Tag Archives: Washington State

Mukilteo shooter: ‘I wish they never sold me a firearm’

evil

What a coincidence the timing of the criminal’s statement: This will give ammunition to the Washington state attorney general, Bob Ferguson, who is trying to push an “assault” weapons ban through legislation. How convenient to have this talking point for an anti-gun agenda.

From MyNorthwest.com: The convicted murderer in a tragic Mukilteo (Washington) shooting last year was granted his right to make a statement before his sentencing Thursday. He used the time to say that the access to a gun was a factor in his crime.

“I will never speak to the public again, I forfeited that right,” Allen Ivanov told the courtroom Thursday. “But I would like everyone to hear loud and clear that it was the ease of acquiring a gun that enabled me to act on my emotion. I don’t mean to absolve myself of guilt or dodge responsibility, but I know for a fact that given the feverish state I was in, I never could have done this with my hands. I wish they never sold me a firearm. And I wish I was never legally allowed to buy one.”

Ivanov, 20, shot and killed three people, and wounded a fourth on July 30, 2016 — shortly after purchasing an AR-15 rifle. He was angry over his ex-girlfriend Anna Bui, and how she had moved on with her life after their breakup. Ivanov shot and killed Bui, Jake Long, Jordan Ebner — all 19 years old — at a small party at a Mukilteo home. Will Kramer was shot and wounded during the incident.

Saying that “life is precious” and that he was “hopeless, suicidal and outraged” on the day of the Mukilteo shooting, Ivanov provided additional details about what happened on the tragic day. He reportedly read the user’s manual for the AR-15 in the car before he used it to take the three teenagers’ lives. In court, he said he waited for hours outside the home before the shooting.

Ivanov said he pulled the trigger in a moment of shock and that “Satan was in control.” Since the murders, he said he has cried his eyes out every day and that his ex-girlfriend, Bui, visits him and talks to him in his dreams.

“I have ruined my life,” Ivanov said in court. “I have caused my family a lifetime of sadness and loss. I have ended all my friendships.”

“Even though I can’t put myself in any of your places, I do have an idea of how awful my actions were and the damage I have caused,” he said to the victims’ families. “A damage which cannot be undone. I want to apologize wholeheartedly for all those whose lives I have taken — Hannah, Jordan and Jake — and all of you whose lives have been so darkened by my actions, parents, relatives, friends as well as Will and his loved ones. I understand this has been a nightmare for all of you. It certainly has been for me.

DCG

AG Bob Ferguson unveils assault-weapons ban for Washington — and a backup plan

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AG Ferguson working hard to protect your Second Amendment rights…

I’m so glad I now reside in Oklahoma instead of Washington state!

From Seattle Times: Attorney General Bob Ferguson proposed legislation on Monday that would ban the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in Washington.

Recognizing the political difficulty of such a bill, Ferguson, who announced in September that he would seek an assault-weapons ban, also released an alternative on Monday: a bill that would keep assault-style weapons legal, but would make them more difficult to buy, by raising the minimum age to legally own such a firearm and requiring them to be licensed, similar to a concealed-weapons license.

The draft bill Ferguson released Monday, the first day of the 2017 Legislature, would ban semi-automatic rifles that have a detachable magazine and a pistol grip beneath the barrel. It would also ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and semi-automatic pistols with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Ferguson, a Democrat who easily won re-election in November, said the definitions of “assault weapon” used in his bill are similar to those used in laws in New York and Connecticut that withstood legal challenges. The ban would apply only to sales of such weapons, grandfathering in currently owned guns.

A second bill from Ferguson would not ban such weapons but would require them to be licensed. To get a license, a person would have to be at least 21 (rather than 18), would have to complete a gun-safety class and could not have been convicted of a felony. To buy an assault weapon, a person would need a license, an additional in-depth background check and be subject to a 10-day waiting period.

“I believe a ban on the sale of assault weapons is the right policy for Washington, and I will keep fighting for that,” Ferguson said in a prepared statement. “I’ve said from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle. My alternative represents meaningful reform that will enhance public safety now.”

Both bills will be sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, among others. Frockt was one of dozens of solely Democratic lawmakers and officials at a September news conference, in which Ferguson said he’d been spurred by the July killings of three teenagers in Mukilteo.

Allen Ivanov, the shooter in the Mukilteo killings, pleaded guilty in December. Ivanov, then 19, had, according to police, legally purchased an AR-15 — a common assault-style weapon that would be banned by Ferguson’s bill — just days before the killings. Similar weapons were used in high-profile mass shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; San Bernardino, Calif., Dallas and Orlando, among others.

Among the supporters standing with Ferguson in September were the parents of Will Kramer, who was wounded in the Mukilteo shooting. Kramer’s parents spoke in support of an assault-weapons ban then, and his father did so again Monday. “If our current political leadership doesn’t have the will to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons, I would support the assault weapons enhanced background check bill as an incremental step towards increasing public safety and reducing gun violence,” Paul Kramer said in a statement.

Gun-safety measures have had far more success in recent years as ballot initiatives than in the Legislature, where Republicans control the state Senate and generally oppose new restrictions on guns.

A push for universal background checks passed on the ballot in 2014 after failing in the Legislature in 2013. A process to keep guns away from people deemed dangerous — following a court order — passed on the ballot in November after previous legislative failures.

DCG

Seattle voters will soon get $100 in ‘democracy vouchers’ to donate to candidates

seattle-democracy-voucher

Yes, Seattle voters approved this: Taking money from private property owners to redistribute to the candidate(s) of their choice. How progressive

From the Seattle Times: Seattle voters will receive “democracy vouchers” for the first time next week. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission plans to mail the taxpayer-funded campaign-contribution vouchers on Tuesday to every registered voter in the city.

Each voter will get four $25 vouchers to distribute among candidates in 2017. The City Council’s two citywide seats and the City Attorney’s Office are up for election. The vouchers will be part of mayoral races starting in 2021 but won’t be allocated to candidates as Ed Murray seeks re-election next year. Mayoral races are the city’s most expensive and the wait will allow the voucher program more time to accumulate funds.

Seattle voters ensured the city would be the first in the country with democracy vouchers when they approved Initiative 122 in 2015. The “Honest Elections” measure authorized a 10-year, $30 million property-tax levy to pay for the program.

People not registered to vote can obtain vouchers as long as they live in Seattle, are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or green-card holder. The voucher-program application for nonvoters is available in 15 languages.

People participating in the program will sign the vouchers, assign them to candidates and mail them back to the elections commission. When given vouchers, candidates will relay them to the commission.

The commission, which is mailing out postage-paid return envelopes along with the vouchers, will verify them before releasing the money they represent to the candidates. Each voucher will have a unique identification number and bar code.

Only candidates who apply to and qualify for the program will be allowed to receive money from vouchers. To qualify, they’ll need to drum up a baseline number of campaign contributions, take part in multiple public debates, adhere to lower campaign contribution limits and agree to special campaign spending caps.

People with vouchers will be able to look up which candidates have qualified for the program by visiting the city’s website. Thus far, City Council candidate Jon Grant and incumbent City Attorney Pete Holmes have qualified.

The commission will publish a list of the candidates who have received money from vouchers along with names of the people who assigned the vouchers. In other words: If you assign a voucher, your support for a candidate will become public information.

The levy paying for the program will raise $3 million per year — not nearly enough to pay for every voter’s four vouchers. That sum would be about $50 million. But the campaign spending caps ($300,000 for citywide City Council candidates, for example) should work to limit the number of vouchers that will need to be paid out.

Wayne Barnett, executive director of the elections commission, said one aim of the program is to get more people involved in the electoral process. People who contribute to campaigns are later on more likely to volunteer and more likely to vote, Barnett said. “We know that only 1 to 2 percent of people in Seattle ever make a contribution to a candidate for city office,” he said. “So ideally this will get more people engaged.”

Another aim of the vouchers is to level the playing field for grass-roots candidates “who otherwise would in no way be able to raise $150,000,” Barnett said.

Opponents of I-122 said the voucher program would be complicated to supervise. They said the city would spend $28 of every $100 on administrative costs. The commission has the program under control, Barnett said. To run it, he hired René LeBeau, who previously helped King County Elections move to voting by mail.

I-122 opponents also warned about shenanigans and predicted the program would mostly benefit membership groups able to drive many vouchers to certain candidates.

Barnett has asked the state Public Disclosure Commission for advice on the program and Washington’s ban on bundling but has not yet heard back, he said. Bundling is when an individual or intermediary group collects many contributions on behalf of a candidate.

I-122 proponents said the bundling rules that apply to regular contributions would similarly apply to vouchers.

Proponent Aaron Ostrom, executive director of the progressive activist organization Fuse Washington, hailed the program’s launch. “This is an exciting chance to strengthen democracy and level the playing field in Seattle,“ Ostrom said. ”Candidates can compete based on their values and leadership abilities rather than their connections to wealthy friends and corporate donors.”

DCG

North Kitsap school district blasts teacher’s Facebook comments

First Amendment applies here. Yet we also have the same right to offer opinions of those who disparage the men and women who put their lives on the line for the public. They would be the ones rushing to any school if a deranged shooter was present.

Fallen Officer Jake Gutierrez

Fallen Officer Jake Gutierrez

From Kitsap Sun: A Kingston High School teacher’s Facebook comments on a thread about a fallen police officer have been denounced by North Kitsap School District.

Kim Smith weighed in on a Dec. 9 post by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office honoring Tacoma Officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez, who was fatally shot Nov. 30 while responding to a domestic dispute. A video on the post showed a long line of law enforcement vehicles ready for a procession before the memorial for Gutierrez, who was a Kitsap County resident.

“I hate this stupid display of the police,” Smith wrote. “If we’re going to do this for cops, we should do it for those they murder. It’s obscene.”

Smith’s comment unleashed a backlash of livid responses. Although Smith did not initially identify herself as a teacher, others did. “This was the wrong time and place … to post such disrespect for those who might save your life someday … as a teacher? Shame on you,” wrote one commenter.

“How do you sleep at night? This is a heartbreaking comment,” wrote another commenter. “How would you feel if someone said something like this after Sandy Hook?” Others piled on to shame Smith, some calling for her dismissal.

Superintendent Patty Page

Superintendent Patty Page

On Thursday, Superintendent Patty Page posted a statement distancing the district from Smith —without naming her  — and from the rampant, two-way vitriol that persisted through the week. “On behalf of the North Kitsap School District, please be advised that the district strongly disagrees with and condemns the personal comments posted by a district teacher regarding the tragic death of Tacoma Police Officer Jake Gutierrez,” Page said. “The district has not authorized, approved or encouraged the teacher’s comments.”

Page said North Kitsap had received complaints and is reviewing them under the school board’s policy on “complaints concerning staff or programs.” The policy cites state law outlining a teacher’s right to due process and appeal before any “adverse change in contract status.” Page would not say what actions if any the district is considering. “At this point I am not commenting on action, as I am considering it a personal matter,” Page said. “I believe my post reflects my position.”

School districts don’t typically jump into the fray on social media, even when they are directly or indirectly the subject of discussion. Page said North Kitsap has had social media issues in the past, but every situation is different. She acknowledged this situation is a first. “We have not publicly weighed in as a district other than to correct misinformation in the past,” Page said.

Teachers union president Mike McCorkle said he met with Smith Friday morning to discuss the issue. McCorkle said there is nothing in the contract that speaks to statements or public positions teachers take outside the classroom. “We want to protect our teachers’ due process to have a private life and have private opinions,” he said.

McCorkle had no comment on the district’s statement but said he understood its position. “We want a balanced approach, and we can understand why the district has to do it’s due diligence in looking into the matter,” McCorkle said.

Some commenters expressed concern that Smith would present a one-sided viewpoint in the classroom. The contract does speak to “academic freedom” within which teachers are called on to present a “balanced point of view,” McCorkle said.

McCorkle said Smith teaches a class on “ancient civilizations” and he understood from her “this is not something she would talk about in her classroom.”

Sheriff Gary Simpson

Sheriff Gary Simpson

Sheriff Gary Simpson on Thursday stepped in on the Facebook post and ensuing comments. Simpson encourages dialog and constructive criticism, “but I’m not interested in the continuation of bantering and personal agendas associated with those who use this venue for such matters.

“A personal perspective is one thing, while petty character and opinion exchanges are another… and they’re not appropriate for this page,” he said. “If readers want to talk about specific issues with a goal of improving public safety and the quality of life in Kitsap County, then let’s get together and do just that. However arguing on a social media site gets nowhere and is unproductive.”

Simpson told readers to take the debate elsewhere, and he said further postings on the thread would be removed. “People have said their piece… it’s time to move on,” he said.

Smith has been a teacher for 15 years, 10 at Kingston High, according to her webpage on the school’s site.

DCG

Burien, Washington declared sanctuary city by narrow council vote

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From Seattle Times: Burien is about to become a so-called sanctuary city — joining Seattle and King County — after the City Council voted narrowly late Monday to bar city employees from asking for documentation of a person’s immigration status.

The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote, after Burien Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar left the meeting at 10 p.m., without voting. Councilmember Nancy Tosta, who supported the sanctuary city ordinance, said that Krakowiak frequently leaves meetings at 10 p.m., after they’ve gone on for three hours. Krakowiak and Edgar did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

The scope of the change is limited because Burien does not have its own police department. The city relies on the King County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement, and that agency has long had policies restricting deputies from holding people strictly based on their immigration status. King County has also, since 2009, barred employees from asking about a person’s immigration status.

Olympia passed a similar resolution, declaring itself a sanctuary city, last week.

There is no set definition of what it means to be a sanctuary city, but Burien’s ordinance is broadly similar to the county’s, and is meant to limit local officials from enforcing federal immigration laws.

“We recognized the concern and fear that many people in our community are feeling within the current political climate, and we had letters come in expressing a desire for the council to take an action,” Tosta said. “Several of us believed it was important to make a statement to our community showing our values as a council.”

Burien’s ordinance says that civil immigration enforcement has traditionally been a federal responsibility and that shifting the onus to local agencies drains their limited resources. Part of the city’s goal, it says, is to foster trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

Debates over sanctuary cities have intensified since the election of Donald Trump in November. Trump has vowed to take federal funding from cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. But many urban centers, Seattle included, have doubled down, reaffirming that local law enforcement will not ask about someone’s immigration status, except in rare scenarios.

That’s been the law in Seattle since 2003. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference the day after the election, promising that it would remain the law.

“We have a new administration coming in who has directly targeted numerous groups of people,” Burien Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz said, of the president-elect. Berkowitz had proposed a more expansive resolution, modeled on the law in San Francisco, but that was defeated 4-1.

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Katie Hiedeman, a Burien resident who pushed for the sanctuary city ordinance, said that about 30 people spoke at the meeting in favor of it, with only a few opposed, before the vote, which happened after 10:30 p.m.

She wanted the ordinance passed for practical reasons — so that people, perhaps concerned about their immigration status, won’t be afraid to talk to police if they’re a victim or witness to a crime — and as a show of support. “These people have been in our community for maybe decades,” Hiedeman said. “Their children go to our schools, they go to the stores we shop in, they’re at the parks, they’re on our kids’ soccer teams, they are ingrained in our communities.”

maga

DCG

ISIS sympathizer, suspected in 3 King County killings, won’t face death penalty

A precedent against the death penalty was set in Washington state when they let Gary Ridgway off the hook. Now an ISIS pig will be on the taxpayer dime for life as well.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

From Seattle Times: A man suspected of killing three men in Seattle and Skyway in 2014 will not face the death penalty, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Friday.

Ali Muhammad Brown, 32, is accused of killing Leroy Henderson in Skyway, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle. Brown is believed to have fled to New Jersey days after the latter two shootings.

Satterberg said in a news release he decided against seeking the death penalty after reviewing the case and speaking with the victims’ families.

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

Brown, 32, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in King County. Brown is being held in New Jersey, where he recently was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery and several other crimes. He also is awaiting trial for one count of first-degree murder in Essex County, N.J., as well as another robbery charge in Ocean County, N.J.

It could take more than a year for those cases to be resolved, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release. When that happens, Brown will be returned to King County to face charges.

Prosecutors allege that Brown, a Muslim man, killed the four men in a fit of rage over the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East. He was on a federal terrorism watch list and wrote in his journal that he planned to follow the Islamic State group and “learn the ways of jihadis.”

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Brown is accused of fatally shooting Henderson shortly after 11:45 p.m. April 27, 2014, as Henderson was walking home from a Skyway store. Deputies linked Brown to the slaying through the 9 mm bullets and casings found in and around Henderson’s body.

Said was driving Anderson-Young home from R Place, a gay club on Capitol Hill, on June 1, 2014, when they were shot. Brown had reportedly met up with Said over a gay social-networking app, then connected with the two men outside the club that night and got into Said’s car, according to charges.

“The murders took place less than 17 minutes after two witnesses saw Ali Brown leave with the victims in Said’s car. There is no evidence to suggest that Said and/or Anderson-Young were armed, and these murders do not appear to be motivated by robbery, drugs or any other crime,” Seattle police Detective Cloyd Steiger wrote in investigative documents.

In a January 2015 interview with The Seattle Times, Falana Young-Wyatt, mother of Anderson-Young, said she didn’t feel strongly about whether Brown should be condemned to death row. She said she only cared about his swift return to King County to face trial.

“I want him to look me in the face,” she said. “I want him to know my son’s life matters. I just want justice for my son.”

DCG

Mob of 50-60 angry students surround student who didn’t want to participate in the BLM movement

On October 14th I told you about how the Seattle Schools were organizing a “Black Lives Matter” Day in an effort to close the achievement gap between black and white students.

Apparently the students at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way (south of Seattle) thought that would be a great idea as well. Turns out the event didn’t go as planned.

You will follow the program...

You will follow the program…

From MyNorthwest.com: As the Federal Way controversy over a high school Black Lives Matter event continues, one person is not around school to see how tensions are being addressed.

“I feel very unsafe going back to that school,” said Ellie Mae Haine, further saying she feels like she is in danger at Todd Beamer High School. “As it stands right now I don’t feel safe going to that school,” she said. “There’s no possible way I could go back right now.”

Ellie is a 14-years-old freshman at Todd Beamer High School.

One week ago, a student was arrested after allegedly fighting, and then assaulting an on-campus police officer. A Black Lives Matter event was organized the following week — kids were encouraged to wear black. It was organized by students. But Haine did not want to participate.

“We were all pressured into wearing black because it seemed that most of the teachers agreed with this movement,” Ellie said. “And we couldn’t’ decide whether we should participate or not. And I just went for it and didn’t participate.

“When it comes down to it, I don’t think it should have anything to do with race. I just thought it was someone who didn’t have enough discipline or respect for authority.”

Tensions between students who supported the Black Lives Matter event and those who did not participate erupted in the days since the initial arrest. It led to a school board meeting, where Ellie spoke, saying: “I still don’t understand why we were told to wear black to show support for this girl who has assaulted police officers more than just last week.”

Todd Beamer High School Principal Joni Hall

Todd Beamer High School Principal Joni Hall

The next day, Ellie returned to school.

“The day after the school board meeting, I came to school,” she said. “Everything went well until lunch. We were standing in the hallway outside of the cafeteria – I was with about 15 friends.”

“The girl who had been arrested and who assaulted the cop, she came up to me and started yelling profanities in my face and seemed really angry,” Ellie said. “Before I had any time to explain myself, a mob of 50-60 angry students came yelling my name. Most of them I didn’t know. My friends pushed me behind them because they saw that this wasn’t good.”

Teachers came and were pushing back the crowd of students. Ellie found a police officer in the lunch room nearby. He escorted her outside the building. Her mom came to pick her up and the officer advised that the freshman stay away from school for a couple of days until things calmed down.

Ellie and her mom met with school officials and some of the high school’s Black Lives Matter students. She said that one of the Black Lives Matter students said he didn’t like how things had turned out. He offered to escort her from class to class and defend her if need be.

DCG