A Seattle police report from December 7 at 7:30 p.m. describes the brutal assault of a man, most likely homeless, who committed the unforgivable offense of throwing away a cooked fish.
On that evening, the man came across some discarded fish around Pike Place Market and began cooking it in a frying pan, assumedly on the street (the report doesn't specify where, exactly). The smell of his cooking fish attracted guests—as he was flipping his foraged meal, he was approached by a woman, who asked him to share some of it. The report notes that the woman was not alone—two other men, one Hispanic and the other black, were in her company. Soon after their arrival, our cook decided that the fish might be too old, dangerously old, and threw it away.
This turned out to be a bad move.
More after the jump.
The report states that the woman began screaming at the cook and then allegedly “picked up the frying pan and hit him several times with it" while one of her companions allegedly “picked up a full can of beer and threw it at [him], striking him in the forehead.” The report notes a bruise on the victim's forehead.
The fish was unsalvageable but apparently the victim's belongings were still fair game. The victim states that one of the suspects thieved his backpack, which contained his clothes, a lighter, and some tobacco. Then, from the police report:
[The victim] told me he felt [the attack] was racially motivated. I asked why he felt it was and he said it was because he was tortured by black people last year. When asked whether he reported the torture he said he did not. I asked if they said anything racial to him as they were assaulting him and stated, "They wouldn't say that out loud." When asked if he mentioned the torturing to the three who assaulted him he said he certainly did as he was throwing the fish away, and he would not be quiet about the situation.
The police report doesn't mention the race of the victim, only his attackers—black and Hispanic. It's puzzling that this man cites race as a motivating factor in his attack while neglecting to mention the more obvious motivation—hunger.
In the myth of the sterile wasteland, the world has become irredeemably sick. For the wanderers of our metropolis who sleep in doorways and under bridges, this myth is real. And when they find something health-giving, they are willing to fight for it like beasts. Meanwhile, in collective delusion, we forget and neglect our connectedness.