Let's round up the afternoon, starting with...
This is so fucked up: According to a Seattle Times review of a new report from the Office of Police Accountability, after the cops decided to abandon the East Precinct and remove the barricades around 11th and Pine in June of 2020, Seattle Police Department officers took to the scanner and deliberately lied about Proud Boys running around downtown, which "caused alarm" among the protesters near the precinct listening in on the cops. The cops, of course, gave conflicting reasons for initiating the "misinformation" campaign, as they described it*; they wanted to either "give them the impression that 'we had more officers out there doing regular stuff'" and/or “get them into other areas.” Unsurprisingly, the "ruse" didn't work. Notably, Converge Media journalist Omari Salisbury prompted the OPA investigation into this campaign after his request for body cam footage of cops "tailing" the right-wing dorks turned up no results.
*Even the cops don't know the difference between dis and mis.
Though some protesters suspected the Proud Boy chatter was a lie from the jump, this confirmation from the OPA is huge. As The Stranger reported at the time, the fear of Proud Boys and other right-wing groups burning down the precinct and then blaming the Black Lives Matter movement was one of the major reasons — if not the only reason — protesters set up shop around the police station in the first place. In other words, lying cops led to CHOP.
Blame CHOP on the cops. This misinfo SPD spread about Proud Boys roaming the streets led to fears about right-wingers burning down the abandoned precinct and blaming it on BLM. It was one of the major reasons — if not THE reason — protesters hung around https://t.co/TD6NIkHByg
— Rich Smith (@richsssmith) January 5, 2022
The cops shot and killed someone while responding to a burglary in South Seattle today: More info to come.
The pandemic, amiright? I’m sure you already know this because you’re very smart and you read The Stranger, but over the last few weeks we have seen a tremendous surge in COVID-19 cases spurred on by the more transmissible omicron variant. As per the county’s COVID-19 summary dashboard, the county has reported 4,014 new cases, 28 hospitalizations, and one death since yesterday.
The County gets testy with COVID: No luck scouring the shelves of your neighborhood pharmacy for an at-home COVID-19 test? King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county will spend $5.3 million to buy an additional 400,000 COVID-19 test kits for a total of 700,000 which you can pick up for free through libraries, health centers, senior centers and community groups starting next week.
Jay stepping it up, too: In his 2:30 p.m. address, Gov. Jay Inslee announced new measures to handle the spread of omicron. The state expects to receive 2.8 million at-home tests by this week. The plan is to send them off to schools and local health departments for distribution that prioritizes vulnerable populations. Don’t want to leave your house? The state also announced a partnership with CareEvolution and e-commerce giant Amazon to create a portal where you can order tests that come straight to your door for free. That’ll come in the next couple weeks and the hope is that people will lean on that service rather than the prioritized supply.
Band-aids: The Deputy Secretary for COVID Response recommends people order tests ahead of time. She likened it to band-aids in a first aid kit – you don’t go out and buy band-aids after you cut your finger, you buy in advance and have it ready. She added that you should only grab what you need and save some from your neighbors.
King Inslee with these damn masks: Cloth masks suck. This is very inconvenient news for the homemade mask market on Etsy and anyone who was understandably under the impression that cloth masks were fine. Anyway, Inslee also said he will dip into the state’s mask reserve and distribute about 10 million masks of “different varieties, including KN95 and surgical masks” to schools and community clinics.
On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: As you'll remember from this iconic/cringe/millennial tweet, Inslee is a longtime fan of the mask.
Bad day in Kittitas: On Wednesday morning, the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) said it received 160 positive cases in less than 12 hours. That’s a daily record for the county in half a day.
Also bad time for Snohomish county: Yikes.
In the past two weeks, nearly one in every 100 Snohomish County residents has tested positive for COVID-19. (Reporting by @YawClaudia) https://t.co/bJFcHjwNkc
— Jake Goldstein-Street (@GoldsteinStreet) January 5, 2022
Whatcom County pumps the brakes: On Tuesday the Whatcom County Council voted 4-2 in a special meeting to delay picking a replacement for state sen. Doug Ericksen who died after contracting COVID-19. On Jan. 11, the council will choose between Whatcom County Republican Party’s three nominees: Ben Elenbaas, Tawsha Dykstra Thompson, and Simon Sefzik.
Let the Snoqualmie Tribe enjoy their falls: The Snoqualmie Tribe gathers at the Snoqualmie Falls for prayer and ceremonies. Crosscut reports that loud helicopter tours are disrupting the tribe’s connection with the important site.
In sports news:
#Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is the winner of this year's Bart Starr Award, which is given to the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community: https://t.co/xB3emIwZ5y
— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) January 5, 2022
Natural order restored: It was very, very gloomy today and some of y’all freaks loved that.
38-degree rain: The stuff dreams are made of.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) January 5, 2022