When Seattle police approached a suspect with their guns drawn over the weekend, it wasn’t random. And it wasn’t related to race, as bystanders alleged.
Seattle’s superhero Phoenix Jones can verify that. He was there for the whole thing. In fact, he is credited in the Seattle Police Department’s crime blotter for describing the scene, which the victim refused to do after he was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Phoenix recalled the story for KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz.
Just one day after his first MMA victory, Phoenix was patrolling Capitol Hill when he came across three suspects viciously beating a victim, with one repeatedly pistol-whipping and kicking the man. After alerting police, Phoenix ran into the man with the weapon, knocking the gun away.
“I sprinted out as fast as I could and hit him with a right hand,” he said. “The gun popped out, only the scary part was he didn’t get knocked out.”
At that point, the other two guys went for the gun and Jones knew he was in danger. Not wearing his traditional Kevlar suit, Phoenix fled briefly for safety.
That’s when Seattle police officers arrived, which prompted the suspects to disperse into the crowd, trying to blend in.
It didn’t work. Phoenix cornered one of the trio until cops arrived, and the other two were apprehended.
The suspects, all African American, are 21, 29 and 30. During a pat down, Officer Nic Abts-Olsen found a handgun on the 30-year-old suspect. The suspect claims it’s not his gun.
Phoenix told Rantz that the 30-year-old man was casually walking away from the scene when police drew their guns on him. Without any context, someone witnessing that scene would think it was stereotyping or think police were using excessive force. The thing is, the man had a gun in his pants and blood on his clothing.
During the arrest of these three suspects, Phoenix was shocked to hear passers-by jeer at the officers, suggesting they were only hassling the men because of their race.
This didn’t sit well with Phoenix.
“All black people are about to get mad at me but stop with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crap,” he told Rantz. “Stop it. All lives matter.”
Phoenix said witnesses were “standing on the sidewalk, with these cameras, yelling at [the cops], telling me not to get close. There’s a difference between cops abusing their power and cops doing their job. Get your facts right and let the cops do their job. The last thing we need is an impotent police force.”
Without any context, people were making assumptions, but they didn’t know what was actually happening, he said. These men were trying to blend into a crowd. Police were not stereotyping or using excessive force. Bystanders didn’t have all the details.
“Later, they pat him down and find out he’s a felon,” Phoenix said.
And let’s not forget, Jones watched the man cave in the head of another with the butt of a gun.
People have to start taking context into consideration, Rantz agreed.
“There is a lot of assumption that the cops are always bad,” Rantz noted. “Cops are not arresting people simply because they are not white.”
Had the police been more aggressive toward the guy, Phoenix would have taken issue with how the situation was handled. But for knowing that the man had a gun, they were gentle, he explained. They even apologized while they cuffed one of the suspects, just in case they had the wrong guy, he continued.
The incident is an example of why Phoenix says he is frustrated with the Black Lives Matter movement. People are taking things out of context and using that against police.
“Crime is just crime,” Phoenix said. “There’s not a color that goes with it.”
The beating is something that the superhero seemed toforeshadow recently when he said crime in Seattle is evolving.