Seattle Disrespecting Police with “Cutting Edge” Policy Change

Seattle Disrespecting Police with “Cutting Edge” Policy Change

By Steve Pomper

Seattle’s political leaders expect you to take them seriously even though they’re not serious people. They don’t even pretend to hide their contempt for cops, as you’ll see in an official city report below chockful of unabashed radical leftist bias deployed to change police policy.

More anti-police changes disguised as “police reform.” The Supreme Court has ruled that the police can lie (use a ruse) to suspects during an interrogation (within parameters), but city leaders apparently know police work better than cops do and want to inhibit police use of “ruses.”

For example, a cop tells a suspect there’s video of him committing a crime. If the suspect didn’t commit the crime, he knows there’s no video, so he’s not likely to confess. But if he is guilty, he might believe there is a video and may confess. And for those concerned that it’s not fair, the suspect doesn’t have to answer any questions (right to remain silent) and can end the interrogation at any time.

The primary evidence for my previous anti-cop assertions comes from the “OIG Sentinel Event Review [SER] that examined SPD’s response to protests [riots] in 2020 – a response which included police use of a ruse.”

But the true ruse city leaders are using against the public is a biased police response “review” on which they base this new policy. This is the first paragraph of the “Introduction” to this report.

The beginning of Wave 4 marked nearly three months of sustained protests in Seattle calling for significant changes to policing. As protestors continued to challenge the racist roots of American policing and the harm to generations of BIPOC communities, SPD’s response to the protests was viewed by many as a reflection and perpetuation of the problems inherent to the institution of policing itself. Particularly considering the strong movement at that time calling for law enforcement reform, the actions of SPD illustrated the need to many for the City of Seattle to rethink traditional provision of public safety in favor of equitable, community-led alternatives [bold added].

Excuse me for a sec… Barf!

Why would any reasonable person want to intellectually torture themselves by reading any further?

They wouldn’t, but if they did, they’d also find this gem:

The Panel identified three factors characterizing the Wave 4 protests: SPD’s modified use of crowd management tactics, SPD’s modified use of less lethal weapons, and SPD’s continuing characterization of protestors as a single, cohesive group—exacerbating the “us vs. them” narrative and leading to an attitude of anticipatory defensiveness within SPD.

Now, that’s objective, right? They truly dislike law enforcement officers, creating caricatures of and myths about them wherever and whenever they can to convince people their “reform” is necessary. Maybe sometimes they should stand on the “us” side instead of the “them” side at “peaceful” demonstrations. But they are them (and I hope they appreciate my pronoun use).

Wouldn’t even a thoughtful leftist have to admit this review is biased. After all, I recognize the pro-police bias when I write opinion. But this city government report is supposed to be an objective assessment of the “three months of sustained protests in Seattle…,” paid for by the good taxpayers of Seattle. Little in this review even approaches objectivity. And, by the way, it was only “sustained” because city leaders wouldn’t let the cops do their job.  

How the policy change started. “Beginning in the Fall of 2020, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), in collaboration with community members [not what we think of] and SPD, conducted a series of Sentinel Event Reviews (SERs) to identify contributing factors [what the cops did wrong] resulting in critical incidents causing community concern in the 2020 protests [riots].”

Again, which “community” and what “concern” do they mean? Not you and me. They mean the radicals who abhor law enforcement who will never be satisfied with any so-called reforms.

Listen to this bit of brilliance from Seattle City Councilwoman Lisa Herbold about the police ruse policy. “When the OPA makes a policy recommendation, SPD has the responsibility to consider the recommendation and implement it.”

Wait, while this was a great audition for the role of tyrant, does this cop-loathing dim bulb know words have meanings? 

According to Herbold, if “OPA makes a policy recommendation…,” recommend does not mean mandate. And to “consider the recommendation” means to think about it and decide yes or no to implementing it. But this luminary seems to be saying that the SPD has a responsibility to implement this recommendation. That’s not the definition of recommendation I learned.  

That muck aside, with a “five-scenarios” police ruse “limitation” and a gamut of onerous “boxes” to check, why should any cop ever use a ruse (de-policing)? I mean, can you trust the people who wrote this review and policy change to judge your ruse fairly? In true fashion, Seattle always strives to be on the cutting edge of criticizing cops and coddling criminals.

Let’s discuss the “review” that specifically led to this policy change? 

Seattle’s police chief proclaimed that, “This first-in-nation policy balances the legitimate use of deception, especially for de-escalation and the safety of all persons, with supervision, documentation, and clear prohibition of ruses that compromise public trust.”

Translation: More micromanaging, second-guessing, and eliminating officer discretion. And, to whom and with what “public” is he (and other leftists) referring cops want to build trust? Radical leftist cop-despisers?

Well, the keepers of the definition of public trust would be the mayor and city council, most of whom are not big fans of the cops (after passing it through the Office of the Chief of Police to give it a veneer of legitimacy, although he doesn’t think like most cops). And who else is pitching ingredients into the public policy and police reform cauldron? 

Here’s the mayor’s highlighted list of the police ruse regulators: “The ACLU Washington, Innocence Project, the Public Defender Association…, the Community Police Commission…,” and the Washington State police academy (I must have missed the NPA on the list). Every single one of these is a leftist-led organization—yes, even the academy. 

And when the radical left says, “public trust,” they’re not talking about the same public that includes people who still respect (true) constitutional policing and police. They’re talking about the public as the radicals who want to defund or even abolish the police. These revolutionaries make up their base, and it’s clear that’s who they cater to—who they are.

A sign on a brown tarp

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Riot Kitchen, Antifa-provided food for rioters during Seattle’s CHOP/CHAZ insurrection

So, even though the issue of ruses may have a legitimate public trust aspect, this effort has nothing to do with public trust. This is purely partisan, anti-police politics. For example, allow me to interpret this text from a city review of police actions during the 2020 mostly peaceful protesters’ Summer of Love in Durkanistan

Significant input informing the policy’s development was generated through series of roundtable discussions [waste of time] with accountability experts [radical leftist cop-haters] and law enforcement stakeholders [stakeholders—gag!] led by OIG, the City office charged with independent civilian oversight of police policies and practices [official cop-haters]. Additional insight supporting policy development came from the OIG Sentinel Event Review [SER] that examined SPD’s response to protests in 2020 – a response which included the use of a ruse.” 

Just remember, the SER was an “in-depth, community-centered review of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) response to the sustained protests in the wake of [Saint] George Floyd’s… [death].” I’m not aware of a similar in-depth review of the BLM/Antifa militia riots and rioters who terrorized (and militarily occupied part of) the city for weeks. 

In fact, in the “Executive Summary” of the SER, the first mention of the protesters is a commitment to “protecting [their] constitutional freedoms…” (screw the constitutional freedoms of residents and business owners). This is not to say that the “mostly peaceful protesters” don’t have constitutional freedoms—we all do. But when you listen to these leftists, you’d swear the “protesters” (oh, sorry—mostly peaceful…) are the only ones who do.

But the review’s first mention of the police is blanket criticism and blame. They lambast SPD’s supposed “ineffective communications…,” poor “crowd management tactics…,” and SPD’s supposedly erroneous “assumption” that BLM/Antifa are organized and might get violent. They are, and they do.  

The radical left wants you to believe that whenever protesters get violent, it’s always the cops’ fault for inciting or failing to de-escalate, and it’s never—ever the “peaceful protesters” at fault. This is probably the best synopsis of the city’s assessment of the 2020 Saint Floyd riots: The rioters are peaceful and the cops suck.

Again, listen to the review’s language as you try to digest this pre-ordained conclusion drivel: “The report provides panelists’ recommendations for improving SPD’s protest response, drawing on insight [Insight? About policing of which they know nothing?] from their diverse experiences in the Seattle community and unique lived experiences.” Unique lived experiences? Who talks like that? In this case, cop-loathing, radical leftists. You can’t have a reasonable conversation with anyone who talks like that?