July 29, 2013

It Happened in Seattle

Social In-Justice in Seattle


Many officers have asked me why I haven’t been writing articles for the , The Guardian (Seattle police officer’s union newspaper). The fact is, The Guardian has declined to publish what I’ve written, for reasons I’ll let the union explain, if they wish to. I wasn’t certain when, how/if, I would publish this piece. However, this morning after listening to The John Carlson Show on KVI 570AM and hearing of Mayor McGinn’s blocking of a beneficial Whole Foods project in West Seattle (West Seattle Herald, July 18, 2013) for dubious (leftist political) reasons, I felt people need to address Seattle’s destructive leftist agenda when they can. Anyone think His Honor would use his influence to block a “Green Industry” project? And, as a reminder, under the influence of the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), the City is still enforcing the traffic crime of Driving While License Suspended 3rd Degree (DWLS3) according to social justice criteria. In other words, some offenders get punished for violating this law, and some do not, dependent on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic criteria (according to a Publicola.com interview by Erica C. Barnett with the Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes).

The following article (slightly amended from the original) was twice submitted and declined for recent editions of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) newspaper, The Guardian. It is that publication’s right to decline and or edit submitted articles, but the circumstances seem odd. I have written articles for The Guardian for the past two decades, and the current Guardian editor has requested I submit articles. With these rejections in mind, which, incidentally, were not the decision of the editor, I’ll reference the eloquently stated words the SPOG president published in a recent President’s Message, which appeared in The Guardian:

The Guardian is not and should never be a ‘rah-rah SPD’ periodical. It is a union paper, plain and simple. Even with the current administration in D.C. spying on Associated Press and Fox News reporters, ‘freedom of the press’ and the First Amendment are still the law of this land. As I say at every new-hire orientation session ‘you do not give up one single constitutional right when you pin on your badge’” (The Guardian, June, 2013). Sgt. Rich O’Neill, President Seattle Police Officers Guild.

Social In-Justice in Seattle


Steve Pomper

Well, the dreaded day finally arrived. Sign up for the, Race: the Power of Illusion, social justice indoctrination day camp, or else. Someone in roll call quipped, “Is that the David Copperfield magic show?” Funny comment, but the subject is serious: Government bullies forcing a partisan political viewpoint down the throats of a captive audience is not funny. And they think the cops are the jack-booted thugs.

The mayor’s political goal is not to unite, but to divide. Once divided by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic, etc., the groups can then be apportioned and treated “fairly” according to a social justice gauge, rather than as individual Americans treated equally according to the Constitution. Does anyone think the Seattle liberals’ ideology is any different from that coming out of D.C. these days? In fact, since the DOJ are our current minders, it is precisely the same.

None of Seattle’s social justices will answer the question as to how social justice can coexist with equal justice. Why won’t they—the enemy—answer this question? Because they’d have to betray the truth: Social justice by definition, as opposed to equal justice, has to treat people differently—unequally.

In 2011, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, a genial and interesting man, exposed the social justice mentality when the Seattle Times quoted him saying, “He [Pomper] doesn’t understand that the playing field is not equal yet.” We see here how the goal is a foundational paradigm shift from the noble goal of … and justice for all, to the corrupt, … and social justice for some.

Who gets to decide when society has achieved a “level” playfield, Councilmember Harrell, perhaps? What are the benchmarks? Wouldn’t the pathway to Utopia be different for the various groups dependent upon how much “suffering” they can claim on their oppression resume?

Let’s say we all agreed the “playing field” is not equal, but should (or could) be. Liberals are not talking about leveling the field; they’re talking about leveling the players. There is a utopian belief among liberals that all people should have, not equal access to opportunities (playfield), but equal outcomes (touchdowns).

For this to happen, liberals want to drop the achievement bar to the lowest common denominator. Government could never make everyone achieve the level that people such as, Benjamin Carson, Shelby Steele, and Thomas Sowell have attained. However, it can lower society’s high achievers through confiscatory taxation, and over regulation, and raise the low achievers through entitlement programs and special rights, until society is left with universal mediocrity. Welcome to political social justice.

What follows is a reminder of the ferocity with which Seattle’s radical leftist city government imposes its political will on employees with divergent political views. Aside from abusing their power by officially investigating employees who legally express an opposing view, here is—in their own words— how they feel about any employee who dares to oppose their partisan political agenda regarding another article I wrote, which appeared in The Guardian in late 2010:

Mayor Mike McGinn: No “Room in This City” for Cops Opposing Race and Social Justice Programs. – (the Stranger-Slog Jan. 2011).

Police Chief John Diaz: “It’s a stupid thing to do…[writing an opposing view] ” and “It reflects badly… it’s another way it degrades the trust in our department.” -(Seattle Weekly Jan. 2011).

Kathryn Olson[Director of IIS/OPA]: “… says the articles don’t represent “a widespread culture” but rather “reflect the values of the author and very few others.” –(the Stranger-Slog Jan. 2011).

Sally Clark [Seattle City Council]: “Making a tough job tougher.” –Sally Clark’s Blog.

Tim Burgess [Seattle City Council]: [Pomper’s} comments are “not consistent with the values of the police department or the rules of behavior the department sets for our officers.”

Bruce Harrell [Seattle City Council]: “He (Pomper) doesn’t understand that the playing field is not equal yet.”

Ken Schram [KOMO TV]: “If Seattle police officer Steve Pomper would just stop polishing his billy club for a moment… ” –(Awarded a Schrammie).

Lynn Thompson [Seattle Times]: “Police officer rails against city’s anti-bias initiatives.” -(the Seattle Times Jan. 2011).

Jerry Large [Seattle Times]: “Seattle police officer, it’s time to turn in the badge.” –Jerry Large (the Seattle Times Jan. 2011).

Except for reporter Lynn Thompson, not one of these people spoke with me before making their public comments. Chief Diaz, through a precinct captain, ordered me not to speak to the media only hours before the Chief made the above disparaging comments—to the media.

Now, forgive the following trip to fantasyland, but back to the issue at hand: Progressive indoctrination of public employees. Suppose conservatives ran Seattle government (stop laughing), and let’s say the right-leaning politicians, believing that educational balance is crucial, decided that every city employee should be given some politically conservative training, perhaps Creation Science or Firearms Safety classes (for all city employees). Now, let’s tie this into the city’s current Social Justice indoctrination scheme:

Replace Liberal Social Justice training with Conservative training.

Replace PBS educational videos with Conservative educational videos.

Ridiculous? No more than social justice indoctrination. Seattle’s liberals may plug in their own conservative alternative as a comparison. How would Seattle’s liberal politicians, officials, and employees react to the City forcing them to receive “training” based upon a radically conservative political agenda, and one which goes well beyond the scope of their primary mission?

The above comparison boils the issue down to its basic elements and asks Seattle’s political left to answer a what-if question. If they haven’t thought about social justice “training” through the eyes of their political counterparts, perhaps the above reverse equation will open some empathetic understanding as to just what this partisan political “training” means to people who hold opposing political principles.

This is not about teaching legitimate law enforcement concepts, as the left would have us believe; it’s about sweeping political indoctrination. Seattle’s cops are guinea pigs, and its police precincts have become liberal laboratories of lunacy.

Once again, where is SPD’s leadership on these social justice and DOJ issues? Have they all made a hard left turn from when we knew them in the ranks? Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a chief break the Seattle, “appointed-official,” mold? How great it would have been if a chief had come out and supported—in deed—what was once one of the most respected and emulated police departments in America, and said: “The DOJ’s initial findings, upon which they based implementing an undeserved Consent Decree, lacks veracity and amounts to an insult to Seattle and to every man and woman serving the Seattle Police Department.” The Chief or Mayor (or any leader) could have made such a statement, but they didn’t. Seattle’s cops and citizens deserved nothing less, but instead they got far less. Now they’ll also waste far more in taxes paid to aloof DOJ Consent Decree consultants.

The other day (a few months ago now) in roll call, Seattle’s Consent Decree Compliance Coordinator mentioned two things that stood out for me: It is a fact that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) initial report asserting that 20% of SPD’s uses of force were unconstitutional, is wrong. And, I interpreted his ultimate message to be: The SPD should happily comply with the DOJ’s whims in order to prove the DOJ was wrong about us. We (SPD) must all speak with “one voice” (including in The Guardian).

Do they remember they’re dealing with cops? Cops aren’t traditionally known as patsies who will take such a great insult lying down. Sgt. Ty Elster, Vice President of SPOG, in his inspiring column (The Guardian, July 2013) has shown courage and has demonstrated that he is one cop who will not wither at the storm of intimidation tactics coming from the city or federal governments.

Everything that followed the flawed initial DOJ report, to use criminal justice lingo, is similar to the fruit from the poisonous tree legal maxim. Meaning, anything stemming from an erroneous act is therefor also contaminated, and in a criminal case, inadmissible in court. It’s a shame we didn’t have one courageous leader (captain or above) who would have stood up, or would stand up now, for the good men and women of the SPD whom the DOJ has so falsely maligned. The DOJ may be able to control our actions through its dictates, but in saying we should all be “on the same page,” must we willingly submit our minds as well?

Why didn’t our leaders challenge the DOJ’s erroneous assertions in court? Why did they simply feed their cops to those wolves? There is a true consensus that the report that initiated this entire debacle is fraudulent. Seattle University Professor Matthew Hickman has illuminated this fraud with his even more thorough study’s findings. The DOJ itself, found 0 (zero) violations in over a hundred additional cases recently studied. Does anyone believe the DOJ wanted to haul its “stellar” methodology (which they refuse to release) into court? One has to wonder, since City and Department leaders didn’t challenge these blatantly erroneous contentions where it mattered, if City and SPD leaders believe the nonsense the DOJ spewed about its cops, or do they simply lack the courage? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both. We all know how much credibility the DOJ has these days.

The DOJ knows that if they can make such a stellar police agency as the Seattle Police Department bow down to their federal might, then any other law enforcement agency in America is up for grabs. While Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, not surprisingly, sold us out to the feds, even worse, one of our own, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, sold us out! Why do City and some SPD leaders wince when articles such as this appear? Because it forces them to acknowledge and explain what they’ve done, and perhaps more importantly, what they haven’t done.

So, I’ve packed my lunch of guinea pig food and it’s off to the social justice re-education day camp I go for my dose of liberal indoctrination. One day some of us may lament: Why didn’t I do more to oppose social justice by supporting equal justice? Sadly, some of us will lament: Why didn’t I do anything at all?

For a civil discussion please visit: www.stevepomper.com


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