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The fall of Seattle After George Floyd died, the city turned on the police

A change in public safety began to be noticeable across Seattle in 2020. Credit: David Ryder/Getty Images

A change in public safety began to be noticeable across Seattle in 2020. Credit: David Ryder/Getty Images


March 26, 2022   18 mins

This February, Bruce Harrell, newly installed as mayor of Seattle, made it official that his city has gone into decline. “The truth is the status quo is unacceptable,” he said in his first state of the city address. “It seems like every day I hear stories of longtime small businesses closing their doors for good or leaving our city.” But it’s not just small businesses. In mid-March, Amazon announced that it was abandoning a 312,000-square-foot office space in downtown, citing concerns over crime.

That such woes should afflict one of the richest cities in the country, with a median household income of over $100,000, cannot be blamed on economic decline. Yet much of Seattle’s core looks like a pockmarked ghost town. Businesses on both sides of Third Avenue, a major thoroughfare, are boarded up. Blocks from the Four Seasons hotel and the Fairmont Hotel, tents crowd the sidewalks, and drug users sit under awnings holding pieces of foil over lighter flames. Traffic enforcement is minimal to nonexistent. The year 2020 saw a 68% spike in homicides, the highest number in 26 years, and the year 2021 saw a 40% surge in 911 calls for shots fired and a 100% surge in drive-by shootings. Petty crime plagues every neighbourhood of the city, and downtown businesses have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their own security.

What happened to Seattle? The answer, of course, depends on your politics. In the news section of the Seattle Times, for instance, a reader is unlikely to see any consideration of a link between policing and public safety. “No single cause for 2021’s surge in gunfire in Seattle,” declared a typical recent headline over an article that points only to possibilities such as the pandemic or an unlucky cycle of “retaliatory violence”. But the majority view in Seattle appears to have shifted toward an acknowledgement that the unrest and destruction that occurred after the killing of George Floyd in 2020 marked a turning point and that the city’s policies toward its police force, whose ranks are now depleted, are relevant to understanding the story. What follows, based on interviews with a number of past and present police officers — five of whom are on the record in this article — is an attempt to offer an obvious but unheeded perspective. It is a cop’s-eye view of Seattle’s undoing.

On Monday 25 May 2020, in Minneapolis, a man named George Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd face-down on the pavement with a knee to Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes. Video footage of the incident circulated around the world in the days that followed. One of those to watch it was T.J. San Miguel, a canine handler who had moved from the Big Island of Hawaii to join the Seattle police in 2008. “I thought it was disgusting,” she says of Chauvin’s actions. “You don’t do that to somebody. That’s just basic fucking stuff that we knew and learned and had trained on for years and years. It became pretty apparent that there’s a big difference in training and tactics and procedures in the West Coast versus East Coast and other places.”

The knee to the neck also surprised J.D. Smith, a Marine veteran of the first Gulf War and a Seattle police officer since 1998. Smith had spent years pursuing drug dealers, killers, and pimps and had subdued a lot of people. “That’s not even a proper technique,” says Smith. “We put a knee in between the shoulder blades, and it never chokes anybody out.”

Matthew Kruse, a young patrol officer who had joined the force in 2018, was struck that a handcuffed man would fail to get immediate medical care. “Especially in Seattle, we really emphasise once they’re in handcuffs and they’re under control you turn to the medical attention,” he says. “It’s kind of ingrained, but it’s also just doing the right thing. Do you need something? Do you want to get checked out by medical? If I have water on me, do you want some water?”

But any potential differences between the police in Seattle and those in other places mattered little to the mood of the city in the late spring of 2020. Protests spread from Minneapolis across the country, and the first large-scale demonstrations took shape on Friday night, 29 May, in Seattle’s Chinatown district. Matthew Kruse was among the cops standing guard. “We go down there, and we’re in the riot gear, and people were pleasant,” he says. “For the first three hours, I was just having a conversation with people.” After 10 o’clock, though, the mood shifted. “People were throwing stuff,” Kruse says. “They were starting to shine flashlights in our face.”

On Saturday, the crowds grew destructive. Groups of protesters shattered windows up and down the retail corridors of downtown and emptied many of the stores of their merchandise. Some of those in the crowd torched police cruisers parked outside of the Nordstrom flagship store at Pine Street and 6th Avenue. Protesters also pulled firearms, including M4 rifles, out of the abandoned vehicles. Mike Magan, a robbery detective who had been on the force for over three decades, was home that evening, watching the mayhem on a screen. “I was beside myself,” he says. He recognised the abandoned van of a co-worker, whom he phoned. The colleague, a forensics video specialist, answered in a whisper and said that he and other colleagues were taking shelter in the Nordstrom’s and videotaping what they could of the violence outside.

The following morning, Magan got called into the office to start investigations of 30 to 40 people who’d been arrested for crimes such as trespass, burglary and property destruction. Five or six hours in, he began to suspect they’d given the police false names. But there was no point looking into it further. “We found out they’d all been released from custody prior to even being questioned,” he says.

The bedlam in Seattle caused police leaders to institute a so-called “blue/gold” schedule, meaning that officers had to work 12-hour shifts up to seven days a week. Christopher Young, a detective in the investigative support unit (previously named the criminal intelligence unit), who has been on the force since 1994 and never experienced such a schedule, calls June 2020 “the most stressful month of my life”. Young found himself working 16-hour days for weeks straight. “Even our homicide detectives were sitting at their desks working their cases in battle dress uniforms with their helmets ready to run outside to protect their own office building,” he says, adding that an eight-hour day is already demanding in the world of policing, where split-second decisions are the norm. “There’s been plenty of criticism of how we handled it, but people don’t realise how stressful it was just from the sleep deprivation alone.”

“In May of 2020, our political leadership considered us a necessary evil. In June of 2020, they started to think that we were an unnecessary evil,” says Seattle police officer Chris Young (Chona Kasinger)

Of the hundreds of businesses that reported being damaged or looted over the weekend, Nordstrom’s flagship store was the most prominent. There had been an attempt by someone to set it aflame. On 1 June, Mike Magan and a colleague from the Seattle bomb unit entered the site to look for possible video footage. The first floor, he says, was destroyed. “All the jewellery cases had been smashed,” he says. “All the cosmetics were gone. All the makeup was gone. Shoes were gone — bags. Everything.” As for tracking down the looters, that wasn’t on the agenda. “We were told: you will not investigate any of those things,” Magan says. “The city attorney wouldn’t file charges on them.”

That night, Magan, who had been out of uniform for decades, had to don riot gear to guard the East Precinct on Capitol Hill. Demonstrations began peacefully but changed after dark. “We were getting pelted with bricks, rocks, frozen water bottles,” says Magan. “There were shots fired. Here I am, 33 or 34 years on the department and I’m like: why am I on the front line here?”

The 12-hour shifts exhausted everyone, including the younger officers. Matthew Kruse was working from 7pm to 7am, mostly on his feet, and if he was out on patrol he had to have riot gear with him in the car in case he was needed for crowd control. Once a week or fortnight, he’d get a day off and spend it all sleeping. “Some nights I slept at the police station,” he says. “And I remember at least a couple of times I just slept in my car, because I was like, if I try to drive home I’m going to kill myself or someone else.”

J.D. Smith, stationed at the West Precinct near the turmoil, was spared a direct confrontation with the violence. His job at the time was to process online crime reports, which were now rolling in faster than ever. But he could see the toll being taken on his coworkers when they returned to the station from the protest sites day after day. “The looks on their faces — it just reminded me of the Gulf War,” he says.

When the protests grew violent, police officers began to use various non-lethal weapons to control the crowd, including pepper spray and tear gas. This led to complaints, lawsuits, and stinging condemnation in the local press. On 5 June, Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, declared that officers “do not need to be using tear gas at protests as a crowd management tool” and banned the use of it for 30 days. Many officers felt they were being asked to maintain order in violent crowds while surrendering all of their crowd-control tools. “People were throwing bottles and rocks, and we had to split this thing up. God forbid after multiple, multiple, multiple warnings that we’re gonna throw gas, guys, you better disperse, we throw gas,” says J.D. Smith. “So then what? Oh, Seattle PD, look how heavy-handed they are.”

Seattle has never been as police-friendly as some other cities, but outright hostility to law enforcement had until 2020 been confined to a minority of residents. Lots of officers on the force had even been accustomed to positive public attention. T.J. San Miguel and her German Shepherd, Pele — named after the goddess of volcanoes in Hawaii, San Miguel’s native home — had been featured on “America’s Top Dog,” a series putting dogs through obstacle courses, and had cheery write-ups for her work. Mike Magan received regular cards from people he’d helped and, when Covid hit, even a crate of cleaning supplies from one grateful Vietnamese-American family whose jewellery store he had saved when he tracked down four robbers and got all of the stolen goods returned. J.D. Smith became a brief celebrity in 2016, when while off-duty he pulled over on a mountain pass on Interstate 90 to rescue an unconscious woman from a flaming car. All of the cops could point to times when they’d helped save a victim from a bad guy.

T.J. San Miguel and her German Shepherd, Pele have been featured on “America’s Top Dog”. (Chona Kasinger)

Prior to the summer of 2020 the department had been receiving encouraging communications from the mayor’s office, and city officials were planning to ask the federal government to lift a consent decree that had been imposed on the Seattle police in 2012. In 2016, Barack Obama had even invited the department’s then-chief, Kathleen O’Toole, to the State of the Union, and a federal judge had ruled in 2018 that the city was in “full and effective compliance” with the decree. T.J. San Miguel expected that city officials would take a moment to let the worst of the public anger pass and then speak up for their police force. “I’m like, okay, it was horrible and people absolutely need to say what they need to say,” she says. “So we’re going to give it a minute here in our department, but then our city is going to say: Hey, that was horrible. It was disgusting. It was bad. And guess what? You’ll never see that in the Seattle Police Department.”

That statement did not come. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on 3 June that the city would no longer seek to lift the consent decree. Seattle city council member Teresa Mosqueda vowed to lead an “inquest” into the budget of the Seattle police and said she wanted to cut funding by half, a view echoed by fellow council members Tammy Morales and Kshama Sawant. City Council president Lorena Gonzáles blamed the police response to the protests for turning “our densest neighbourhoods” into a “complete war zone”.

“In May of 2020, our political leadership considered us a necessary evil,” says Chris Young. “In June of 2020, they started to think that we were an unnecessary evil. Every cultural institution in the city turned on the police.” That included educational institutions. In early June, Young, as a parent of children in Seattle Public Schools, was one of thousands of recipients of an email from school superintendent Denise Juneau announcing that cooperation with the police would be suspended in light of “the perpetuation of systemic racism, the murders of Black people by police officers across our country, [and] the violence displayed by some law enforcement officers here in Seattle”.

The perspective was palpable on the streets, too. T.J. San Miguel would hear jeers out of open windows on Capitol Hill. “You have people in an apartment several stories high just yelling and screaming at you as you’re out there walking down the block,” she says. In one case, a crime victim had called for police help, only to start showering the responding officers with anti-cop abuse when they arrived. “It was very shocking,” she says. “And it’s just like: Okay, bye, have a nice night.”

“We were hated,” says J.D. Smith. “We were literally hated overnight.”

On Sunday 8 June, Matthew Kruse and coworkers from the North Precinct got an order to go down and help back up his colleagues in the East Precinct on Capitol Hill. The plan, he says, was to let crowds march past the precinct unimpeded, unless there was criminal activity, and Kruse and his colleagues were stationed a couple of blocks away, watching the area on camera. No one was trying to break into the precinct, says Kruse, but people started to pitch tents near it. At that point, according to Kruse, a police captain went over to talk to the protesters. “He started talking to protesters and telling them, hey, you guys have got to move along, and they got in a verbal altercation,” says Kruse. “Then they [senior officers] came back to us and said we’re just going to let them stay there and do their thing.” The East Precinct, already boarded up, was now abandoned.

News of the surrender of the East Precinct hit cops hard. “I just felt sick,” says Chris Young. “It was humiliating.”  Matthew Kruse found the about-face on holding the fort versus leaving it insulting. “At first they had said: no, we’re not going to let them take the precinct,” says Kruse. “The next day it’s being cleared out.” J.D. Smith remains incredulous. “I’m still embarrassed,” Smith says. “We gave away a precinct.”

What followed for the next few weeks was an impromptu test site for improvised maintenance of public order in what came to be called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. A few days into the CHAZ, the New York Times described it as “an experiment in life without the police — part street festival, part commune.” Donald Trump weighed in from the Oval Office to condemn it. “Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle,” he tweeted. Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, responded, “It’s not terrorism. It’s patriotism.” Asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo how long the CHAZ would last, Durkan quipped, “I don’t know. We could have the summer of love.”

For police stationed out of the East Precinct, there was no base of operations anymore. “They couldn’t deploy from there,” says Matthew Kruse. “They had to deploy from the West Precinct or North or South or Southwest or any other precinct. So response times got slower, and that affects everyone from a shop owner to a person who lives there.”

Where some observers saw a harmless street fair others saw something more menacing. “All these businesses are failing and they’re asking for help,” recalls J.D. Smith. “There is nothing, and I mean zero, we can do because the mayor is saying summer of love.” Chris Young says that officers received an email instructing them not to enter the six-block zone of the CHAZ, although he made his way into the off-limits area after some unsuccessful arson attempts against the precinct building. “I was sent with a fancy camera to take pictures of the crime scene of where they tried to burn it down,” says Young. “You had to go by a checkpoint with guards, and God knows what they’d do with me if they found out I was a cop. I had to basically go undercover to sneak in and look at my own precinct.”

Graffiti at the CHAZ, June 12, 2020. (Credit: Chona )

On Saturday 20 June, about 12 days after the East Precinct was vacated, T.J. San Miguel got called in to respond to a shooting of two men in the CHAZ, one of whom was now in a serious condition. “So everybody just goes rolls down there and then, you know, they have to come up with a plan,” she says. “Like, how are we going to get in there?”

By the time a group of officers made it into the CHAZ, they were told the most endangered victim was already being taken to the hospital by activists on the scene. Over the radio in her car outside the CHAZ, San Miguel heard that the victim was being driven in a plain white van toward the Harborview Medical Center, and she happened to look up. “There’s this van driving just crazy,” she says. “The back doors are open and swinging. There’s a bunch of people in the back of the van working, I guess, on this person that was just shot, and I’m just like, oh my god.” San Miguel decided to alert Harborview and escort the van there. “I just jumped ahead of it, lights and sirens,” she says, “and I blocked all the intersections as it went, so it safely got there and no other cars got in the way of it.” In the end, the victim, 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson, made it to Harborview but didn’t survive.

The CHAZ lasted another ten days after that, until Wednesday 1 July, when officers reclaimed the precinct without a struggle. In the meantime, a 17-year-old had been shot in the arm on 21 June, a 30-year-old male shot and wounded on 23 June, and two black teenagers, 14 and 16, shot and wounded on 29 June as they drove into the CHAZ. The older of the two, Antonio Mays Jr., died of his wounds. Witnesses have stated that members of CHAZ security were the ones who opened fire on them, but police have never tracked down the responsible parties.

Despite the retaking of the East Precinct, the city continued to be racked by protest and strife throughout July, with further vandalism and looting by a subset of the protesters, few of whom ever faced charges. City officials continued to direct their ire toward the police department instead, and on 10 August the Seattle City council voted to cut the pay of senior police staff, including Chief Carmen Best, who enjoyed widespread respect from officers on the force, including all of those interviewed for this article. “It was demoralising,” says Chris Young. “She was a great chief and a very progressive leader who happens to be black. But she still got run out of town on a rail because she wouldn’t agree that her department needed to be abolished.”

Carmen Best immediately announced her resignation. At that time, T.J. San Miguel, who calls Best “excellent, just excellent,” was already deep into looking for an exit. A move like that, when she’d spent years to secure the job of her dreams, working in the K-9 unit, would have been unthinkable in the recent past. She considered herself one of the biggest cheerleaders of the department. But the hostility from the city in June and July changed her outlook. “I realised I could do everything completely right, and if the optics aren’t good, then they’re going to hang me out to dry,” she says. “Once I came to that realisation, it was like a bad breakup where you just shut somebody off.” San Miguel left the force when Best did.

A change in public safety began to be noticeable across the city, not just in protest zones. Seattle’s city attorney, Pete Holmes, and King County’s prosecuting attorney, Dan Satterberg, had always taken a lenient approach to so-called quality-of-life crimes, but after June 2020 they began to ease up across the board toward a range of other offences. Most of those who committed vandalism or looting during the protests escaped any punishment. Matthew Kruse said that storeowners would call the police about shoplifters, not realising that prosecutions of that offence had effectively ceased. On one occasion Kruse and his partner watched a man walk into a store, shoplift about $20 in goods, and walk out. “He was like, what are you guys going to do — arrest me?” says Kruse. “And we knew we weren’t going to arrest him, because with any misdemeanour stuff, we had to go through the prosecutor, and stuff like that wasn’t going to get prosecuted. You could I.D. the suspect and could get a full confession, and they were going be like, ‘We’re not gonna take it.’”

One case in which prosecutors did take action proved to be the last straw for Matthew Kruse’s partner. It involved a shooting that, according to Kruse, everyone involved in investigating believed to be obvious self-defence. A 40-something white Seattle male with no criminal record had shot a homeless Hispanic male who had attacked him in a parking lot at night. The directive from the prosecutors’ office was to jail the man in preparation for pressing murder charges, Kruse recalls, “because of the optics.” Kruse says the case went to trial and ended in swift acquittal, but Kruse’s partner, disgusted by what he viewed as politicised decision-making, quit his job.

With an incentive structure that made officers feel they had little to gain and much to lose from taking the initiative on crime prevention, cops began a dramatic — and some would say resentful — pullback in enforcement. Patrol officers no longer drove or walked about looking for suspicious behaviour like someone climbing a fence but stayed put and responded after the fact. Mike Magan said that one of his colleagues got investigated and punished for responding to a call of shots fired without logging into his computer first. “It was like we were biting our own necks, and you began to see that a lot of these officers would go park their cars at certain location and not go out and patrol,” he says. “You could track the cars and you could see that these officers were parking in parking garages.”

Kruse wanted to keep patrolling, even if it was in a more low-key way, but one day his supervisor advised him to avoid it. “I was told straight to my face: don’t leave the precinct unless you’re going to a call,” Kruse recalls. “He says: I’m looking out for you, still fresh in your career. I don’t want you to get in trouble for doing the right thing.” Kruse says a lot of his coworkers began to rely on an imaginary colleague they dubbed “Officer Time,” so named because most criminal behavior stops on its own after a while. “If it’s a shoplift, the building is going to close, or if it’s someone that’s just trespassing, they’re eventually going to leave,” says Kruse. “So just let them off and let Officer Time handle it.” Kruse quit in October of 2020. The following month, the city council voted to cut the budget of the department by 20%.

For Mike Magan, the pullback in enforcement spread even to his fellow detectives, causing him to hit breaking point. “One of the robbery squads just decided they weren’t going to work anymore,” he says. “They wouldn’t leave the office, they wouldn’t help you on search warrants, they wouldn’t come out and conduct interviews with you. They wouldn’t come out and track video. It was heartbreaking.” Magan couldn’t stand it and decided to retire early. He had banked eight months of sick leave that he intended to exhaust prior to his official departure date, but his ordinary work hours ended after February of 2021.

An exodus of officers led to a manpower shortage that prompted J.D. Smith to quit as well. As someone whose interactions with the public were mostly online at this point in his career, Smith was relatively cushioned from classic hazards of the job. The severe shortage of officers, however, made him certain that he’d be put back into uniform and on street patrol, which he believed spelled trouble for someone out of practice. “It’s tough even when you’re out there every day,” he says. “But you take somebody who has been off the streets for 10 years — they’re rusty.” Returning to the work of chasing down violent criminals in a time of hostile public scrutiny seemed untenable. Smith picked April Fool’s Day of 2021 as his date of retirement. “I had eight more years,” he says. “I needed to stay, financially, but I decided no, I’m going to quit.”

The departing officers left a severely diminished department. Even before the unrest of 2020, the number of officers in the Seattle Police Department was low by the standard of other cities. With about 1,400 police officers in 2019, or 18.5 officers for every 10,000 residents, policing in Seattle could never be as comprehensive as in New York City, where the ratio is 43.6 officers for every 10,000 residents, or Washington, D.C. where it is 54 per 10,000. But with 186 separations from the department in 2020, nearly three times the historical annual average, and another 150 or so in 2021, Seattle started 2022 with well under 1,000 deployable officers department-wide.

Almost all of the officers spoken to for this article seemed to be in low-key mourning over their alienation from the city they served. “I loved going to work every day, and I had a fantastic career,” says Mike Magan. “It’s a beautiful city, but I watched it go from really good to really bad.”

“The mayor and the city council were telling us, basically, that we’re the bad guy,” says J.D. Smith. “The truth is 99% plus of us are amazing people that are only there for the reason that I was there: I don’t like people in fear, and I don’t like people in pain.”

“I’m actually a Left-wing guy on just about every issue,” says Chris Young. “I want the United States to be a Scandinavian-style welfare state. So I’m very sympathetic to people’s concerns.” Forming a complementary department of 100 people comprising community service officers, social workers and others who could do the sort of enforcement that doesn’t require a gun would have been a worthy experiment, Young feels. “But they didn’t do that,” he says. “They just demonised the police and chased good people out of town. It was, let’s slash budgets and hope something good happens.”

Today, T.J. San Miguel works for the police department of Marysville, a town about 30 miles north of Seattle. She had to take a $10-an-hour pay cut, she says, and abandon her work with Pele, starting over as a patrol officer once more. (She did get to keep living with Pele, who is now a full-time pet. “She’s fat and happy,” San Miguel reports.) But the first day of patrol among Marysville residents was a revelation. “People told me face-to-face: We love you. We support you. Thank you for doing your job,” she says. “People were waving. You couldn’t buy your own coffee.”

Matthew Kruse found a job in the police department of Lynnwood, a suburb about 15 miles north of Seattle. Like San Miguel, Kruse was astonished by the contrast between his new workplace and the one he left. In Lynnwood, he says, cops crack down on illegal drug paraphernalia. When someone gets a warrant to show up in court and fails to show, police will arrest the person for ignoring the warrant. When someone shoplifts, that person gets arrested and charged. “I ask people when I catch them shoplifting up here in Lynnwood, ‘What are you doing up here?’” he says.

J.D. Smith moved to Idaho, near Priest River, not far from the Washington border. “It’s affordable, and it got me out of the area,” he says. “I have a chance to start a new life and not be a police officer anymore. I’m hanging the badge up.”

Mike Magan moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he is building a house. In the months that followed his departure from the office, he continued to show up whenever he was needed to wrap up a serious case and make sure the perpetrators were prosecuted. But most of that work has wound down. “I look forward to the transition,” he says. “But I do miss it.”

Remaining on the force is Chris Young, who has seen repeated changes of role as more and more of his colleagues leave. “A few months ago I was just a detective. Now I’m a permanent acting sergeant,” he says. “Half the people in my unit are gone.” Any lull in enforcement that might have existed in the fall of 2020 has long since been replaced by a frantic rush from call to call, as ever fewer officers confront ever higher numbers of crimes.

Part of Young’s job now is to keep more people from leaving, even as the city steps up efforts to repopulate the force. Last October, as vaccine mandates caused even more officers to leave, the mayor put in place an emergency order offering $25,000 bonuses to new hires. But the mindset of the city seems to have mattered just as much to the officers in this story as financial considerations. “My young rockstar detectives are sniffing around these other departments where they’ll get treated like royalty,” Young says. “How do I compete with that?” The answer to that may depend on how much Seattle cares.


T.A. Frank is a writer-at-large for Vanity Fair.

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David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Shocking, but it’s what they voted for. What’s troubling is that many of the middle class, ‘educated’ whites who voted for this will leave Seattle because of the problems their voting created, and then vote for the same policies in the places they move to. Wokeness is truly a cancer of values and morality.

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

What seems very apparent is that the very woke, liberal crowd are the real racists.

What was neatly covered up in the Floyd case was the initial minutes of his arrest – where the police interaction showed there was no racism in their conduct. And every statistic shows that that while there are many issues in policing, the only reason arrests or wrongful deaths are proportionally higher for blacks is because the % of crimes committed by their group (and hence hostile interactions with police) is proportionately higher.

But, who are the innocent people caught up in the grinder in the cities, subject to higher rates of murder, robbery, etc, suffering when stores shut down due to shoplifting? Who would actually be massively net beneficiaries of strict policing?

Predominantly black populated inner city people.

The woke whites who call for scrapping police, going soft on crime, don’t suffer as they invariably stay in “nice” areas that are upper class, and entirely white / Asian (which doesn’t seem to bother them). They are indifferent to the impact on blacks of the policies they force on society, because they are utter racists.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I, too, have watched a lot of the footage leading up to the fatal moment, and felt that the worldwide effect was far, far in excess of the gravity of the actual events.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

The plain unvarnished truth.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Spot on.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

70%+ of violent crime in the US is committed by blacks (see FBI statistics until they are ordered hidden) who are only 12% of the population. But Seattle and its fellow-failed city, Portland, are overwhelmingly white and as left wing as AOC. White guilt, I guess. Here’s hoping they choke on it.

Rose D
Rose D
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

And look how the “deep-pocketed Dem donors and Hollywood grandees” jumped on the Gascon recall campaign after home invasions and murder finally came, as they inevitably and predictably would, to their gated enclaves.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I have been to Southern California. Northern California and the Pacific North West used to be on my bucket list as I have friends and family there and it was going to be one of the extended trips I would make after retirement. Not even the promise of friends and family can entice me there now.
I have a friend who lives in Seattle – she returned home last year to find her house ransacked. The police didn’t take the call out as there were not enough officers. She still votes Democrat (I think!). I can’t figure it out – it is a mystery.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

Twenty and more years ago I used to go on Black Bear shooting holidays in the Cascade Mountains, a few hours east of Seattle. Even then the city was regarded as pathetically liberal, or to use the vernacular of some of my party, decidedly spastic.
Perhaps the affluence of having the huge Boeing Corporation providing well paid jobs for thousands proved just too much, and decadence is the result?

Last edited 2 years ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

The politics changed. Even Seattle was fairly conservative for a city back in the early 90s. The tech boom brought a bunch of Californians here who settled in from Bellingham down to Olympia. Completely took over state politics. It is still a nice state you just have to stay out of the liberal cesspool areas

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Many thanks. Next time I shall confine myself to the Wenatchee area.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

Why? Just avoid Seattle. Its a big state and most of the counties are Republican and believe in law enforcememt. I live in Mason County and its been normal here even through covid.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

I have family and friends in Seattle and Bellingham…

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 years ago

She’s a masochist. A lot of mentally ill people are on the left, maybe most of them.

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago

I can recommend the Olympic Peninsula just west of Seattle. Especially the west coast with its tiny population and amazing temperate rain forests. Like my two years in Detroit. Just twenty miles separated downtown Detroit with its astronomical murder rate from Bloomfield Hills, reportedly the wealthiest suburb in North America.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
15 days ago

Consider the possibility she is a fool.

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
2 years ago

what made things worse was the focus on George Floyd’s killing as purely racism by all media rather than inadequate policing. Especially as it had happened before in Dallas to a white guy Tony Timpa in 2016 – but that was not covered by the media anywhere- a genuine examination about length of training etc should have been the outcome of the sad case, which could have improved the lives of ordinary poorer workers both black and white.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

The fact that most people protesting about Floyd would have no clue about Tony Timpa (worse behaviour by police, not a criminal, no punishment) says a lot about how vile and two faced are our “betters”

Troy MacKenzie
Troy MacKenzie
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Actually in both cases the drug addicts stopped breathing because that’s what opiate OD does. Having weight on you probably doesn’t help, but the opiates are the root cause.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

I pity the poor policemen who have to deal with crazed drug addicts on a daily basis. How many journalists have to get up in the morning and deal with fraught situations like that?

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

The most heinous miscarriage of justice that I have ever witnessed.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago

Wow. No really shocking revelations here for me, but the up-close-and-personal from these officers is very revealing and drives home some critical lessons. Importantly, there are real costs to grandstanding and posturing for feel-good points.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mo Brown

What are the costs of which you speak?
Electors get the policies they and their neighbours vote for while Democrat political leaders get the benefits of elected office.
Sure there are losers who didn’t vote for these policies here and there, but not many to speak of numerically. And those who do lose out can mostly move to locations which reject Woke.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

The ‘costs’ are pretty obviously the physical and economic destruction of a city and the demoralisation and disintegration of the police force etc, and lots of people losing their jobs.

I very much doubt that the majority support what has happened, and also that most of the population can just up and leave – though the wealthy hypocrites are able to, or are otherwise protected from the consequences of their politics for example by living in gated communities. And why should they have to anyway?

Unfortunately a small number of determined, unrepresentative activists who are obsessed with politics (and race) are the people who get on the committees etc. They can cause untold damage. I once volunteered to be a union rep in the UK. A similar phenomenon applied to a much lesser degree – the officials were completely unrepresentative of the members!

But, yes, I agree that the public will have to start punishing the administration politically if there is to be any hope of Seattle’s recovery, which because of the damage done will be a long drawn out and painful process.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Jean Pierre Pellissier
Jean Pierre Pellissier
2 years ago

You get what you deserve….

The left always eats itself!

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

The trouble is that the rest of us get something we don’t deserve, and just because a certain type of person gets to be politician or journalist.

Insufficiently Sensitive
Insufficiently Sensitive
2 years ago

And this morning, 3/26/22, in Seattle? The sniveling Seattle Times front-pages yet another Evil Police article, doing its best to politically keep the department underfunded, unsupported and presumed guilty without any more evidence than its decades-long series of Evil Police articles. That’s how we’ve been saddled with the most despicable City Council imaginable – public opinion is ‘progressive’, and the Times owns it, and the Council is elected to support homeless camps, not citizens. Defend all those burned-out and looted shopowners? Not the Seattle Times, nor the Council either.
Many thanks for the TA Frank article.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Doubtless the Seattle Times is everything you say but who is buying it and how come those why aren’t have failed to exercise more influence on the city’s politics?

Insufficiently Sensitive
Insufficiently Sensitive
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Good question. But it’s the only daily newspaper here, and enjoys single-source dominance (NPR and lefties rule the radio and TV waves) – in a town which fashionable ‘progressive’ groupthink still rules. And Council elections enjoy very small turnouts, allowing special-interest groupings much better chances at rule by minorities.
A small sign of change emerged last November, when an ‘enforce-laws’ candidate won the election for City Attorney (the Council immediately erected some legal barricades to that heresy), and one small-business owner won a Council seat. If this signals a trend, more power to it – but the heavy artillery is still emplaced on the ‘progressive’ side, and we’ll have to see.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Sounds to me like the people got what the people voted for. There’s no point in failing to vote and then complaining about the result.

Alexei A
Alexei A
2 years ago

As a fellow Seattleite, I’d suggest much of the problem coincides with its changing population over the last couple of decades to one dominated by the tech industry and its cohort of mostly young idealistic and ungrounded support workers, who live in an artificial world of IT rather than the nitty gritty of reality. They seem to aspire to the heights of wokeness, virtue-signalling and castigating those who fail to share their concerns. Here,”keeping up with the Joneses” means displaying prominent signs in one’s front garden assuring everyone of one’s “correct” attitude. “Black Lives Matter” signs appear in the most plush upscale residences, along with others stating “Science is Real” ,”No Human is Illegal”, “Love is Love”, presumably to confirm one’s acceptability to society. At the same time, their houses continue to be burgled with no police follow-up, their cars stolen, street shootings escalate, whilst the ineffective city council ponders not prosecuting any criminal offense based on “material need”, such as shoplifting, burglary of less than $1000 of goods, DUI. etc. and then wonder why the crime rate is escalating….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

Genuine question, what would you like to see done with the homeless camps? Moving them on seems rather pointless as by their very definition of being homeless they have nowhere else to go, they’d simply have to set themselves up somewhere else in the city.
To me it seems to be a problem of Americas own making. Their hyper capitalist mindset that has a private healthcare system pushing vast amount of drugs out into society because it’s profitable, along with regarding worker protections and a functioning welfare state (which are common throughout the rest of the first world) as being borderline communism means you have vast amounts of people who are left destitute and homeless at the slightest setback.
Without a change to the American psyche I don’t really see a solution. They don’t want the homeless, but they are also ideologically opposed to the controls and support systems that would prevent large numbers finding themselves in that situation in the first place

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Stop indulging these people they may have a small shot at sorting their lives out. Continuing to pander to their victim mentality condemns them to no escape from addiction etc.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

I don’t see how they’ve been indulged to be honest, quite the opposite in fact. Most appear to have been thrown to the wolves

Insufficiently Sensitive
Insufficiently Sensitive
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

With the City of Seattle, and King County ‘investing’ hundreds of millions of dollars annually into the Homeless Industrial Complex, it’s clear that the whole country knows that enough dollars will leak through the clutches of our very prosperous ‘non-profit’ executives to enable the extensive clusters of bums living in free tents under freeway rain-deflectors, and enjoying other handouts too numerous to mention.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Most of the homeless I’ve ever dealt with were either alcoholics, addicts, happy to live free as they wanted or blaming everyone but themselves for their predicament.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

I’ll agree that many homeless have an array of issues, though it can be a chicken and egg scenario as to which came first. Did the alcoholism and dependency come about due to living rough, or was it the cause of them ending up in that situation. However my point is that you simply don’t see these vast tent shanty towns in other first world countries except the States. The almost total lack of state support, and the Americans seeming opposition to it, means many are left destitute at the drop of a hat or slight change of circumstance. I think a few more structures in place to help those who fall ill or lose jobs etc would massively reduce the amount of people who end up living rough and becoming a nuisance

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is surely more complex. For starters the US now has to all intents and purposes a vast open border in the South. The US high level policies have been in place for decades and it is only fairly recently that it seems to have lurched completely out of control in largely Democratic run cities. Progressives coupled with ridiculously ludicrous Covid policies have changed the landscape.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

Those vast tent cities predate Covid by quite a long time. You can argue that the economic cost has added to the problem (though that goes back to my argument about lack of support) but those tents were around a long time before the virus

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Problems with homelessness exploded approaching and then during lockdown. Then add the huge numbers of people pouring over the borders. Where do you think they are going? Republican states? Certain first world cities have become well nigh third world. Most if not all are Democratic. That is well reported.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago

Great comment

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I tend to think it’s really just that they wish to blame others for their bad choices. I have similar attitudes in my own family. There is help regardless of what you may have heard.

Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

No there isn’t help. A family member of mine was addicted in Seattle and I called around the whole city trying to get treatment in 2015. Couldn’t find a single place unless you’re a millionaire. I finally drove up and picked him up and tapered him off heroin myself

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They are indulged. I’ve followed the west coast ‘homelessness’ crisis for years. Most of them are drug addicts who want to stay outside because it gives them easier access to their fix. They rarely are criminalised despite their tendency to commit petty crime.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

Every country in the world has homeless and drug addicts. I’m asking what is it in Americas approach to the problem that has let it happen in such vast numbers, and that has left it so visible on the streets? The problems of drugs are universal amongst developed nations, yet the outcomes we see are unique to America

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That sounds reasonable on it’s face, but if you DO implement the controls and support systems, then the question becomes, what happens next? Answer, the sink estates of Europe, where huge numbers of one parent families made up of half siblings and step brothers and sisters, live for generation after mouldering generation of unemployment and social welfare, anesthesised by drink, drugs and sex, all the while increasing in number and area, and slowly destabilising the society which carries them.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

Ignoring of course that America has the highest percentage of single parent families in the developed world. They also have the trailer parks and vast homeless problem, with the accompanying crime, gang and gun violence and drug dependency that’s far worse than you’ll find in the council estates of the UK and Europe

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well we are a country of 300+ million…but please consider that what you are observing might be viewed through the lense of who is doing the reporting and their agenda…

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ah Billy Bob you’re reporting bad stats here. My native country, Scotland, has the worst death rate from drug addiction in the world.
https://transformdrugs.org/blog/scotland-is-drug-death-capital-of-the-world-heres-how-we-can-shed-that-title
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58024296
You seem to have a very rose tinted view of Europe and a contrastingly negative view of the USA. Tres chic!

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Stewart
Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I live in Canada with free health care and very generous social benefits and we have the same problems. It is caused by mental illness and progressive policies in large cities that celebrate drug addiction as a legitimate lifestyle.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Gunner Myrtle

I could be wrong but I don’t recall seeing vast numbers of drug addicts and homeless living in tent shanty towns in Canada relieving themselves all over the pavement? It seems uniquely an American issue to me

DA Johnson
DA Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Go to downtown Vancouver.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ah I’ve read through your comments and now you’re showing your bias Billy Bob, maybe because you don’t like the idea that so called progressive countries have big problems with the homeless too. All over Europe it’s a big problem.
So if your agenda is to blame American society or lack of social support, then you’re wrong.

Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t know what the answer to drug addiction and the resulting homelessness and crime is. Housing would at least get them off the street but doesn’t solve the addiction and crime aspect.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

This made uncomfortable reading. As a non-federal nation geographically far smaller and more homogeneous than the USA, circumstances in the United Kingdom are very different. For a start, firearms are rare, and few police are armed with them, but I have steadily seen things change. There is more and more ‘diversity’, which clearly makes policing harder, and I don’t think increased diversity within the police is going to help.
It seems that in every society, a some people are prepared to plunder or assault others, and those who suffer are mainly the weak, or those who simply lack the aggressiveness to oppose them.
This has always been so, and everywhere, but civilisation has in the main created laws, and enforced them, most successfully in ‘the West’. It’s one of the reasons such countries attract massive immigration.
And yet this way of life is failing, and I see in the Seattle situation echoes of what may happen here. There are some who, for various reasons, have acquired a hate for authority and are keen to destroy it, which is welcomed by those who only wish to take advantage.
Even worse, well-educated people, paid well above average salaries and living in good properties, are assisting this, by conforming to fashionable attitudes and supporting grievances, old and new, real and imagined.
For example, I have noticed that at every opportunity, almost all of the media, but especially the BBC which dominates British news and current affairs coverage, has been critical of the police, and especially ‘the Met’. It implies all police are evil. For example, the Everard murder was committed by a ‘serving policeman’, which is emphasised, but what I have hardly ever heard is that the police investigated it, and caught him within days.
And I keep hearing the phrase ‘the public’s lost confidence in the police’. On what evidence? I’ll bet there’s more confidence in the police than in journalists, but of course the statement is intended to cause that loss in confidence.
As it happens, it has been reduced, because unsurprisingly, the police are spending more time on things like ‘hate crime’, or tolerating law-breaking if it is for a fashionable cause, or on additional procedures invented by politicians and lawyers and intended to hobble them. The state even pays for legal aid for anyone opposing the state; fine, but it far more generous than in other respected countries, and is even paid for non-citizens (and lawyers want yet more).
No wonder people like Putin can point to the increasing chaos in the West to support authoritarian rule.

David Wildgoose
David Wildgoose
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

The Police are sent around to threaten people who write mean tweets, but when a father calls the police to say his under-age daughter is being drugged and sexually assaulted by Asian men they arrest both him and the girl child, without even taking the names of the Asian men committing the crimes. [Rotherham, at least two different occasions.]

Failing to simply apply the law in a colour-blind fashion is what has caused many of us to abandon our otherwise long-standing support of the Police.

John Barclay
John Barclay
2 years ago

Shocking story. No decent human could justify what happened in America following the death of George Floyd.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

I made a list of the political villains in this article. Jenny Durkan, Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales, Kshama Sawant, Lorena Gonzáles and Denise Juneau.
I assume I cannot be the only to notice the common denominator

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago

You assume correctly – they may make great mothers but by this account, poor strategists.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Marcia McGrail

If they were great mothers the children would have been stopped in their tracks; great mamas don’t put up with crap.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

There seems to be no middle ground in the States. It’s either all stick and no carrot, handing out life sentences for minor crimes or executing simpletons, or ultra progressive and making no attempt to uphold the law at all. Like everything else over there policing seems to part of the heavily politicised culture war

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I have to ask if you live here or just visited because your view seems quite skewed unrealistically.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

It’s from the outside looking in, my opinion is merely based on the impression America gives off to the outside world. It comes across as a basket case quite frankly, incredibly insular and an undeserved confidence that their approach is always the correct one. However saying that I’ve known plenty of yanks over the years and they’re some of the most friendly and hospitable people in the world, they just know nothing outside their own borders

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They are not homogeneous – there is no one approach.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I look at some British news online and even the conservative ones get it wrong. But most are liberal so that will skew reality.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
2 years ago

I have to ask:
“The knee to the neck also surprised J.D. Smith…“That’s not even a proper technique,” says Smith. “We put a knee in between the shoulder blades, and it never chokes anybody out.”

In literally all the shots I’ve seen of Chauvin, it’s looked to me like that’s exactly where his knee was. Is there something I’m missing, as someone with no relevant experience of such things? Is there a particular way of putting pressure through the knee that constricts the neck even with a small contact area? Have I seen the wrong photos?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

There is of course all sorts of stories floating around post the incident, so take this with a pinch of salt.

But there are versions I read which said that the position of the knee was fine, there wasn’t much bruising (and the reason the police disbelieved Floyd was because he was resisting arrest and screaming too much for someone facing breathing difficulty)
And his lungs were full of fluid and way too heavy. Nothing to do with the knee but all due to the drugs in his system.

The problem is the above wouldn’t be collaborated by the “mainstream” media – not that says anything.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Alexei A
Alexei A
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

And it has been reported he actually died of a heart attack.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I know a few coppers in NZ, and none of them had much sympathy for the officer charged with killing Floyd. Whilst it isn’t a technique that’s used to restrain people here, their biggest problem with the arrest was how long it went on for. They all seem to be if the opinion that there was simply no need to still be kneeling on him long after they’d got the cuffs on, especially with other officers present.
If three blokes can’t control a man in handcuffs without piling on top of him for 8 minutes they are truly incompetent and probably shouldn’t be police in the first place

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The officer was clearly a thug, with lots of complaints against him previously. The reason he knelt so long was possibly because it was an ego trip for him.

But that’s the problem with attaching the racist tag to everything, genuine issues with how the police force oversees officers get dusted under the carpet.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I agree I don’t believe it was race related, my point was that even though Floyd was a horrible man the officer deserves his murder charge in my opinion

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Floyd was a huge muscular bloke on drugs. The long restraint with that context appeared acceptable to me. It’s highly worth watching the original footage if you’ve not seen it.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

The courts disagreed, as do people in the force I’ve spoken to. They reckon size is largely irrelevant, if you’re hands are cuffed behind your back a couple blokes can control you very easily even if you are a big lump

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago

Isn’t it telling that when this country’s left-wingers (like the policeman in this article or Bernie Sanders) describe their ideal alternative to racist America, they always pick Scandinavia, where all the nations are far whiter than the US?

Deep down, they all know the real reason why they can’t have nice things anymore.

Last edited 2 years ago by William Hickey
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  William Hickey

So you’re blaming the blacks for Americas problems?

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

If it wasn’t for blacks, the typical nightly local news program in America would be five minutes long and consist of covering church bingo games, kitchen grease fires and the occasional traffic accident.

In other news, the Oscars, which a few years ago were criticized as being “too white,” last night featured African-American Will Smith, the Best Actor winner, assaulting the show’s host, African-American Chris Rock, during the telecast for “disrespecting”Smith’s wife.

The award program is now definitively black.

Last edited 2 years ago by William Hickey
Mike Bell
Mike Bell
2 years ago

Thank you A real eye-opener. Not only into the riots there, but also into the way they were reported in the UK.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

OK Dems: see why Trump won? (And may win again.)

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

I hope de Santis gets it. He’s trump without the bombast and thin skin. Trump should be an elder and influencer but let someone else bring down the temperature.

John Murray
John Murray
2 years ago

I am glad that the article made to sure to cover the most important detail that Pele is now a fat and happy pet. As for Seattle? You reap what you sow.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 years ago

Everything the left touches turns to shit.

Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter
2 years ago

What is certain is that civilization is tenuous at best. “Katherine Kelaidis, resident scholar at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, said, ‘The Greeks very much had this sense … that civilization is a very thin veneer and that under even slight amounts of pressure, that social contract starts to break down, and [when] people lose that veneer … that can be very dangerous.'” ‘Civilization is a very thin veneer’: What the plague of Athens can teach us about dealing with COVID-19 | CBC Radio.
That veneer is easily pierced. Outrage at the incompetence of leadership, whether spontaneously acquired by observation or enflamed by rabble-rousers, can very quickly sweep through a crowd as we have seen over and over again. America’s founders knew this very well and sought to guard against our becoming a democracy. They knew that no democracy had ever in history survived for that very tendency of men.
For the same reasons that warfare by drones or remote control can result in far more cruel and inhumane destruction of property and mass killings, remote news production can easily work to enflame passions. Hand to hand combat makes eye to eye contact, and more likely empathy to modify hatred and bloodlust on the part of soldiers. When one can watch fear and pain come over an enemy’s face as the inevitability of death becomes obvious to him, who can resist the horror of what he is doing to a fellow man?
And it is inevitable that a commentator, reacting only to the limited information available from images of activity happening outside the cocoon and in the safety of his newsroom, that his reportage be less than in tune with what is happening. For that matter, a politician, in his comfortable and safe office is likely, to make decisions and issue commands untempered by the experiences of his or her underlings facing the tensions and dangers of the situation.
And those in direct command of overworked and overstressed, underpaid while facing immediate danger, personnel on the street, having withdrawn from those dangers, cannot, often, make the correct decisions necessary to the situations. In very similar conditions, any of those in control of or influencing rabble-rousers stirring the passions of the crowd, are not fully aware of what they might be causing, whether intentional or not. And there are always unintended consequences of actions.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Jesse Porter

Society is only ever a few missed meals away from anarchy

DA Johnson
DA Johnson
2 years ago

The astonishing thing is that this article was by a writer for Vanity Fair–a magazine that used to cover folly and/or corruption on both sides of the political aisle. It changed about 10 years ago to being rabidly partisan, ignoring Democratic malfeasance, demonizing Republicans and, of course, hating Donald Trump. To criticize a progressive city like Seattle in VF would have been unthinkable in the recent past–here’s hoping that Mr. Frank can retain his job after such heresy.

2A Solution
2A Solution
2 years ago

To hell with all the blue cities.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

Meh. I believe I speak for millions when I say ‘whatever’. Seattle and Portland will reap what they have sown. It’s about 9,000 miles from where I live and thank GOD for that.

Rose D
Rose D
2 years ago

We have arrived at the place where the entirely predictable consequences of the high-falutin Left’s luxury beliefs have become so obvious no sane person can deny them.

From Seattle’s devolution to lawless anarchy to “Lia” Thomas “winning” an NCAA women’s title to Biden’s inability to get any decision maker in Saudi on the phone to US fossil fuel producers’ unwillingness to grow production faster to the race and “gender” (really sex) requirements for positions that (as it turns out) require basic competency, the only people continuing to advocate for the responsible policies are the fascist Twitter tyrants of the Regressive Left (oh and The Squad and the Biden administration).

Seattle-aside, voters increasingly are coming to their senses.

[forget the whole DEI/equity/racist maths stuffs]

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago
R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

They voted for it.

Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner
2 years ago

This is a one sided treatise on the problems in Seattle. Police haven’t done anything about crime or drugs for a long time, not just after George Floyd. There have been homeless camps and people shooting up drugs on the street openly for at least a decade. And Seattle cops aren’t angels. They shoot and kill people too. Yes they need police in Seattle and law and order but this article is ridiculously simplistic