Seattle cops placed on leave after allegedly attending event in Washington DC, being doxxed by media

SEATTLE, WA – According to Seattle Police Department officials, two officers within the SPD have been placed on leave after the two allegedly attended the D.C. protest/riot.

From what department officials say, investigators are trying to determine if: 

A) If the officers were even at the D.C. during the incident

B) If they attended, did they participate in any of the illegal activities that occurred 

C) If any of their alleged activities, legal or not, were in violation of SPD policies

Chief Adrian Diaz announced on January 8th that two of the department’s officers – who have not been identified by name – may have been present in D.C. on January 6th when the Capitol Building was breached. 

It’s unclear as to what led SPD officials to suspect that two officers were present during the protest/riot in the nation’s capitol, as it wasn’t clarified whether said suspicion was ascertained through possible video, photographic, or mere testimonial evidence. 

However, Seattle-based editor-at-large for Newsweek, Naveed Jamali, claimed that the two officers were a husband and wife and that one or both of them posted pictures to their personal social media accounts showcasing that they were present at the nation’s capitol. 

When speaking on the matter and internal investigation, Chief Diaz stated the following: 

“The Department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer.”

Andrew Myerberg, who serves as the director of the Office of Police Accountability, also commented on the matter, simply noting that there’s reason to believe two SPD officers were present in D.C. on January 6th and that the allegations are being looked into:

“At this point, we are aware of two current SPD officers who are believed to have attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.”

“We do not yet know the extent of their participation and will be determining this as we proceed through the case. We will also be investigating whether there were any other SPD employees who may have been involved.”

Myerberg continued from there, noting that at this time there’s general ambiguity as to whether merely being present at the protest alone, and not involved in any sort of criminal activity that transpired at the Capitol Building, could fall under violating SPD policy: 

“The fundamental question will be, ‘Is being present at the rally in and of itself a violation of department policy?’ And I just don’t know that yet. I think it really depends on what they did and what their role was in those events.”

This is an ongoing investigation. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into this developing matter. 

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LET Unity

In other matters related to Seattle, a Deputy Seattle City Attorney has been championing a law being pondered that would see most misdemeanors excused – while conveniently not even living in the state of Washington. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SEATTLE, WA – As Seattle considers adopting a law that would excuse most misdemeanor crimes, one city prosecutor who supports the plan has already fled the city.

Deputy Seattle City Attorney John Schochet has moved out of state and across the county. The prosecutor has been working remotely from New York since October, after marrying a New York resident.

Schochet said that he moved to accommodate his new wife:

“The CAO [City Attorney’s Office] has been on remote work status since March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. I moved from Seattle to New York in October 2020. As you likely know, the City of Seattle does not have residency requirements for its employees, other than elected officials.

“The CAO is continuing remote work through at least July 5, 2021. I’m not sure what will happen after then, but it’s still quite a way off at this point.”

The move comes at a time when his office mulls adding a poverty defense to the city code. The poverty defense would excuse suspects from most misdemeanor crimes like theft, trespassing, and assault if the suspects were suffering from poverty, addiction, or mental health issues.

The poverty defense was originally designed by King County Department of Public Defense Director Anita Khandelwal. The measure was advanced by City Council Member Lisa Herbold.

Supporters say the plan is designed to help keep people out of jail when their crime is committed out of need. Critics say the plan would propagate even more crime.

Khandelwal defended the plan:

“In a situation where you took that sandwich because you were hungry and you were trying to meet your basic need of satisfying your hunger; we as the community will know that we should not punish that. That conduct is excused.”

Former City Councilmember Tim Burgess has spoken against the plan, calling it a “defense lawyer’s dream”:

“It sends this powerful signal that as city government, we don’t really care about this type of criminal behavior in our city. It leans on the scales heavily in favor of certain individuals based on status, and it says to others, ‘you don’t matter.’”

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said his office did not need the plan at this time, because he has already refused to prosecute “survival” crimes:

“Good prosecutors don’t take any satisfaction in prosecuting that type of offense. I think it’s running the risk that we excuse these crimes; we don’t couple it with the resources that are needed to make sure the behavior is addressed — and then the community is left frustrated.”

Schochet has supported the measure from his home on the other side of the country, however, he added that offenders should have to prove they tried other, legal means to satisfy their need before using the defense.

“It’s fair to ask the defendants to explore when there is a legal way to satisfy their need before committing a crime.”

Khandelwal argued against this requirement:

“To show that there wasn’t something nearby seems to just go in the direction our criminal legal system has been, ensnaring individuals within it.”

Schochet has removed himself from any consequences of releasing offenders by moving out of Washington. Schochet has not released details about his plans once the office in Seattle re-opens. However, he has been admitted into law practice in New York.

The consequences of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office’s light-on-crime approach are already palpable.  The city released a multiple repeat offender in December following an assault arrest without filing a charge.

Adalla Jama, 29, assaulted a security guard on Christmas night. He was arrested and booked into King County Jail.  Assistant City Attorney Christine Chin agreed to release Jama without conditions. Later that night, Jama attacked a 62-year-old man blocks from the jail causing serious injuries.

The City Attorney’s Office declined to file charges in nearly half of the non-traffic criminal cases brought to them, according to a “System Failure” report issued in September 2019.

The report, prepared by former public safety advisor to the city of Seattle Scott P. Lindsey, was commissioned by neighborhood business groups to examine Seattle’s criminal justice system.

In the report, Lindsey said:

“Most non-traffic criminal cases that Seattle Police sent to the City Attorney’s Office never result in a meaningful resolution because of case declines, case filing delays, and a high rate of dismissal.

“The report discusses how the poor performance of Seattle’s criminal justice system results in under-reporting of crime from chronic victims, low police morale, and helps perpetuate crime and incarceration cycles for vulnerable individuals.”

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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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