Prison Rap With Stackwell


What's with the woman casually strolling after the guy that has the shotgun?
he's still going to cut your throat and gut you when he gets out
A shout out to all the Sloggers who have done time!
Oh. My God. The failure of moral consistency of the Stranger is astounding.

This little post just drips with implied justifications for why this criminal idiot shot somebody.

"Look-it the video - his cousin wuz gunna get shot!"

Why were these idiots packing shotguns and hand guns in the first place? Maybe because they are criminal assholes.

Yeah. Well. What if those two stupid armed psychotic criminal motherfuckers were at Cafe Racer, huh?

Glad your consistent in your condemnation of gun violence, Brendan.

Um. Sorry, Stackwell: Normal peaceful law-abiding type people don't get into gun fights over nothing or hang out with people who prepare to do so in the first place. Even "rappers."

Glad you are jail. Hope you stay there.

It isn't self defense, when he is already carrying a loaded handgun. If he has two prior felonies, which the article suggest, carrying a loaded handgun is enough to trigger his 178 month sentence. This is a person who was strictly warned that the criminal justice system will show no understanding if he was walking around with a loaded firearm. It is hardly self defense.
White guy with illegal gun = bad!!!

Black guy with illegal gun = hero!!

Try to be consistent in your condemnation of violent gun culture, 50% of which involves idiots like this according to FBI stats. It's the reason The First 48 I'd America's favorite black comedy.
@5 Yeah. I thought guns "don't make us safer?" Weird then that the subtext of this article is that this Rapper valiantly saved his cousin WITH A GUN and The Man locked him up for it.

Notice this: the guy with the shot gun dropped it after he was shot and fled and Stackwell is seen still shooting at him after he was unarmed and fleeing. Um. That is not self defense.

Sure. It seems weird that the shotgun guy got such a light sentence.

So let's see Brendan argue that they BOTH get 17 or more years.

Oh. Then there wouldn't be the "injustice of the system" angle. Then he probably wouldn't be granted edgy cool jailhouse interviews with a "rapper."

Brendan is so street now. He got props from a jailhouse rapper!

Jesus. Pathetic.

Fuck that guy. And fuck the Stranger's bullshit hypocrisy about gun violence.
So guys in prison don't support marriage equality? Huh.

My guess, and it is only a guess why the other perpetrator got a lighter sentence is that he didn't have prior felonies, like Stackwell. Stackwell most likely got the book thrown at him, because I am guessing again, he was still on probation for his prior felony (ies). The other perpetrator (the man with the shotgun) got a three year sentence, which given the intent of his crime, (I am guessing attempted murder or first degree or second degree assault in a plea deal)

I think reporters have to take these interviews with a huge grain of salt. Stackwell is trying to please Mr. Kiley, in order to put himself in a better light. Much like why prisoners with very long terms write children books, because it looks good if they are up for parole..

However, I do think it is important to show that Stackwell is more than a statistic, he is human, and the law at times just wants to punish very straightforwardly without putting all the considerations at hand. On the other hand, Stackwell's sentence is not out of the blue. Any prior felon or multiple felon can't be near a loaded firearm, given they may go back to prison for it, and firing to kill someone or in Stackwell's case, he shot someone, is far from an accident or a just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a convicted multiple felon, he would be going back to prison for years for even carrying a loaded weapon, no matter his intent.

I don't want either of these guys on the street. But they'll get out and, guess what, be shooting guns on the street again. And it may be your family member taking the bullet.
I want to make it super-duper clear that I was very careful to not say (or even imply) whether I think Stackwell's sentence is fair or unfair or whether his actions were or weren't justified. Some of you like to pretend to be judges and juries. I do not.

I'm not endorsing the guy, nor am I condemning him. But some folks get upset every time I take that amoral, detached position, whether I'm writing about drug people or window-smashing political dissidents. There's an underlying assumption in some folks' indignation that I have a duty to either condemn or endorse someone I'm writing about.

Obviously, I disagree with that assumption. There is a middle way. Some folks deserve endorsing and some folks deserve condemning. But I think (perhaps naively) that there is value in letting some folks speak for themselves without endorsement or condemnation—just let 'em tell their stories and leave it to the readers to make the judgements.

Because some of you are so very eager to judge, I don't have to do it for you.

This post was just about a funny, insignificant exchange (him liking a story about ukuleles he thought he'd hate) in the course of hours of talking. But the comments thread reveals an attitude that I've seen in reaction to many stories I've written over the years—I don't have to either a) love or b) loathe everyone I write about. In most cases, I'm not even in a position to love or loathe people, because I really don't know enough about them.

And neither, I'd submit, do most of you.
@11 What you say is true. You are a journalist and that is a part of your job. But commenters do not have that job. They are frustrated with people who brandish and fire weapons willy-nilly on our streets. Even children are getting killed.
So excuse those of us who see this character deserving of our contempt. He's been convicted and imprisoned and that spells guilt. That's enough for me.

I think you are showing that Stackwell, is human, has some musical talent, is trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

What is not coming across in your article is really any contemplation of why he has multiple felonies before he was arrested and sentence to 16 or so in prison. In many ways, you are downplaying his crimes or making excuses. 17-18 year olds don't get felonies for firearm possesssion, they get felonies for armed robberies or assault with a deadly weapon.

You could had interview Stackwell's cousin, or the other perpetrator in this incident, instead you leave loose ends.

There is also what I consider this whole spin that prison is some sort of learning annex, that he is being a better person, (ie still doing music, reading) he is serving really hard time which he could had avoided. I just feel that as much you want to come across as an unbias observer, you seemed to be manipulated by Stackwell, and act more as his stenographer than as a reporter. You could had done a better job with the article, with a couple follow up calls, and still showed Stackwell as a talented musician, no matter his faults.
@ 11 and 12. Fair enough. It's certainly your right to say whatever you want, about me or anybody else. I'm just hoping people don't assume (in writing or in life) that every time I refuse to wag my finger at someone that I'm cheerleading him/her/it.

Most Stranger articles are centered around either condemnation or endorsement—that's fine and it's what readers have come to expect. But not everything I write falls into that neat dichotomy. Life is sticky and ambiguous and uncomfortable, and I want to be as honest about the sticky ambiguity of it all as possible.

It's not this article's job to be a moratorium on Stackwell's whole life. That would be impossible and irresponsible. It's this article's job to let him talk a little about himself right now and what's going on with his music and his days in prison. And I was, in some ways, acting as his stenographer, shipping his story from him to you. I was not "reporting" in the sense I would for the news section, and not every story needs a moral.

And I refuse to pass judgement on his life or his character, at least in this context—some of you might think you're qualified to do that, but I know that I am not.
Brendan is only 'neutral' when straight white males and Republicans are involved. You know, the kinds of people who don't have shoot outs at gas stations.
@11 Oh jeez. Bullshit. I'm not asking YOU to pass judgement. I'm asking you to be a god damned journalist. And be consistent about it.

You cannot play this coy little game of pretending to not take moral sides when clearly you do all the time.

Why did you link to a video that is set to prove Stackwell acted out self defense? That links to Free Stackwell Facebook pages and shit.

There are other version of that video out there you could've linked to.

I'm trying to imagine Eli linking to video claiming the innocence of a criminal he was writing about and then attempting to claim a lack of bias afterwards. Since he's an actual journalist I imagine he'd do neither.

Are you seriously putting forth that in every other incident of gun violence in Seattle over the last three years The Stranger HAS NOT taken absolute and overt positions of judgement on the perpetrators? Because that would be provably false.

So you have and do judge criminals. So. Why does this guy get a buy? What other violent criminal has been profiled by their occupation or vocation, so why this guy? Because he's a rapper? Because he's got that edgy cool cred?

What do you mean I don't know enough to loathe this guy? How much did you know about Isaiah Kalebu, Ian Stawicki, or Kyle Huff? Hey? What were their occupations so you could profile them?

What do we need to know about Stackwell? Before we are "allowed" to pass judgement? Here's what I know: He is a multiple repeat felon who carries a handgun illegally and shot a guy.

Yeah. I'm gonna go ahead and pass judgement. On both of you.
@ 16. The Stranger is not a hive mind. We all have different opinions and disagree with each other regularly. So hanging my approach to things on the hook of some other story (i.e. Goldy's harping on gun-control laws) is, as the politicos say, a non-starter.

Also worth noting: Feel free to pass judgement all day long, but it won't change a damn thing. So don't waste too much energy on it.
Brendan, stupid white suburban boy of the month.
@17 You disagree with Goldy about gun control? Are you saying you're the one pro-second amendment staffer on The Stranger now? Funny you have never shown this inclination before.

And if you're so neutral and non-judgmental, then why did you link to a video/web page advocating for Stackwell's freedom? And as others have noted the language and skew of the article is fawning and obsequious, hardly neutral.

There are number of important questions raised by commenters you are avoiding. If we shouldn't waste our energy and none of this changes anything why have you come in here THREE times to "clarify?" By all indications you're pretty insecure about this whole thing. Which I guess is progress of sorts.
(cross-post from Stranger article)
Guy had a jury trial. Jury was instructed about self defense including a Stand Your Ground instruction, just like in Florida. Jury saw the video. He lost. He appealed. Court of Appeals said, in part:

At trial, the State conceded that Walters was acting in self-defense when he started shooting after Washington fired the shotgun. But the jury also considered evidence that shortly after Walters began shooting, Washington dropped the shotgun and then stumbled or fell to the ground. Walters continued shooting as Washington lay on the ground. When Washington got up, he ran away from where Walters was shooting, around one of the gas pump islands, and then across the street. The surveillance video shows Walters chasing Washington and continuing to shoot, as Washington's shotgun lay on the ground nearby.

*3 Evidence that Washington dropped the shotgun, fell to the ground, and then attempted to run away after Walters started shooting supported a reasonable inference that Washington no longer posed an imminent threat to Walters or Chappelle and that Walters was aware of those changed circumstances. Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the fact that Walters then chased and continued shooting at an apparently unarmed Washington was sufficient to permit the trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Walters' use of force was more than necessary under the circumstances or that there was a reasonable alternative to the use of force. The evidence was therefore sufficient to satisfy the State's burden of disproving Walters' claim of self-defense.

Walters contends that Washington could have had another weapon and that the evidence did not establish that he knew Washington was wounded. He argues that his actions in continuing to shoot were therefore reasonable given the stressful nature of the incident and its short duration. But these arguments are properly directed to the trier of fact. The jury was entitled to assess the credibility of the witnesses, view the videos, and draw contrary inferences. “Credibility determinations are for the trier of fact and cannot be reviewed on appeal

State v. Walters L 1459749, 2 -3 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2011)

He appealed to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court denied review.
This is proof of the difference of those who are raised in the streets verses those are blessed with being raised within a home. As far as Stackwell being a prior felon, it was for non-violent convictions. Why has nobody discussed why the man holding the SAWED OFF SHOT GUN (which just being in possession of is illegal obviously) got off so easy. You condem Brendan for being "easy" on Stackwell, yet what about this other guy in the video who INSTIGATED the entire thing (pretty sure that's ATTEMPTED MURDER when you shoot a sawed off shot gun at someone) and got a slap on the wrist. Or the females that were there who got off with nothing... how are they innocent when they KNEW the other guy had the gun?!? To top it all off, what would YOU have done if someone fired a gun at you... you wouldn't fire back, whether or not you were supposed to have a gun or not? Should he have just stood there and taken the bullets? People are so quick to judge but not consider reality. Put yourself there... is everyone being so harsh because we are talking about gun violence in South Seattle between two black men? Be honest...