It doesn’t take a genius to guess the main culprit for the increase in crime in Seattle. As I’ve noted many times on this blog, the homeless are not held responsible for their criminal activities throughout the city. Read about the many crimes committed by the homeless here.
MyNorthwest.com reports that certain areas of Seattle (SoDo and Georgetown) have reported a 31% increase in crime compared to a 1% increase citywide. The crimes include property damage, commercial burglaries, thefts, and motor-vehicle thefts, including 510 cars broken into.
“According to business owners, the area is developing a sense of lawlessness with garbage piles, graffiti, drug abuse, broken-down RVs, prostitution, and numerous incidents of theft and property damage. It’s impacted the feelings of safety among business owners and customers, as well as those living in RVs, themselves the target of many of the crimes.
“I feel sorry for the people down there who have businesses,” Curley said. “It must be an awful thing to have to deal with that every day.”
In response, police have dedicated a squad from 3 a.m. to noon in the area when most of the crime is occurring, and have dispatched a Community Police Team to perform outreach to those living in RVs.”
Another day, another story of a homeless person in Seattle receiving a free pass from the bureaucrats…
Seattle has a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution.
Read about the many stories I’ve posted about homeless people in Seattle being allowed to commit criminal activities with no consequences here.
Now another homeless person caught committing criminal activities is being punished with…cheeseburgers!
MyNorthwest.com reports that a business owner called Seattle Police because a homeless man was blocking the doors to his business. The homeless man pulled out pepper spray and pointed it at the business owner in a threatening way.
The business owner called the police and followed the homeless man to keep track of him.
It took Seattle Police 45 minutes to respond.
Police found the homeless man who threatened the business owner in the parking lot of McDonald’s. Seattle Police did not arrest the homeless man. Instead, the business owner watched as one policeman bought the homeless man two cheeseburgers.
According to the business owner, this is not the first time a homeless person has threatened him/his business. An employee of his received a black eye from a homeless person who was trying to break into customer cars and there is also a regular problem of the homeless using drugs and defecating on his property.
Sorry, got no empathy left for those in Seattle. Elections have consequences.
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As I have mentioned here before: Many west coast, progressive-run cities have a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution. This includes Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, etc. See the following:
Marysville, just north of Seattle in Snohomish County, is pro-actively doing something to address their homeless. Their method? Accept help or go to jail.
The mayor of Marysville, Jon Nehring, was appointed in 2010 and then was elected to a full term in November 2011, and re-elected in November 2015 after running unopposed.
Mayor Nehring appeared on the Jason Rantz show and spoke about their approach to dealing with the homeless. He spoke about the results of the Embedded Social Worker program, calling it a “partnership approach that balances compassion with enforcement to make real differences.”
He tweeted the following statistic (which occurred in just six months) on December 5:
“Marysville’s law enforcement-embedded social worker program is seeing great early success!
“Help means an initial assessment, and then a drug detox, or a substance abuse detox,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “After that, a 30 to 60 day long term rehabilitation program. And then if they graduate from that, they move into transitional housing and job training, hopefully ultimately get a job, and be at least somewhat — if not fully — self-sufficient.
That approach stems from a zero-tolerance policy from Marysville police, enforced across the city.
“In Marysville, we don’t tolerate sleeping under bridges [or] illegal camping, [and] we discourage our citizens from giving to panhandlers — we encourage them to give to local charities instead,” Mayor Nehring said.
That way, rather than simply clearing homeless encampments only to see them pop up somewhere else, a concerted effort is being expended to get to the root of the issue. Take away the option to continue trespassing and committing crimes, argued Mayor Nehring, and you leave people with a simple choice.
“It’s a two-pronged approach,” he described. “You can take that option, which we would much prefer. If not, if you’re committing crimes, we’re going to take you to jail.”
This method is really so simple that one has to wonder why other progressive-run cities can’t implement the same strategy: enforce the law with a zero-tolerance policy and apply taxpayer dollars to treatment programs.
Yet we know that method would not allow for bureaucrats to continually demand more taxpayer dollars to “solve” their homeless crisis.
A homeowner in the Magnolia area of Seattle tried to sell her house this past summer and was stalked by a “squatter” who had mental issues. The squatter claimed the house was his, trespassed on her property and tried to introduce himself as the new homeowner.
The homeowner called into the Dori Monson show to share her story. As reported by MyNorthwest.com:
“Soon after Lisa (name changed) put her Magnolia home on the market in late July, she said that a strange man began intruding on her property and in her home, acting like he lived there; setting up tents on her property, sometimes with another man; taking photos of her yard and neighbor’s yards and putting them on social media; introducing himself to neighbors as the new buyer of the house; and attempting to get into their homes by pretending to be an exterminator.
“We didn’t know what this guy was capable of for a long time, and so we were being as vigilant as we could … You don’t know what type of person you’re dealing with,” she said.
Lisa, who has since sold the house, had said at the time that despite living in terror for a week, police did not go after the Magnolia squatter in a timely fashion; it was not until after her story had been featured on the Dori Monson Show multiple times that police finally gave her a response she felt was appropriate to the situation.
“It took going on the show to get any response,” she said.
That said, she remains very grateful for the diligence and attention shown to her case after that by a Seattle Police Department task force.
“They came by the property every single day … I was really pleased with the response that we ended up getting after the show, so a shoutout to SPD,” she said.
While this was going on, Lisa figured out the man’s address and workplace through some sleuthing of her own. She gave this information to police, who initially said that they could not do anything because he lived out of their jurisdiction, but later were able to go to the man’s house and arrest him.
However, the Magnolia squatter spent just “24 hours and 10 minutes” in jail, according to Lisa. She pressed charges — which resulted in a grand total of a protection order, a $25 bail charge, and 30 hours of community service for the man.
“Only 30 hours of community service, Dori, for all that we endured — 30 hours of community service,” Lisa said.
In court, the man revealed to the judge that he has ADA-recognized bipolar disorder and was in a manic episode at the time of the squatting and stalking. “I empathize with people who are going through difficulties like that,” Lisa said, but “it doesn’t make it okay to terrorize a neighborhood and put everybody through what he did. There have to be consequences, regardless of what’s going on.”
Luckily, the judge did order the man to obtain mental health treatment, which Lisa sincerely hopes will aid him. While she is disappointed that he did not serve a greater sentence for all of the fear and emotional turmoil he caused her, she no longer worries about the effect that this man will have on her life.
“I do think that this person was really sick, and that breaks my heart, but they’re getting away with too much still, and we have to constantly think about our safety in this city … I hope that he’s getting the help that he needs,” she said.”
I’d bet the odds are pretty high that this squatter isn’t going to attend court-mandated mental health treatment program. And that the odds are pretty high will keep hearing about criminal activities in Seattle going unchecked.
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Mayor Durkan: Making Seattle “fair” and “just” and safe…
On Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city would be purging warrants for over 200 low-level, non violent offenders. From her tweet: “I am joined by @carmenbest@CityAttyPeteH and @CMLGonzalez as we take another step to make Seattle a more fair and just place for all.”
“Today Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City Attorney Pete Holmes, Councilmember M. Lorena González, and Chief Carmen Best filed a motion at Seattle Municipal Court asking the Court to consider quashing over 200 outstanding warrants for people charged or convicted of low-level non-violent misdemeanor offenses that occurred 5 to 22 years ago. The City is taking these steps to help address inequities in Seattle’s criminal justice system and to protect public safety(not according to this report) by ensuring that law enforcement can focus on more serious, violent offenses.
The vast majority of the 208 pre-dispositional and post-conviction warrants are for people charged or convicted of Prostitution (107 people) and for Driving with a Suspended License in the 3rd Degree (73 people), whichis commonly known as “driving while poor.” The Seattle City Attorney’s Office filed charges on these misdemeanor cases between February 1996 and July 2013. The motion also asks that the pre-dispositional cases be dismissed.
“If you haven’t re-offended after 5-plus years of a warrant being issued, I’m comfortable asking the Court to dismiss your warrant,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “Public safety is well-served in this action, as this clears the field to allow officers to focus on finding those people who’ve committed more serious offenses. Further, people with a cleared warrant will be much more likely to engage with police, report crimes they may witness, and get on with their lives.”
“We’re acting to make Seattle a more just city, to recognize that our criminal justice system disproportionately impacts people of color, and to ensure that our officers can focus on the most violent offenders and protecting public safety,” said Mayor Durkan.
Other warrants that the motion requests be quashed includes Graffiti (10 people); Attempt to Obtain Controlled Substance (5 people); Prostitution Loitering (5 people); Minor in Possession of Alcohol (3 people); Use ofDrug Paraphernalia (3 people), and Park Code Violation (2 people). No felony offenses are included in the motion.
The warrants addressed in the motion are primarily for post-conviction warrants, which are issued after a defendant was found guilty at Seattle Municipal Court but failed to appear for a subsequent hearing. Pre-dispositional warrants are issued after a person doesn’t show for a court-ordered appearance prior to the Court’s or jury’s finding on the defendant’s alleged offense.
“Outdated, low level warrants do not make our communities safer, but instead can cause harm, particularly in communities of color,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.
The 208 defendants included in today’s motion are not required to appear or take any action as the Court considers their outstanding warrants. 111 of the warrant holders are male, 96 are female, and one is unknown. 101 of the warrant holders are White, 73 are Black, 9 are Asian, 5 are Native American, and 20 were not identified.”
Don’t kid yourself that this will have any real impact on public safety and the ability of law enforcement to focus on more serious, violent offenders. They can’t even keep up with the crimes committed by the homeless. See the following:
I read about a musician being beaten up by someone with a baseball bat last week in downtown Seattle by a homeless encampment. I wondered if the perp might have been a homeless person. I was right.
Ever since Seattle declared a homeless crisis three years ago, the situation has only gotten worse. And the local politicians had better start doing SOMETHING or more people are going to be hurt and more businesses are going to be destroyed.
From MyNorthwest.com: The 15-year-long owner of South Lake Union’s El Corazon, the nightclub that a musician was leaving last week when he nearly lost his life to a random baseball bat attack by a homeless person, says that the city has allowed the neighborhood to turn into a living nightmare for businesses.
“There are a lot of good, taxpaying small business owners who are trying to do good things, and face a lot of challenges to begin with, but our city in a lot of ways is failing us, and not really providing us the support that we need,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dory Monson.
When Sims first began working at the nightclub 17 years ago, he said it “used to be quiet and sort of a destination venue.” In the past five years, however, he said that homeless service organizations in the neighborhood have acted as a magnet for crime and encampments, changing the entire character and safety level of the surrounding streets.
“I’m not saying that, the people who are providing these services, that their heart isn’t in the right place,” Sims said. “But they sometimes don’t understand how much they are enabling these people to continue the lifestyle … They’re really doing something bad for the entire community by just maintaining the whole problem.”
Sims sees emergency lights at the camp for overdoses and internal fights on a daily basis. The encampments, he said, tend to attract “drug-addicted young kids” who choose a life of crime and violence like the baseball bat attack that left El Corazon performer Ryan Georg having to learn how to speak again plague the neighborhood.
“They’re not people who have fallen on hard times,” Sims said of the campers. “They seem to be more like punk rock kids who seem on a mission to be free from the rules of society and just want to do their drugs and cause problems and not be held accountable, in my experience.”
He and other business owners have tried to make their voices heard to the city government, but he said that the harder they pushed, the “more resistance” they found.
“I constantly seem to be unheard, hitting a wall, or given a bunch of excuses … Everyone seems to give you lip service that they’re going to address the problem, and then when they realize how big the problem is, within a short period of time, they pass it along to someone else,” he said.
This indifferent attitude makes Sims feel like “a hamster in a wheel.”
“You feel like you’ve heard this all before and you can flowchart how it’s all going to happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, the encampment residents “understand the laws of the city” and are “pretty savvy,” Sims said. After getting notices that they needed to move, the campers simply went across the street and re-started the encampment all over again on state Department of Transportation property, where the city had no jurisdiction.
He wants to see local politicians take responsibility to fix the homelessness crisis so that innocent citizens like Georg and his bandmates will not have to live in fear on a walk to their cars (don’t hold your breath that will happen any time soon).
“We should get people in leadership in the city that actually want to address the problem, instead of taking our money, saying they’re going to address the problem, while the problem gets worse,” he said.
And that folks, is why we say “elections have consequences.”
I sense a pattern in west coast, progressive-run cities…
From MyNorthwest.com: A plan is being set in motion Monday to deal with Olympia’s homeless population with what the city is calling a “mitigation site.”
The goal is to end the situation with homeless people living tents all around downtown Olympia by moving them to a designated area.
Thenumber of homeless people living in tents has skyrocketed from about three dozen to well over three hundred in the last three months. Some say it’s gotten out of control, but the city said it’s working to make changes.
“The goal of the mitigation site is to be that first positive step for some of these individuals,” said Homeless Response Coordinator Colin DeForrest. “It’s no longer going to be OK to be in the City of Olympia’s parking lot. We’re going to find a better option for you, and if you don’t want to do that, then Olympia might not be the spot for you.”
The first mitigation site will be at Olympia Ave. NE and Franklin St. NE, which is a current homeless camp. It’ll be a first-come, first-serve site, fitting 80 people. Each person gets a 10-by-10-foot spot and a tent. DeForrest said it’ll be fenced with bathrooms, running water and trash cans.
City officials said they’re spending about $100,000 to make changes and build the site. Construction begins the week of Dec. 3 and there is expected to be more than one mitigation site in the future.
Olympia, like many other cities, has struggled to deal with the issue ever since a court ruling said arresting people for camping in public areas is cruel and unusual punishment especially if there is not shelter available for them.
If you’ve read any of my posts about the homeless crisis in Seattle, you know that the number of homeless is on the rise, drug use is openly permitted by the homeless, and crime and prostitution is on the rise. See the following:
In February 2017, the city of Seattle launched the “Navigation Team,” which is comprised of specially-trained outreach workers paired with Seattle Police Department (SPD) personnel, to connect unsheltered people to housing and critical resources. They work with homeless people to help them get access to urgent and acute treatment services.
In May of this year, the city boasted of an increase in the number of homeless people they successfully moved into permanent housing or shelters. Yet prevention programs saw a decrease in exits to permanent housing.
“The Seattle City Council moved Wednesday to reduce a proposed expansion of the city’s team responsible for overseeing removal of homeless encampments, redirecting the money to wage increases for homeless service workers.
The 6-3 vote was a preliminary action, with the final budget set for adoption Monday. But the proposal, sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, sparked debate among council members and protests from business and neighborhood groups who want a more vigorous response to the city’s estimated 400 unsanctioned tent camps.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had proposed expanding the Navigation Team, which includes outreach workers and police, by nine positions in her budgets for 2019 and 2020. City council staff said at least some of the positions already had been hired, using $500,000 allocated by King County over the summer to allow the team to expand to 30.
Mosqueda said her proposal would reduce that expansion to six next year, and seven in 2020, and would use the $724,000 in savings to give wage increases of two percent to more city-contracted human-services workers at nonprofit agenciesthan Durkan’s budget proposed.
Mosqueda’s proposal had begun leaking out earlier in the day, prompting push back. Mike Stewart, CEO of the Ballard Alliance, wrote in an email to the council before the vote that his neighborhood has had to “wait weeks and months for Navigation Team service.”
“If anything, the City should be allocating more funding to the Navigation Team to allow for additional capacity, faster response times and deeper reach into all of the affected neighborhoods across the City,” he wrote.
Mosqueda called the Navigation Team “critical” to the city’s homeless response, but she emphasized that the workers at nonprofits needed to be paid “a fair wage.” Councilmember M. Lorena Gonzalez, who joined Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien in favor of the proposal on a final vote, objected to “misinformation floating out there. This city council is not interested in eliminating the Nav Team.”
Sawant, however, proposed to eliminate all Navigation Team spending and use the money instead for affordable housing. It was rejected in an 8-1 vote.
Sawant objected to “the supposed but mythical values of the Navigation Team that does nothing but sweep homeless people … We haven’t met a single homeless person who thinks homeless sweeps work.”
Back in September, Christopher Rufo declared that he was going to run for Seattle City Council, District 6. He was going to challenge incumbent Mike O’Brien. Rufo started a CrowdPac page and had raised $12,760 of his $15,000 goal.
I read about Rufo in September and recall him saying he was “socially progressive” and “fiscally conservative.”(I can’t remember where I read that so I don’t have a link to that information.)
Turns out that not being 100% progressive will not get you anywhere near winning a council seat in Seattle.MyNorthwest.com reports that on Wednesday Rufo dropped out of the race. Excerpts from their report:
“When Rufo first made the announcement that he was running, someone on Facebook commented that he seemed like a nice guy, but had been at an event in town thrown by a conservative group, which automatically made him suspicious. Does attendance at a conservative event now disqualify you? What if you attended an event of a conservative you disagreed with just to hear what they had to say?
Christopher Rufo said that he wanted a new way of doing business, a new method — and now he’s already out. On Wednesday, he sent an email out to members of his campaign saying that he’s got to leave. It’s not because he wants to leave; it’s because of the “tolerant” atmosphere in Seattle. (The “tolerant” description was sarcasm.)
I had hoped that this would be a campaign of ideas, but I quickly discovered that the activists in this city have no interest in ideas. Since the campaign launch, they have harassed and threatened my family nonstop. I was prepared to take the heat, but unfortunately, they have focused their hatred on my wife and children. They’ve made vile racist attacks against my wife, attempted to get her fired from Microsoft, and threatened sexual violence. They have even posted hateful messages to my 8-year-old son’s school Facebook page. I know that as the race progresses, the activists will ratchet up their hate-machine and these attacks will intensify significantly.”
“I’m deeply disappointed by this turn of events and hope I have not let down my supporters as well. I’ve been overwhelmed by the excitement, love, and generosity from hundreds of people all over the Puget Sound. I know in my heart that our cause is just and our ideas would make Seattle a better place. But my primary responsibility is to make sure my family is healthy, happy, and safe. That’s not possible in our current political climate, which has been overtaken by polarization and the ever-present threat of violence.
I’ve learned that our problem here in Seattle is much deeper than the city council’s policies—we have created a culture of intolerance that is deeply destructive to the common good. I plan to spend the next few months reflecting on this experience and charting a way forward in a series of essays. I hope that some positive benefit can come out of this disappointment.
Over the next two weeks, I will be refunding all of our campaign donors and will personally cover the costs incurred since the launch of the campaign. I’m deeply grateful for all of you who have contributed and hope you can reroute your hard-earned money to other worthy candidates in the city.
I’m honored to have had your support.”
While Seattle runs amok with homelessness, drug users, prostitution and increasing crime, here was a man willing to step up to the plate offering solutions that the current council cannot deliver. Yet because he was spotted at a “conservative event” he must be destroyed. No differing opinions allowed in progressive, “tolerant” Seattle!
Instead of considering a new, fresh approach to solving your multitude of problems, the open-minded progressives try to take down his family.
I’m fresh out of empathy for Seattle citizens. May you reap all the consequences you deserve for being so close-minded and spiteful against anyone who dares to attend an event of the opposite political spectrum.
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