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Dori: Why should YMCA be ‘safe space’ for alleged teen thieves?

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for YMCA)

There was an incident a couple of months ago where some teens were allegedly on a theft spree, taking things like tip jars from businesses and packages from doorsteps. Police tracked these kids to a YMCA in Kirkland, the Kirkland Teen Union Building.

As KOMO 4 reported, a 14-year-old kid who was part of this spree allegedly tried to resist arrest. The cops took him to the floor, as is protocol. Now the YMCA of Greater Seattle is complaining because the Y is supposed to be a “safe space.”

It’s a safe space if the cops are doing what they are trained to do. Is the YMCA afraid that alleged thieves will not be able to take refuge within their walls?

A Y staff member said that one of the cops swore at him and threatened to tase him in the face when he attempted to intervene. In the surveillance video, you can indeed see the cop raising a Taser at the staff member.

The Kirkland Police Department acknowledged that the police officer should not have used the F-word. I’m guessing, though, that it’s not the first time the teenage boys, who allegedly were on a stealing spree, have ever heard that word.

Dori: Kirkland employees shouldn’t undergo bias training

I was a Y kid. I hung out there after school, and even worked at a Woodinville Y camp as a counselor when I was about 18. It’s bizarre that they are complaining about cops arresting an alleged serial thief. At what point would it be okay for the cops to throw a “child” to the floor? Do they have to steal $10,000 worth of stuff? What about $100,000? Tip jars and packages are not worth it?

In my opinion, the YMCA is ridiculous for going after these cops for doing these jobs. I find it offensive that they consider a tip jar — which, by the way, is part of employees’ wages — to be a minor crime. The reason we have tip jars is so that people in the service industry, who do not make a lot of money, can earn a little bit more from the generosity of their customers. Apparently it’s too little to care about.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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