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Monday, January 7, 2008

An Example of Selective Enforcement

Over at The Stranger's blog (SLOG) David Schmader posted up a message he received alleging that the SPD had ignored a request to look into a case of assault where the victims and witnesses had descriptions of the attacker along with his license plate information.

From the post in question:

Last night, January 6, my heterosexual male roommate and his friend were buying beer at the Shell gas station on Broaway and Pike when they were confronted by an angry man in line, who stated the he “fucked up faggots.” He then asked my roommate’s friend if he was a friend of gays, and he told him yes, and that the angry man should not speak about gays like that. The man then called him a faggot and told him that he would be waiting outside for him. When they went outside, both of them were blindsided and my roomate had his nose broken.

The most fucked up thinng about this is that a man in line heard the entire ordeal, called the police, but they didnt come! They only came after several other people had called the police, and a while after the incident happened. These guys are not gay, but the point is that we have a serious issue on Capitol Hill with people attacking anyone they think are “fags.” Also once the police arrived, my roomate and co. were told that nothing much would probably come of it (even though they had the license plate of the getaway car, a rental), although this technically qualifies as a hate crime under Washington state law.

So that’s my fucked-up Hot Tip, and I hope that these motherfuckers get caught so they can’t harm anymore innocent people, gay or straight.
Of course, it is suggested that the SPD officer who did eventually respond may have refused to take down the complaint because it involved discrimination against homosexuals, even though the victims themselves were not homosexual. This is borne out by what I've experienced and read as it's not the only example of selective enforcement on the part of SPD officers. Officers are obligated to at least record the complaint, the refusal to do so for any reason is misconduct and is percieved as a license for the public to assault anyone who the SPD refuses to protect.

Selective enforcement is misconduct, plain and simple. The only solution here is political pressure focused at the top, that means people have to make it a media issue and make a lot of noise, complaining to the officers or the OPA will have no effect, unfortunately. Until more people understand that selective enforcement can affect them too, it will continue to become a larger problem.

Update: And SPD spokesman refuted the claims in a call to The Stranger by insisting the officers did everything they are supposed to, they took the report and are actively investigating. Though the spokesperson refused to speculate as to why officers told the victims that they shouldn't expect anything to come of it despite being given reliable identifying information about the attacker.

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