Should the Seattle Police Apologize? Or Should Their Critics?
A few days ago, a review panel for Seattle’s Office of Inspector determined that the city’s police department should offer a “sincere public apology” for its alleged violence in response to anti-police protests after George Floyd’s death in 2020.
The panel, which consists of “officers, citizens and accountability experts,” determined that cops “repeatedly failed to recognize the difference between the throngs of protesters exercising their First Amendment rights,” and the “few troublemakers.”
Taking More Pokes at the Cops
Just what Seattle needs! Our police force has shrunk by more than three hundred officers in the past four years, and our murder rate has more than doubled in seven! Why not take more pokes at the cops?
Chairman Mao would love these guys. During the Cultural Revolution, it was never enough to bully, humiliate, or injure the “counter-revolutionaries” whom his Red Guards attacked. These awful people had to confess their “crimes,” however imaginary. They had to be humiliated.
Actually, as a native of Seattle who has watched with horror as its elected leaders have done their best to trash one of the world’s most beautiful cities, I do think apologies are overdue. Not from police officers, who did what they could in an impossible situation in 2020. But from the City of Seattle, its former mayor Jenny Durkin, its worthless City Council, The Seattle Times, which has consistently stirred up cop hatred, from those “few troublemakers,” and from the thousands who gave them cover and spewed their dishonest venom in the streets.
“Wait a minute!” you reply. “Are you saying George Floyd wasn’t really murdered? Or that African-Americans haven’t been oppressed, often with police siccing German Shepherds on protesters? Are you claiming that the SPD was completely innocent in its response to peaceful demonstrations in 2020? Or don’t Americans have the right to protest any longer?”
The Left Lies Through Their Teeth
No. What I’m saying is that in 2020 and ever since, the Left has have been lying through their teeth. I walked around CHAZ and saw how those “peaceful protesters” decorated their fiefdom:
“Kill the Cops!”
“Blue Lives Murder!”
What did protesters offer in way of evidence for the claim that “all cops are bad”? That would have to include my brother, who has saved many lives in many ways. What evidence is there that they “murder”?
A poster was set up by the front door of the East Precinct Building, which police had evacuated, reading “25+ Black Lives Killed by Police in Washington State,” from 2013-2020. It was as if cops had it in for Blacks, above people of European, Asian, Latin, or Native American ancestry — of whom more were killed, proportionately, than Blacks.
And even that “evidence” for police murder and racism consisted almost purely of lies. I know, because I looked up each case, usually from multiple media accounts, in some cases watching videos of the killings. I described my findings in an ebook, Letter to a “Racist” Nation.
I examined about 150 police killings. About a third of the “victims” were hardened criminals or violent sociopaths with records of murder, armed robber, and violent abuse, who died in shootouts or car chases.
Dwight Steward, for instance, had served time for rape, robbery, and assault. He had been pulling a gun on people, and one of them called for help. The Spokane Spokesman then reported: “Steward was shot after he refused to obey orders to drop two knives he was holding while walking toward police near Andy’s Market on Monroe Street … ”
Another third of “victims” had unfortunately lost touch with reality, due to mental problems, drugs, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Suicide by cop” is a fairly common theme in this group. “Kill me! Kill me!” Yelled a homeless white man, Michael Kurtz, in Spokane. “We don’t want to do that, buddy,” an officer replied in a friendly, soothing voice, which can be heard on the audio. “Let’s solve your problems.” Kurtz advanced on the police wielding a knife. They tried tasering him, but it failed to bring him down. In the end they were forced to comply with his wishes.
Who You Gonna Call?
No one calls the City Council or newspaper reporters to save them when an armed man advances on them! Often the people who blast the police are quick to call 911 when they feel threatened, and to demand more private security for themselves.
The third main category among “martyrs” were domestic abusers. Who you gonna call when your child is threatened with a gun? Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant?
Shaun Lee Fuhr was beating his girlfriend. He grabbed their one-year-old child. He had a gun. The mother, who had taken out a restraining order, was in hysterics as she called and begged for help: “My baby’s daddy has a gun. He’s in the park. He shot in the park. He has my baby … I want my daughter. Please. She’s only one. Please I’m scared for her.”
A neighbor was impressed with the gentleness with which the police treated the young child after the shooting.
Some cases were simply tragic, involving men (usually) who were trying to get their lives together, then suffered some awful relapse. In at least one case featured on that CHAZ poster, a woman in Yakima seemingly died of an overdose, not from police action. And yes, there were a few cases in which a police officer seemingly did over-react.
Studying these stories, I found my respect and sympathy for the police only growing. Many risked their lives, or even died protecting others. It is a tough job! My brother came off patrol with some funny stories, but often with pain from the tragedies he’d witnessed, sometimes with injuries.
To Err is Human. To Scapegoat is Diabolical
The murder rate is growing, and drug addicts roam our streets like the d***** shuffling down into Hades. For those reasons alone we can probably expect more police shootings. To err is human, but to scapegoat men and women who risk their lives to protect us, while covering for those who torch our cities, seems downright diabolical.
Yet left-wing politicians like Cory Booker throw fuel on the fire:
I wish we lived in a nation that 30-plus years later there weren’t still hundreds of thousands of parents feeling like they have to teach their black boys how not to get killed by police.
Unless you are committing a violent crime with a weapon, regardless of race, you are vastly more likely to be saved by an officer, than killed by one.
Apologies are Due
So yes, abject apologies are due. Get on your knees, lying journalists and quisling politicians. Knock on the doors of police stations around the country. Go downtown, and scrub some walls. (Here Bruce Harrell, the new Seattle mayor, a Democrat but not crazy about it, has a good idea.)
First, apologize to the families of the two African-American youths who were killed during the occupation of Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
Then, apologize to those whose loved ones were murdered the past few years. In 2016, 18 people died of homicide in Seattle. More than twice that number are dying that way now, with most of the increase coming in 2020. Nearly 600 died of drug overdose in Seattle last year. Is it a coincidence that your witch hunt of the people who protect us preceded the greatest growth spurt in both those heart-breaking statistics?
Police are human beings, too. When they take drunks off the highway, rescue people from rivers, and face down drug addicts, then receive curses in return, of course they look for greener pastures. Who wants to work for sneering ingrates? The Seattle Times has been the local cheerleader for the ingrates who are destroying our city.
Finally, apologize to those of us who love our town. I remember when it had a good name. I’ve seen that proudly displayed in east Asia.
Then, do your penance. Pick up a rag and help clean up your city. You owe it to us.
David Marshall, an educator and writer, has a doctoral degree in Christian thought and Chinese tradition. His most recent book is The Case for Aslan: Evidence for Jesus in the Land of Narnia.