be appointed by both Durkan and the Portland City Council.
The purpose of this initiative would be to have a needs assessment plan for spending the large amount of money. They also allegedly want to participate in the bargaining process of the Seattle Police Department.
The BLMSKC also wants the city and county to close down youth jails by working with the Executive Constantine, Public Health and community partners. Their intent is for all youth, regardless of what crime they commit, to not be incarcerated and to have those currently incarcerated by 2025.
As of now, there has been no public commitment from Durkan nor the city council as to whether or not they would commit to the alleged plans by the BLMSKC. However, Hightower did say that Durkan has not reviewed all of the ‘requests’ from the group.
Durkan’s task force has been met with criticism from King County Equity Now because some of the funding will come from other sources other than the Police Department budget.
The funding instead will be coming from the new JumpStart Seattle payroll tax.
KCEN takes issue with using the funding from the tax and they are not alone. Over 50 different Seattle based organizations also believe that the funding should be coming from the police budget.
Another situation which gives people pause is that Durkan had initially vetoed the new tax. However, the City Council was able to override the veto and enact the new tax. Now, Durkan is using the funds the city is receiving from this tax to fill budget shortfalls and invest the money in the minority communities.
Regardless of where the funding is coming from, the task force will begin meeting this year in order to plan on where and how the money will be spent. The task force is expected to furnish their recommendations next spring.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.