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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Sad State Of Affairs In Seattle

Let’s take a quick look at all that’s going on in Seattle right now, because there’s quite a bit happening here right now, and it’s pretty damn disgraceful.

First, King County officials are still arguing with the US Department of Justice over the US DOJ’s stinging rebuke over the deplorable conditions in Seattle’s King County Jail and the mistreatment of detainees that the DOJ termed so egregious that they were a violation of their constitutional rights. Meanwhile the Seattle press raised more of a stink about conditions in the animal shelters than they did about people dying slow tortured deaths in their jails.

If that weren’t shameful enough, in the face of proposed massive budget cutbacks at the jail, your inability to protect detainees and treat deadly infections at that gulag has gotten you in the crosshairs of a huge class action lawsuit that will further drain your coffers. Gee, maybe it makes sense to care about human rights, huh? It’s downright disgusting, especially when the King County executive still has the testicular fortitude to pretend that he’s some defender of civil rights after declaring that pretrial detainees in HIS jail have no rights to defend.

Ah, next we see that Seattle government is still run by the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild when the government negotiated a record breaking raise for Seattle Police officers and demanded nothing in return… seems that even then it still couldn’t stand up to the guild enough to enact the recommendations that their own panels on police accountability recommended that they implement. The president of the guild has been heard to be laughing all the way to the bank at the payoff he got while still preventing the implementation of reforms that would have closed off the loopholes that spurred the public outcry that caused those two panels to form in the first place.

So, Seattle, not only have you drained the pockets of your taxpayers to pay off the police guild for nothing in return, you’re now facing an onslaught of civil rights lawsuits because of your failures to keep your police officers from violating everyone’s civil rights. We hear there’s a tidal wave of lawsuits in the works and you’ve already been pummeled in the press repeatedly for the suits you already settled or outright LOST.

Gee, maybe you should have figured out that it would be cheaper to ensure that everyone’s civil rights were protected and that your police officers were held accountable for their actions… instead you’ve wasted your credibility and tax income on trying to cover up for their misdeeds while giving them a big fat raise for acting badly.

Oh, but guess what, it's still not the best part... hidden in that little contract is a clause that allows the police department to veto any civilian oversight panel members it wants, that way it can keep those pesky civilian reviewers quiet so they don't raise alarms to spark more reviews like they did last year. So, next time you won't get a warning when a rash of unpunished police misconduct sparks a wave of costly lawsuits that drain your pocketbooks dry. Not only did the city make sure the same loopholes stay in place to cover up misconduct, they made some new ones too.

Well, guess what, those budget woes in King County are going to add to your grief. Not only have you wasted money rewarding cops for costing you more money in lawsuits, the county has to offload it’s cases to the city because it can’t afford to keep prosecuting and holding your detainees on trumped up charges of obstruction. So now you have to waste more money building your own jail and hiring more lawyers.

Oh, but that’s not all folks. Seems the city attorney has been getting pummeled in the press for a bunch of disgracefully failed politically motivated raids on local nightclubs while the police have been harassing club owners in an effort to make way for more condos. Seems you have some motivation for keeping your cops from being held accountable, because then you can use them for political gain without any questions asked... like how you've been risking massive lawsuits by raiding homeless encampments.

Does it end there? Nope… That flawed contract was released less than a week before the city council is about to ratify it and the press hasn’t even bothered to call the city on lying to their faces when the city assured everyone that the contract would enact all 29 recommendations made by their “Police Accountability Review Panel”.

Oh, not only that, but on the same day the city made it’s other panel’s recommendations public… How many news articles on that were there? None… the city paid for the Seattle City Council Police Accountability Panel to turn out 23 recommendations to improve police accountability and oversight… just to completely ignore them and pretend like it didn’t happen!!! And the press doesn’t even bother to notice such an utterly willful waste, such a blatant spit in the face of the public outcry over police abuses and even Seattle's weekly independent papers that were critical of reform efforts at first are giving the city a free pass for lying to their faces.

Seattle, I got to say, you’ve been screwed... and you won't even know it until that tidal wave of civil rights lawsuits slams into your wallets and keeps on flooding your city. You'll wonder why you weren't warned about this encroaching mess, but by then those politicians that lied to you will have moved on and will be laughing at the mess they intentionally ignored and left behind.

Take care out there, because it's all about to get much worse.

3 comments:

Sherril said...

I had just surfed over to the CafePress site on Nietzschean stuff. Now I can see your blog is quite Nietzschean also.

"The Doer Alone Learneth."

Packratt said...

Thanks Sherril! My blog has been called many things but I think you're the first to call it Nietzschean!

Of course, by sharing what I've learned by experience I do it in the hopes that the doer alone is not the only one who may learn.

Hope you're taking good care of yourself, and thanks again!

Sherril said...

"Of course, by sharing what I've learned by experience I do it in the hopes that the doer alone is not the only one who may learn."

Exactly!

 
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