Seattle Police Department

Counterproductive

Anonymity is not without its value.

And it is also true that vandalism really does suck, and is a poor method for political communication in the industrialized world.

Illustration by Steven Weissman, 8 April 2015, for The Stranger.Those two businesses are owned by some really nice people (one of whom I see busting his ass every morning at 5:30 a.m., trying to make a living) who had to spend a ton of money to hire the graffiti squad to come clean up your spray-paint vomit. If you’d seen the disappointment in their faces, I’d like to think you’d be ashamed of yourself. Here’s the good news: Guess who has really stepped up patrols in the neighborhood? That’s right, the fuzz! They took a keen interest in your most recent act of stupidity. I hope they arrest you and make you drink your own paint.

(Anonymous)

But we have a problem in Seattle; the police department is a brutal, murderous gang. People really are pissed off about this. And while it is true that vandalism really sucks, it makes exactly no sense whatsoever to hope “the fuzz” go out of their way to make things worse. Advocating further police brutality gains nobody anything. Well, that’s not exactly true. The advocate can feel empowered by calling for other people to commit criminal violence. Then again, this only further harms a community already reeling under the burden of a police racket.

You, Anonymous, are part of the problem.

____________________

Anonymous. “I, Anonymous”. The Stranger. 8 April 2015.

One Way to Get the Job Done

It is always tempting to tear a local police department a new orifice for every mere appearance of failure, but the truth of the matter is that we have no indication at this time that the Seattle Police Department even had a chance to laugh this one off:

A man who was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly groping 15 to 20 women near Pioneer Square has pleaded not guilty to four counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, according to the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.....

.... According to Seattle police, a group of women and witnesses on Wednesday helped chase down an intoxicated man who was groping women, following him from Second Avenue and James Street and calling 911 to report his location to officers.

Then again it is also true that a bad situation is much harder to ignore or, you know, laugh off when faced with the prospect of an appropriately righteous mob chasing down a sex crime suspect.

Meanwhile, it’s good to know that citizens in Seattle have each other’s backs.

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Green, Sara Jean. “Not-guilty plea to groping frenzy”. The Seattle Times. 3 November 2014.

Anonymous. “Thanks for Nothing, SPD”. The Stranger. 1 January 2014.

Good News About Bad News That Brought Interesting News

When you need good news, there is no better place to look than bad news, because then pretty much any news that isn’t all that bad of bad news starts sounding like good news.

Julia MarquandNever mind. Update time. Specifically, Anna Minard brings the update:

The man accused of groping a Seattle woman near Westlake Mall last week has now been charged by the Seattle City Attorney with one count of Assault with Sexual Motivation, a gross misdemeanor, according to the City Attorney’s Office. The man will be arraigned tomorrow morning. He has a previous conviction for a felony Assault with Sexual Motivation from 2011.

Anything we might add, at this time, would only … never mind. Shutting up, now.

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Minard, Anna. “Man Charged With Assault in Connection With Alleged Westlake Groping”. Slog. 23 October 2014.

Why the Seattle Police Department is a Disgrace

There are a number of lectures that many might suggest go here, but virtually all of them are actually unnecessary, and thereby condescending.

You might recall that recently we noted that a woman had to shame the Seattle Police Department into doing their jobs, and how when they finally did they figured out they were looking for a serial sex offender.

The Seattle TimesA level 3 sex offender whose alleged groping of a Seattle woman on Oct. 12 resulted in a social media campaign to have police investigate the incident may be responsible for more than a dozen similar incidents, police said.

Seattle police on Tuesday said that more than a dozen women have contacted the Sexual Assault Unit to report that they had been groped by the same man, said department spokesman Drew Fowler. “Twelve to fourteen women have come forward to say that he also groped them,” said Fowler.

We owe great thanks to Julia Marquand, whose courageous efforts finally spurred the Seattle Police Department into doing their damn jobs.

And as to the lectures? There’s really only one left, and it’s pretty short:

Dear SPD:

Do your damn jobs, for once. You know, as opposed to bawling because you can’t be criminals.

The Seattle Police Department is an embarrassment not only to the Emerald City and Evergreen State, but to the police officers and departments, indeed the mere idea of the police, everywhere.

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de Leon, John. “Alleged Westlake groper accused of more than a dozen similar attacks”. The Seattle Times. 21 October 2014.

Johnson, Gene. “Judge tosses lawsuit by Seattle police officers”. KOMO News. 20 October 2014.

Seattle’s “Finest”

The idea that one must embarrass a police department into doing its job might seem … what, shocking? Distressing? Ridiculous? (gulp!) Normal?

Welcome to Seattle.

Christine Clarridge of The Seattle Times reports:

Marquand decided to file a police report since she had the man’s photo and thought the incident should be on the record.

The Seattle TimesBut when she went to the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct and asked to make a report, the female officer at the front desk seemed uninterested and told Marquand it was unlikely the man could be charged.

The officer, however, took down the basic details.

“Then she asked me to describe his appearance and I’m like, ‘But I have the photo right here, do you want to see it at least?’ and she didn’t even want to see it,” Marquand said.

She finally persuaded the officer to look at the photo.

Marquand came away from the encounter completely dissatisfied. That’s when she decided to turn to social media.

On Monday, she posted the man’s photo on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, saying, “This dude groped me in Seattle yesterday. Cops didn’t want the pic.”

In her tweet, she mentioned SPD’s Twitter handle and that of a few media outlets.

Within a few hours, Seattle police contacted Marquand and said her case, along with the alleged groper’s photo, had been assigned to a detective.

Police spokesman Drew Fowler said Tuesday it wasn’t the tweet itself that caused police to re-evaluate her case, but rather it alerted the department to a “deficiency” in the way her case was handled.

The litany of shame surrounding the Seattle Police Department is obscene.

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A Note to Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post

karen Tumulty of the Washington Post, via C-SPAN; undated.

To: Karen Tumulty

re: Spockbama

What a difference a year makes, madam. You won the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting for 2013. Congratulations. Except it’s now 2014, and mere months later, you’re embarrassing the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University by demonstrating just how badly they screwed up.

It’s not that I don’t like you, or think your work is excrement. But I just don’t get this whole thing where reporters both want to take sides, participating in the stories they cover, and be looked upon by the world at large as part of the noble Fourth Estate.

The Fourth Estate is dying because of people like you.

We, the People who are the alleged beneficiaries of the tireless work performed by the Fourth Estate, are not pleased at the prospect of its suicide. Once upon a time, we needed the media as Fourth Estate. In concept, we still do. But in practice? We’d be better off if you all took up basket weaving, or prostitution.

Better yet, why don’t the (ahem!) “journalists” just give up the pretense and run for office?

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