Dori: Why was a 15-year-old gang member with a gun denied booking?
Gary Horcher at KIRO 7 had a shocking story out of Burien. As we know, that city has a huge gang problem. Two 17-year-olds were arrested in a drive-by gang hit last week. They missed their intended target, and one of the bullets went through the window of a chiropractic office, killing a woman who was just sitting at her desk trying to do her job. A third 17-year-old has been arrested now.
In a separate incident in Burien this week, another teenager was arrested. According to Horcher’s story, Burien police officers stopped a car filled with known gang members and visible firearms. One of the passengers, who was caught with a gun, was a drunk 15-year-old. This teenager also had a prior conviction for possession of a firearm, and a pending one for possession of a firearm on school grounds at Highline High School, which he attends.
So you have a Highline High School student caught drunk, surrounded by armed gang members, with a gun, with a history of possession of a firearm. When officers took him in, booking was denied, and the 15-year-old was released.
What? Booking was denied for a 15-year-old known gang member who previously had a gun on school grounds at Highline High School? How comforting is that to the parents of other Highline kids?
Hey Mayor Matta and Burien City Council: You’re putting the lives of all the innocent kids at Highline High School at risk because you won’t allow the booking of a drunk, gun-toting gang member with priors. Instead, you sent him home, where it sounds like his family is doing a bang-up job of raising him.
This is a city where citizens got enough signatures to get a vote on the ballot to remove sanctuary city status, but the city leaders said no. I have talked to police, who say that they are not allowed to ask people they arrest about citizenship status. So you have a tremendous problem, and police are not even allowed to ask a critical question that would help identify the root cause of that problem.
“Catch-and-release,” that’s the mantra. And people wonder why innocent people are getting gunned down in Burien. Yeah, we’ve got some serious problems.