• Seattle’s New Normal

    One way to inoculate yourself against anything is to ignore it day after day until it becomes—as they say—a new normal. I wonder if this is how people who work and live in Downtown Seattle experience Seattle’s self-inflicted blight. My God! Does anyone truly think allowing people to live in this urban squalor helps anyone? Actually, it seems pretty mean to me. It doesn’t help those living in the filth, and it certainly doesn’t help the decent, law-abiding, and productive who have to drive and walk past the out-stretched-hand harassment and piss stench of the indecent, law-breaking, and unproductive.

    I had to make an unavoidable trip to Downtown Seattle recently. After slogging through the Democrat-made traffic snarl on I-5, and after completing multiple circuits of the area around city hall, marveling at the lack of bicycle use of the myriad parking-stealing, convoluted ribbons of bike lanes and sharrows, I finally found a parking space (I think somewhere south of Northgate). Ironic, since I’d just been in a parking lot on what they call a freeway. Perhaps, I should have just turned off my car, left it there, hopped the guardrail, and walked to my appointment at 5th/Cherry St. –it was a lot closer than from where I had to park!

    Trodding from my parking space, under the freeway, I swerved to avoid two charming gentlemen who were reclined, usurping half the sidewalk, and sharing a marijuana pipe. How Norman Rockwell.

    I’ve recently heard that Seattle is the fastest growing major American city. I was at first surprised because who would move to a place with such an onslaught of bums. Then I realized that maybe they mean the bums. Now, that would make sense. The layabouts are everywhere in Seattle. The thing about those two particular bums, getting high in broad daylight, illegally in public, under I-5 is they were two of the least offensive of those gathered nearby in tents and sleeping bags on the sidewalks and along the edges of the HOV commuter parking. At least they were minding their own business and not harassing passersby.

    Inoculation may be an effective liberal city survival strategy. But I’d encourage those who can to make a point of intentionally “seeing” just how bad this is. Liberals are always talking about the “rich” not paying their fair share. Shouldn’t we all do our fair share? If you had an able bodied person living with you and not contributing to your household, you’d boot them out, right? That’s normal. If normal people do not run their households this way, why should “normal” cities? Then again, that’s the point, isn’t it? Liberal Seattle is not normal.

  • A Lucid Lesson in Law Enforcement for the Left, from Chief Kathleen O’Toole.

    Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole wrote a refreshingly candid email yesterday to the Seattle City Council’s reckless socialist, Kshama Sawant. The missive was in response to Sawant’s demands O’Toole answer questions publicly about the Charleena Lyles shooting (Two white Seattle police officers were forced to shoot Lyles, a pregnant, black woman, after she reportedly attacked them with two butcher knives). 

    Well, Kshama, you asked for it: 

    “I write in short response to your [Sawant] earlier email, which reflects a disappointing level of ignorance of SPD policies and clear disdain for the investigatory process and review that SPD is court-mandated to follow,” O’Toole wrote. “Facts matter and pre-judgment of this incident by any of us would be completely irresponsible.” [emphasis mine] 

    O’Toole, a law enforcement hero of the left (until this email, anyway), delivers to Sawant a blunt and necessary lesson in Police Investigations 101. O’Toole explained, “As we are barely over a week into an investigation that typically takes upwards of 90 days, I see absolutely no benefit to airing those private, difficult, and heartfelt conversations in a public, or worse, political forum.”

    How hard is this to understand? Any critically thinking human being should appreciate that investigations with such significant, potential consequences must be done in a sober and objective manner. Sadly, political ideologues avoid critical thinking. Without amped up raw emotions feeding the far left’s narrative, their foolish assertions dissolve.

    They remind me of people who don’t want to hear the truth. They stick their fingers in their ears and jump up and down, yelling, “Woo, woo, woo!” so they can’t hear it.

    Chief O’Toole finished boldly, “I will not, however, join in any process that threatens to exploit this terrible tragedy for another’s personal or political gain.”

  • Why Some Cops No Longer Carry Tasers.

    Charleena Lyles’ attack on two police officers, with butcher knives, which resulted in her tragic death, has brought up many issues. One of them is the use of so-called, less-than-lethal weapons vs. lethal options: Tasers vs. firearms.

    Many people have asked, “Why didn’t the cops tase her instead?”

    Facts people should know:

    • Seattle’s cops must carry a firearm and have an option to carry any of three less-than-lethal weapons: baton, pepper-spray, and/or Taser. An officer may carry one, two, or all three options. I carried a baton and pepper-spray.
    • In training, cops are taught that to properly deploy the Taser against a person armed with a deadly weapon, three officers should be present. One officer to deploy the Taser, a second officer for lethal cover (ready with a firearm should the Taser application fail), and a third officer to place the suspect in handcuffs. Routine calls, such as the (false) burglary report Ms. Lyles called in, normally require only one officer to respond. Her known criminal and mental health history made it so radio dispatched two officers (obviously, short of the three necessary).
    • When the Taser program started, many officers chose to take the training and become certified to use a Taser on duty.
    • As the program continued, community activists and groups criticized the police Taser use. Some even regularly accused cops of “torturing” suspects with their Tasers.
    • As criticism increased, policies began changing, making it so to use a Taser an officer needed nearly the same circumstances that would be needed to use lethal force.  
    • Several officers told me that due to these policy changes, they were turning in their Tasers.
    • Since a gun is much more efficient than a Taser in saving an officer’s life during a deadly encounter why would a cop put himself or herself in a position that causes hesitation? Hesitation kills cops.

    So, when cop-critics harangue police officers for not using a Taser, they can look in the mirror for why an officer didn’t choose to have a Taser as an option.

  • Not Ruling Out Terrorism.

    So, on my drive home today after a long walk, I heard a news broadcast of a stabbing of a police officer while on duty at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan.

    As I listened to the news report, I was once again transported into Bizarro World. You know, DC Comic’s infamous “opposite” universe where up is down, forward is backward, and in is out.

    The news reporter on the FOX News radio broadcast said, “The attacker yelled, ‘God is Great,’ in Arabic [Allahu Akbar] as he stabbed the officer.”

    Next he reported this: “The FBI said it is not ruling out terrorism as a motive.”

    I…, uh…, I…, ummm…, I…, ugh!

  • Blame the Police… of Course.

    The recent shooting in North Seattle of 30-year-old Charleena Chavon Lyles is an unmitigated tragedy. There is no doubt about that. During my police career, I worked a sector with numerous mental health facilities and patients. I dealt with the mentally ill often, had a good relationship with their staffs, and received commendations from them. While I had little sympathy for those who knew better and still committed violent crimes, I had a great deal of compassion for people with significant mental health issues. In some cases, their actions simply were not their faults. But that does not lessen the danger they present to police officers responding to 911 calls. According to news reports from KIRO, Ms. Lyles seems to have been one of those people with significant mental health issues.

    Unfortunately, before anything more than a preliminary investigation has been conducted, some family members, community activists, and leftist politicians are already making assertions that police racism was a factor in the incident. Family members have leveled these knee-jerk charges, and anti-police groups have also glommed onto that all-too-convenient notion–it fits their narrative. Still, while families in mourning deserve wide latitude, regarding emotional comments after suffering such a loss, the cop critics do not—they know better but don’t care about the truth–the truth doesn’t fit their narrative. 

    What a shame that the mainstream liberal media, progressive politicians, and leftist community activists have given tacit (sometimes, blatant) permission or even instructions to minority communities to make quantum leaps, blaming racism every time police shoot a black suspect.

    During the fatal encounter, these facts should be remembered as critical: She was the one who called the police. She wanted to report a burglary. She armed herself with two butcher knives. She refused orders to “stay back” and came at the officers. Despite Ms. Lyles being a “known” entity to police for both mental health and criminal issues, officers can be heard on audio of the incident properly investigating Ms. Lyles’ burglary complaint. In fact, on audio the first words from one of the officers were, “Hello, good morning. You call the police?” Hardly the manner of a white, racist police officer intent on killing a black woman—or anyone!

    While conducting the investigation, reports indicate Ms. Lyles threatened the officers with the two knives. Despite numerous orders to “stay back,” Ms. Lyles reportedly came at the officers who were forced to shoot her.

    I know critical thinking is asking a lot these days, but rather than blaming the cops, how about looking at a mental health system that seems to have failed Ms. Lyles, her children, family, the community, and the police. And what about the judge who released Ms. Lyles despite her recent history of placing her children in harms-way and violent behavior toward the police?

    On June 5th, Ms. Lyles confronted police in a similar incident where she’d armed herself with an “extra-long” pair of scissors, using them to threaten the officers (incidentally, the officers responding in the butcher knives case were aware of that incident. Fortunately, in that incident, she dropped the scissors, so the officers did not have to use deadly force). According to KIRO, she also told the officers, “Ain’t none of ya’ll leaving [her] here today!” Incredibly, her 4-year-old child was, “sitting in her lap, and, at points, crawling around her waist,” during that incident. 

    Five days before the deadly shooting, Ms. Lyles attended a Mental Health Court hearing regarding the earlier incident. Think about this: The judge obviously considered Lyles dangerous enough to set this condition before her release: He ordered her not to “possess weapons or items which can be used as weapons.” Seriously? 

    Now, I hesitate to criticize the mental health system too harshly because they are overburdened and understaffed. But, just think about the level of mental instability of this poor woman the court released back into society. Anyone think the criminal justice or mental health system, as a whole, did Ms. Lyles any favors? During the fatal incident, Police officers reported Ms. Lyles said she wanted to, “morph into a wolf” and mentioned “cloning her daughter.” But, it’s too easy to blame the cops, right?

    But what about the people or person who made the decision to release her five days before her death? Do they deserve any culpability? Apparently not. I’m sure the release will come up in the discussion, but since they are a part of Seattle/King County’s liberal establishment, they will likely be seen as simply progressives who meant well, so they can’t be blamed. It must be the cops fault—always. And since the cops’ own political (and sometimes even police) leaders rarely support or defend officers’ uses-of-force with any vigor, if at all, then why shouldn’t society believe cops are bad? Most law enforcement jurisdictions remain horrible at teaching the public about what, why, and how cops do what they do.

    How have we gotten to a place in our society where nationally and locally we have the best trained law enforcement officers in America’s history, yet the default response is to blame the police? Ms. Lyles’ demise is a true and plain tragedy. But not just for Ms. Lyles, her family and friends but for the officers, too. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole echoed this in the Seattle Times, “The message I’m trying to get out right now is that this is a horrible tragedy all around.” She added, “The community is distraught. The family is distraught. The officers are distraught.” [Emphasis mine] Come on, people. These officers, who chose to dedicate their professional lives to serve and protect the Seattle community, are not happy they were forced to shoot a mentally ill, pregnant woman. To even think that is a malicious insult, ignorant, and just plain stupid.

    Regardless of what the cop-haters spew about police officers “hunting minorities in the streets” (which government statistics have thoroughly debunked), those officers now must deal with the emotional ramifications of having to end the life of a mentally ill woman who should never have been at that location, never been holding those knives, and never been threatening those two police officers on that quiet Sunday in Seattle.

  • Child’s Rope Swing Mistaken for Hangman’s Noose? Come on, People!

    Busy with home projects, I’ve had little time to blog, lately. However, a recent photo and story on the FB Brier Community Page yearns for comment. I’m not including the photo or name of the FB page poster (it’s a private group). You’ll have to trust me on this one. For the record, I’m posting this blog in my capacity as a critical thinking advocate.

    In today’s touchy-feely, politically-correct-on-steroids social environment, this incident is so ridiculous it illustrates the lens through which some people choose to view ordinary things.

    Passing a house in Brier, an alert citizen observed, and then reported to the police, what he or she thought was a “noose” hanging from a tree limb. In the photo, the thick white rope can be seen suspended from a branch with the “noose” (a loop), dangling close to the ground (scratch head here). Coincidentally, the “noose” loop just happens to be positioned perfectly for a child to place a foot (not a head) into the rope’s loop. 

    More head-scratching comes when you see in the photo the rope and “noose” is obviously a swing. The homeowner says her kids have been enjoying the swing—for the past FIVE YEARS! (Sorry for yelling, but come on, people). 

    Hypersensitive folks with their offend-me switches turned up to eleven, listen up. Please, stop looking at the world through moron-colored glasses. If you look at a child’s rope swing and see a hangman’s noose, please seek help. Now! 

     

  • Child Suspended for “Liking” Image of Toy Gun on Instagram.

    The First and Second Amendments are under heavy attack by the radical left. We see this leftist nonsense to squelch free speech and abridge gun rights every day. The following story combines constitutional attacks on the First, Second, Fourth—and probably Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments against a public middle school student.

    Now, I will concede that public school officials can argue that they have no idea what to do anymore—mostly, because of other public school officials who adopt stupid policies. We critics often say, “Just use common sense.” Well, much of the problem these days is that commonsensical school officials are not allowed to apply their common sense. In fact, school districts often mandate ludicrous policies that force officials to act in direct contravention to common sense or risk losing their jobs or worse. Remember the second-grader who got “dispended” because he threw an invisible grenade to rescue the world? Still, that does not mean we should stop fighting to make sure common sense prevails.

    So, in this story on the NRA-ILA website, according to WBRC Fox 19 News in Trenton, Ohio, middle school student Zachary Bowlin got himself suspended for violating the school board’s “zero tolerance” policy. The policy prohibits, “violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.” What heinous act did Zach commit to elicit such wrath from school superintendent Russ Fussnecker? After school one evening, at home, while perusing the Instagram social media website, Zach had the unmitigated audacity to “Like” a picture of an Airsoft gun—a toy. No, really!  

    For those unfamiliar with Airsoft guns, the name implies its function. It uses air to propel a soft projectile (the size of a pea). The guns are plastic and the projectiles (bullets) are designed not to injure participants. I know: my kids used them as toys when they were kids and I used them for training as a police officer.

    According to the article, the photo Zachary “liked” was of a “plastic gun on the table, with the caption, “Ready.” You might wonder if this social media “like” was just one facet of a multifaceted set of nefarious circumstances that created suspicion about the student. Nope. That was it; Zach “liked” a picture of a toy on social media. WBRC reported, “Superintendent Russ Fussnecker essentially admitted that the school’s reaction was based only on the picture.”

    Let’s look at the bright side: Zach is getting a civics lesson, thanks to his overreacting, overreaching school officials: One, his First Amendment rights were violated when the district punished him for expressing his point of view. He let people know he liked a picture (it could be argued that his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were also violated when he was suspended without due process). Two, the Second Amendment was effectively violated, being tarnished when a toy facsimile of a firearm became the focal point of Zachary’s discipline.

    Now, for constitutional violation number three: The Fourth Amendment prohibition against unlawful searches and seizures. According to the article, “The next morning, Zachary told a WBRC reporter, school officials, ‘called me down… patted me down and checked me for weapons, then they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.’” Where was the warrant? Where was the probable cause? Where was the reasonable suspicion? (Where is the ACLU?) And, finally, where was the common sense?

  • I Suppose Seattle’s Language Pirates Could Have Used “Comrade.”

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

    Never, ever, think that the lunacy oozing from Seattle’s leftist Laboratory can’t reach new heights—or depths. Per MYNorthwest.com, when Seattle police officers complete use-of-force reports, now, they are no longer allowed to use the term “suspect” to describe, well, a suspect.

    What term have they come up with that better describes a suspect who has presented enough resistance or threat, including deadly, that officers had to use force, including deadly, to subdue the suspect? “Community member.” No folks, this is not a SNL skit or a story from The Onion; this is what has become normal for Seattle.

    Can you imagine? I’m a cop. I’ve just come in after having arrested a career criminal who pulled a knife and tried to stab me. I finally get to writing my reports including a use-of-force report. Now, I’ve got a lot of names I’d like to call the criminal, but I settle for “suspect,” because that’s what he is: suspected in a crime—resisting arrest and assaulting an officer (Me!) with a deadly weapon.

    However, I can no longer use the term “suspect.” People in city government, and vendors selling progressive law enforcement software, most who have never been cops and don’t have the slightest idea what cops do, have a better—more respectful—term for suspects who fight with police officers.

    Use-of-Force Statement: This is a true and involuntary statement given by me, Officer… Blah, blah, blah. On yadda, yadda date, at 0-dark-30, I was dispatched to a disturbance at a house known for narcotics sales and frequent violent criminal activities. On arrival I observed the community member, later identified as…, stride in an aggressive manner toward my patrol car. I exited my vehicle and told the community member to stop. The community member failed to obey my instructions. When the community member was within 10 feet of me, the community member reached into his jacket and withdrew a knife with what appeared to be an 8-10 inch fixed blade. I drew my department-issued sidearm and ordered the community member to stop and drop the knife. Instead, the community member….  

    Again, are you kidding me?

    People who know my writing, know that I hesitate to use words and phrases that convey personal attacks rather than those that attack a person’s actions or views. But, come on… Who was the idiot, moron—fool who came up with or is forcing Seattle’s cops to use this politically correct excrement?

    Using the term “community member” to describe a dangerous suspect is yet another attack on police officers whose job it is to deal with Seattle’s human vermin. “Community member” conveys an air of respectability violent criminal suspects don’t deserve.

    Oh, wait a minute. I just thought of something. I suppose Seattle’s social justice language pirates may actually have held back on the term they truly would have preferred. Perhaps, we should be thankful they didn’t order cops to refer to a suspect as, “comrade.”

  • Taylor Force Act

    I try to stick to law enforcement and libertarian issues, but sometimes it too hard. I see something “shiny” and I must speak up. I heard something this morning that is making my head spin.

    Do you know about the Taylor Force Act?

     First, what about the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official policy of paying money to the families of terrorists who kill Israelis and others? The PA has it in their charter and has allocated it in their budget, to pay families of suicide bombers and other attackers of civilians.

    This now includes the family of the murderer of Taylor Force, an American, visiting Israel. Walking down the street, Force was among the many innocent civilians 22-year-old, Palestinian terrorist, Bashar Masalha, stabbed on March 8, 2016 in Tel Aviv. Force died from his wounds. Ten others survived. Police shot and killed Masalha.

    Troublesome is that the United States provides to the PA some of the funds distributed to the family of Masalha in foreign aid. That’s right, you and I are paying a bounty to the family of an honored Palestinian murderer who killed a fellow American. The terrorist’s body arrived home in the PA to a hero’s welcome. 

    Now for something even more troublesome. According to the report I watched, not one Democrat is supporting a bill to cut off funding to the PA unless the government stops these payments to the families of terrorists. The amount of payments totals in the hundreds of million of dollars per year. Think these bounties encourages violence against Israel and others? 

    Does a bill to stop helping the PA conduct this brutal practice sound radical to you? What justification could any Democrat—any sane person—have for not supporting such a measure? This is yet another sign of the lunacy of the left and how radical that party has become. Personal integrity be damned; support the Party at all costs.

    It is nothing less than barbaric that a fledgling political entity, endeavoring to gain inclusion among the family of nations, would maintain such a ghoulish practice in today’s modern world–and do it with the largesse of other nations. Such audacity. 

    Having grown up in a non-political, but decidedly Democrat household in Massachusetts, where the families I knew had three, non-family, photos on their walls: John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Jesus, I have to ask. What the hell happened to the Democratic Party, and where have all the freedom of speech-loving, violence-hating Democrats gone?

     

     

  • Seattle’s Leftist Lunatic Luminaries

    I’m wrong because I think laws should be followed? I’m wrong because I believe cops, local, state, and federal, should assist each other? I’m wrong because I recognize the distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration? How did I end up on the “wrong” side? It seems that my point of view is simple common sense: Follow the law or change it. If you enter someone else’ country without permission, you have broken the law. Adhering to this common sense just makes sense. Just ask all the Americans who’ve been injured or died because of an illegal alien’s criminal actions. What’s an even greater question? How has the left been so successful in folding reality inside out? Why do so many of us let them win?

    The City of Seattle is and has been one of the nation’s best examples of this lunacy. I’ll name two local luminaries of the lunatic left: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. If a political issue is ludicrous, absurd, hypocritical, or mind-twistingly silly, they’ll likely be found behind it. Mayor Murray, shrouded in a recent controversy, proudly refuses to cooperate with federal immigration law while insane Counsilwoman Sawant is encouraging leftist radicals to block freeways and airports. Why not? According to this “new normal,” we need only follow laws we agree with, right?

    In an article in, Jacobin Magazine, a socialist publication, Sawant encouraged “non-violent civil disobedience,” disrupting infrastructure by taking over freeways and airports. Okay, let’s say we agree these actions are ostensibly “non-violent.” What if we replace non-violent with depraved indifference? How can you claim a “right” that interferes with another persons true rights? In this case, to go to work, school, home to their families, or get to a hospital ER. Think about the people who call the police or fire departments for criminal, fire, rescue, or medical emergencies? Does she care about the person who’s being robbed, whose house is being burglarized, or who’s having a heart attack? Well, the Washington State Patrol does. It has described her comments as, “irresponsible” and “reckless.” I agree.

    Regarding Murray’s municipal resistance movement, retaining sanctuary city status, the mayor said, “Seattle has always been a welcoming city.” (Not for conservatives, Mr. Mayor). According to His Honor, welcoming people who intentionally entered our country illegally, stepping ahead of all those legal immigrants who are doing it the right way, amounts to some sort of warped, northwest hospitality? Does that mean I’m not a welcoming homeowner because I lock my doors and turn on my house alarm? Do you think Mayor Murray locks his house and car doors or sets his alarms? Oh wait, not only does he do that, but he also has a highly trained police officer, bodyguard to protect him. That seems so—what’s the word—unwelcoming.

    We have gotten to where sitting Seattle politicians are routinely disregarding laws, preventing their cops from enforcing certain laws, or are calling for people to break laws the city administration doesn’t like? Remember, these are the people we elect to make the laws. If politicians don’t like the laws, they are empowered to change them, not free to violate or flaunt them. If local politicians refuse to respect state or national laws, then why should any of us follow any law with which we disagree? Laws are only as effective as the civil society that respects them.

    Is it any wonder that those on the political right and in the middle shake their heads, bewildered at city officials adopting policies intended to violate duly enacted laws? I was a Seattle cop for over two decades. Think there were any laws, policies, or assignments I didn’t like but still had to enforce, adhere to, or complete as ordered? Of course there were. Several years ago, I was assigned to a protection detail for Governor Christine Gregoire. Not only did she and I disagree on nearly everything political, I believed she obtained the office under well-documented, highly dubious circumstances. Yet, I was polite, respectful, shook her hand, and did my duty. I did not “resist.”

    According to the attitude of today’s left, would I be expected to protect a politician with whom I disagree? I shouldn’t enforce laws I don’t agree with? I should—oh, what’s the leftist term—resist leaders they don’t like (Trump) and laws (immigration) they don’t agree with? How many Secret Service agents who protected President Obama agreed with him politically? I’d venture a tiny percentage. Yet, agents did their jobs. They honored their commitment to duty. They got the president safely through eight years in office—as was right and very American.

    On the subject, how many of you think today’s left would support a Secret Service officer who refused to protect Republican President Trump? Why not? They lauded acting Attorney General Sally Yates for countermanding a presidential order–you know, like happens in third-world dictatorships. As for such an insubordinate, if not treasonous, agent, they’d probably put him or her in charge of the DNC. On the other hand, how many of you think today’s left would have condemned me, and called for my firing, if I’d have refused to protect Democrat Governor Gregoire? Yeah, me too.