Mayor Durkan Calls for "Peace," Chief Best Swaps Pepper Spray for "Riot Stick"

Comments

1

So now we know that the head of the police union was insisting that the feds come to this city to threaten and harm the residents of this city. Another reason that police unions must be disbanded not only for this but for their history of enabling killings and brutalities of largely Black people.

Ironic that Durkan calls for peace when she most likely ordered the attacks on protesters. She has a history of incarcerating innocent activists into a federal prison and housing them in solitary confinement when she was a federal prosecutor. She lied to getting in office as mayor saying she would greatly increase housing for homeless persons and taking bribes from Amazon etc. She has used the police to terrorize the most poor and vulnerable people in this city and helped turn this city into looking like a third world one. Why is she still mayor?????!

2

@1: When a politician calls for peace, it's a good thing.

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@3 Not sure the couple hundred white kids with colored hair and droopy ear lobes can be considered a monolith. More like a rabble that needs to learn that engaging the authorities for the sake of engaging the authorities is pointless, unless the point is to get a baton up the side of the head.

6

Trump Is Putting On a Show in Portland

The president is deploying the kind of performative authoritarianism that Vladimir Putin pioneered.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/trump-putting-show-portland/614521/

7

@6 (a) German Sausage and @6 (b) xina in a tie for the WIN! You both nailed it.

8

@6(b) xina: Only one thing--I wouldn't call Trump President. Trumpty Dumpty has proven to be anything but.

9

Take away non lethal force from police and what do you have left?

And cmon. The state is rapidly moving towards shutting down again because the virus doesn’t care if you righteously hate capitalism. Yet our mayor can’t even muster a suggestion that maybe the protesters and rioters are selfish POS for continuing to do this?

10

Protestors should carry pamphlets of the US Constitution an masse and wave that in their faces.

11

But what if the graffiti and trash fires were the bait, and the Trumper Troopers were the ones who would be making a terrible mistake if they took the bait?

I know, I know, crazy thought-experiment, probably not worth considering even.

12

"Durkan asked the city to "stand together to denounce" a group of protesters who busted up and lit fires within businesses and public buildings last Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night. She said this "relatively small" group is "bent on destruction," and referenced social media posts showing "they want to continue that kind of fight" this weekend."

Oh I dunno Jenny, maybe empower SPD to FUCKING ARREST THEM and hold them without bond over the weekend, instead of throwing up your hands and saying there's nothing you can do.

The City Council is hopeless, but you aren't. DHS is here because SPD has been forbidden from keeping the community safe. Maybe if you do your fucking job and take the rioters down, the peaceful protesters can protest, the community can relax, and people who are deciding whether to be peaceful or start a riot will be discouraged from the latter. Right now, the rioters are nothing but emboldened.

13

'In a statement, Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who chairs the public safety committee, said Best's "adjusted deployment" strategy "suggests that SPD will not be onsite at locations of civil unrest to fulfill their policing obligations under the City Charter, the Seattle Municipal Code, and the laws of Washington State."'

No, Lisa, Chief Best simply recognized you've taken non-lethal force away from her, so she's going to use lethal force to "fulfill [her office's] policing obligations..." under your obstreperous, feel-good, poorly-drafted legislation.

"The Chief’s statements appear to reflect a decision to de-police in advance of any on-scene assessment of conditions."

No, Llsa, her statement, "I'll be taking this pepper spray off of my belt and putting a riot stick on there," reflects YOUR decision to take away her non-lethal options for enforcing our laws. (Unless you think that intentionally carrying a large, heavy baton indicates a tendency to avoid confrontation?)

"Decisions about how to interact with people engaged in unlawful activity and what policing actions are appropriate to take can only be made with the knowledge that our police officers gain at the scene and based upon their assessment of the conditions there."

Thank you, CM Herbold, for making a very cogent argument against the very law you just wrote.

'Herbold also refuted "any attempt to place SPD’s deployment decisions for Friday or Saturday at the Council’s feet, as the Council’s Crowd Control Weapons Ordinance goes into effect on Sunday."'

So, you've finally figured out that limiting the police's options might embolden the rioters, eh? This line doesn't absolve you of that responsibility, sorry.

@1: Oh, look, a bonus! Our favorite broken record now sports a few new grooves!

"Ironic that Durkan calls for peace when she most likely ordered the attacks on protesters."

SPD has been attacking protesters since at least WTO, in late 1999. (Or was she secretly running SPD then? C'mon, we know you're good for a conspiracy theory or three...)

"She lied to getting in office as mayor saying she would greatly increase housing for homeless persons."

Seattle's budget for homeless services first topped $100M under Mayor Durkan. (Just because SHARE/Real Change didn't get the EHT money they had loudly demanded doesn't mean Seattle hates the homeless, although you're certainly gullible enough to believe SHARE -- and SHARE's patrons on the Council -- when they tell you that blatant lie.)

"She has used the police to terrorize the most poor and vulnerable people in this city..."

The Black men who were shot and killed in the Capitol Hill Unlimited Murder Patch (CHUMP) were not terrorized by SPD, but rather by an absence of SPD. Luckily Mayor Durkan shut down the CHUMP whilst CM Herbold was pleading to keep it going.

14

Oh hey look there are dead Black people tensor genuinely cares about.

Can't figure why he didn't just get right to the part where he says Black Lives Matter without all the meandering preamble, maybe it's a kinda gonzo stylistic choice?

15

@10 I agree. Also breaking and stealing shit and being violent to those who are there to document is not "protesting."

16

The Mayor asked us ALL to stop those people who are destroying property. Huh? With what, pepper spray and rubber bullets?

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@15 Maybe she meant with our keyboards?

Hey angry weird-looking kids stop doing the graffitis and trash fires you're distracting the 99%-not-bad-apples officers from going to the sensitivity trainings which will end the problem of unaccountable police killing Black people.

I'm doing my part!

18

15, 16, whatever, numbers are so hard.

19

Seattle vs The End of Reason.

20

@14: "Can't figure why he didn't just get right to the part where he says Black Lives Matter without all the meandering preamble,"

The first part of my comment @13 wasn't preamble to the second part; the latter part was bonus material, as the first line in it clearly stated. Read harder next time.

(And no, I don't actually need anyone's permission, including yours, to support BLM.)

21

DHASS

23

I’m all for the replacing of pepper spray with the riot stick. Make the police use violence on their body cam. The people filming it will have clear footage of the violence without the fog pepper spray. It’s also a 1 on 1 weapon so the police have to individually beat people as opposed to indiscriminately gassing whole neighborhoods.

And then, after the violence, journalists should sequester the bodycam footage and show the world what the cops are really like.

25

The most laughable part of this is Herbold saying "lol SPD says they can't use pepper spray but the order doesn't go into effect until Sunday!"

I guess we'll never have another violent mob or riot after tonight, right Lisa?

Tonight she's cool with them using pepper spray (sorry, "chemical weapons") because we are still in the violent pre-ban era.

Once the ban she supports goes into effect tomorrow, all violence will disappear and police will never need to use those tools again. We will all be safe and happy in Lisa Herbold's utopia.

Also, isn't this the whole point of the "Recall Durkan" project? Blaming her for the police using crowd-dispersal tools when she told them not to? I bet Herbold supports that effort, but now she's turning around and saying "lol SPD just use crowd dispersal tools, even though we told you not to"

27

I think this weekends protests are going to be very important one’s. The ball is in the protesters court. If the marches turn violent the protesters loose credibility. The marchers need to police themselves. Anyone getting out of hand needs to be stopped by the marchers. No throwing things at the cops. No tearing things up or destruction of any kind. This is the time to show your stuff. Have class and get respect. If the cops or the feds start to come down on you it will be your fault. You won’t be able to say “We weren’t doing anything”. The people watching, who you’ll want on your side won’t believe you. Be smart. Step up to the challenge.

28

Maybe the protesters should listen to the mayor. A majority of the city council has agreed to cut the police budget by 50%. The city council also banned the cops from using tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters have won! All they're doing now is making a case that the cops really do need tear gas and rubber bullets along with more funding.

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@23: You want blood pouring from protesters and cops instead of a few puffs of tear gas?

31

From the New York Times:

In Portland’s So-Called War Zone, It’s the Troops Who Provide the Menace

If President Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent.

By Nicholas Kristof

PORTLAND, Ore. — To watch Fox News is to learn from Sean Hannity that the “Rose City” of Portland is “like a war zone” that has been, in Tucker Carlson’s words, “destroyed by the mob.”

So I invite Hannity and Carlson to escape their bubbles and visit Portland, stroll along the Willamette River and enjoy a glass of local pinot noir. They’ll be safe — unless they venture at night into the two blocks beside the federal courthouse.

Citizens need to be vigilant there, for armed groups periodically storm the streets to attack peaceful visitors. I’m talking, of course, about the uninvited federal forces.

I’ve watched them fire round after round of tear gas, along with occasional rubber bullets or other projectiles. They even repeatedly tear-gassed Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, who has demanded that they go home, leaving him blinded and coughing on his own streets.

More at:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/25/opinion/sunday/portland-protest-federal-troops.html

32

One comment on the article in @31, above:

"In a stunning recent interview with Amy Goodman, Noah Chomsky stated almost as a matter of fact that this new stage of federal military suppression of Americans taking place in Portland and Chicago are phase one in a two-phase strategy to prepare for martial law before the election.

Chomsky is almost never wrong. It goes without saying that Trump will stop at nothing to steal this election by any means necessary. A final decision may land on our military general’s shoulders before we know it."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/25/opinion/sunday/portland-protest-federal-troops.html#commentsContainer

33

Noam Chomsky on Trump’s Troop Surge
to Democratic Cities & Whether He’ll
Leave Office if He Loses

https://www.democracynow.org/2020/7/24/noam_chomsky_on_trump_s_troop?utm_source=Democracy+Now%21&utm_campaign=08c87dbe7d-Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-08c87dbe7d-192105685

34

Saturday 5:30pm
So much for peaceful protests. The marchers have no one to blame but themselves.

35

More, from thee best non-Corporate news show in America:

Philly DA Larry Krasner: Trump Is a “Wannabe Fascist.” I Will Charge His Agents If They Break Law

As President Trump announces a “surge” of federal agents into major U.S. cities to confront protesters, we speak with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who warns he will arrest and charge Trump’s police forces if they violate the rights of residents in his city. “The law applies to the president of the United States, even though he doesn’t think so. The law applies to law enforcement. The law applies to civilians.

It is real simple,” says Krasner. He also discusses the importance of releasing incarcerated people during the pandemic, and tackling police corruption, such as in the case of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

https://www.democracynow.org/2020/7/23/larry_krasner_philadelphia_protests_federal_agents

37

@25: On Friday night, Federal Judge Robards invalidated CM Herbold's ordinance. Under the Consent Decree, Seattle can't change policing policy without checking with federal DOJ first. That Consent Decree remains the law, no matter what our City Council wants to do.

38

@37: Temporary restraining order, not invalidation. I apologize for the error.

https://sccinsight.com/2020/07/24/doj-asks-judge-robart-to-stop-implementation-of-councils-ban-on-crowd-control-weapons/

39

Let’s boil this idiotic argument down, shall we? Say you have a large group (1) breaking windows and setting fires. And another group(2) trying to prevent this, harming themselves, others + the city. Then group 1 turns on group 2, and starts to throw explosive shit at them, chant and get threatening. Group 2 members start to get hurt / potentially killed. What’s the answer, idiots? Deescalation? When, let’s say, group 1 has no structure and cannot be talked to, group 2 is legally bound and constantly monitored. Is group 2 supposed to just sit there and take it / get hurt and killed? Have you lost your fucking minds? A non-lethal dispersion method is the best option to remove the threat quickly and without permanent damage. Anyone have better ideas? Haven’t heard them yet.

40

It actually does come down to teargas/pepper spray versus riot sticks. When trying to manage rioters in a non-lethal way, there aren't very many options. De-escalation works up to a point, but when confrontations become physical, and police are ordered to maintain a barrier, there are only few options. So would you rather have burning eyes, or bruises and contusions?

41

Beware the propaganda. Law Abiding Citizen of Seattle, the politicians of this town are holding you hostage.

42

@40: How about...I dunno...actually offering to negotiate directly with the protesters? How admitting the issues they raise are valid and that they have only gone to the tactics they were using because "respectability politics" has proved a total failure in this?

And, while you're at it, how about admitting that police in this country have pretty much always used brute force agianst NONVIOLENT protesters, like the ones Dr. King led and whose heroism white conservatives-all of whom would have denounced MLK's movement as "Communist" and demanded its brutal suppression had they been there in the Sixties-white conservatives have no right to use to berate the activists of today about?

43

BTW... contrary to white conservative myth, the black freedom movement of the Sixties was never "given everything it wanted" or even close to everything it needed.

Nothing was done in the Sixties about racist police violence against black people-especially young black men-in the North. Police in virtually every Northern city were treating young black men as a pestilence to be eradicated, constantly harassing them simply for hanging out on the streets of their own neighborhoods, constantly arresting them for no reason, often killing them without justification. It was this issue, more than anything else, that brought the Black Panthers-whose last Free Clinic still survives in Seattle, providing medical care to those who otherwise had no access to it-to life in the form they took, as a legitimate self-defense organization against racist police violence.

Nothing was done to even mildly restrict "redlining"-the practice of government bureaucrats literally drawing lines around black and brown and working-class white neighborhoods, then instructing insurers never to offer insurance policies and banks and credit unions never to offer loans, including business loans, to anyone in those neighborhoods, thus destroying the economies of those neighborhoods. Nothing was done to offer reparations to the people of those neighborhoods for the damage redlining did.

Nothing was done to stop wealthy property owners who owned buildings in those neighborhoods from deliberately letting those buildings become derelict in order to further depress the economies of those neighborhoods, with the objective of driving most black and brown people out of the neighborhoods so they would then be replaced by bland, soulless white people who would turn the neighborhoods into nothing but bland antiseptic replicas of ever bland, antiseptic suburb, in which the people who had lived in the neighborhood were treated as though they had no right to stay in the place where they had always lived.

Nothing was done to protect black people moving into white neighborhoods from mob violence deliberately stirred up by realtors who told white people in those neighborhoods that their property values would plummet once black people moved into their neighborhoods-thus preventing most of black America from gaining the home ownership which was the key to establishing a middle-class lifestyle in this country, back when there used to be such a thing as a middle-class standard of living, before Reagan and Paul Volcker destroyed the middle class by breaking unions and forcing rigid wage stagnation.

Nothing was done to protect black people moving into white neighborhoods from mob violence deliberately stirred up by realtors who told white people in those neighborhoods that their property values would plummet once black people moved into their neighborhoods-thus preventing most of black America from gaining the home ownership which was the key to establishing a middle-class lifestyle in this country, back when there used to be such a thing as a middle-class standard of living, before Reagan and Paul Volcker destroyed the middle class by breaking unions and forcing rigid wage stagnation.

Nothing was done to equalize funding of schools in black and brown areas with school funding in white areas-and thus refusal to equalize funding made it impossible for students in those schools to get the education suburban white kids got.

Nothing was done to get rid of the ridiculous and quite frankly meanspirited policies that limited social assistance to single-parent families. If two-parent families are as important as right-wing white people keep insisting they are, those rules should never have been put in place the programs should have been used-and should begin to be used today-to subsidize the preservation of two-parent families, rather than forcing people in the economic dead zones created by redlining-people who did not have the option of "just going other places to find work you lazy bastards!" because they were too poor to afford even Greyhound tickets, let alone places to stay long enough to get a fresh shower and wash your clothes before job interviews-there were no places where people traveling to look for work could do that for free or eat for free-should not have been forced to choose between having to parents in the home OR three squares a day.

And, despite the intimidating and violent presence of mainly white police in those neighborhoods, nothing was ever done to actually try and reduce either violent crime-which is why the cry of "what about 'black on black crime' is nothing but a cynical, dismissive distraction- or drug trafficking. Therefore, the whole "Law and Order" approach is discredited and black and brown communities should be allowed to design their own approaches to those issues-approaches which will quite likely include drug legalization and the treatment of substance abuse as a social and public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. People who use drugs should be treated as people in pain who need help-they should not be treated as criminals simply for using drugs.

All of these are the things which needed to be done and which never were done. it would be to the good of all of us were they to finally be done now.

44

@40 how about you try again? How about when you can NOT negotiate with the other side? Because they are throwing bricks at your head, idiot? Have you tried to negotiate and talk your faux intellectual bullshit with someone that is intent on cracking your skull open and there are 5 of them to one of you? Probably not. There is no structure to the mob, there is no one to negotiate with, because there is no-one in charge. You can start talking, and all it takes is one idiot with a Molotov cocktail to throw off your “negotiation”. What you’re describing is faith based bullshit frankly, and when you are faced with a mob that is worked up, with a clear intent to destroy you, your only option is to disperse the mob. Using whatever means you have. Then you choose. And TBH, it’s best the choice is non-lethal.