JASON RANTZ

Rantz: After CHOP assault, councilmember says don’t charge for ‘resisting’ police

Jul 5, 2020, 5:00 AM | Updated: Jul 6, 2020, 10:15 am
Seattle police, crime, protesters, chop crime police chop...
Seattle police arresting protesters Thursday. (@1stRoundFinish, Twitter)
(@1stRoundFinish, Twitter)

Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda says any CHOP protesters who resist or obstruct police officers shouldn’t be charged with a crime. It’s the latest dangerous escalation of her anti-police rhetoric as she gears up for a mayoral challenge to Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Police outside the East Precinct recently arrested a masked protester for obstruction and a second for assault against a Seattle officer. After the arrest, Mosqueda feigned outrage.

Not charging CHOP crime is a dangerous message

The suspect repeatedly crossed the police tape throughout the day. In fact, activists there routinely pulled the tape down, only to have cops replace it. A source tells me she was warned multiple times over the course of hours to stop going over the police tape. And, given the sign in her hand read, “hit me, sue you,” she was likely instigating.

Protesters routinely show up outside the former CHOP zone to instigate arrests or aggression so they can spread anti-police propaganda online. Then, anti-cop, activist politicians like Mosqueda amplify the message. Of course, Mosqueda did just that last Thursday. Only this time, she attached a dangerous message, implying it’s OK to resist and obstruct police orders.

“We must not charge folks for resisting, obstructing, or pedestrian interference (including one person ironically cited while standing in a crosswalk),” Mosqueda Tweeted. “Nobody should be prosecuted for being in violation of an order they had no notice of.”

When politicians give criminals this kind of pass, they inevitably continue the behavior. And while it may help Mosqueda curry favor with an activist base to help propel her career, it makes policing more dangerous.

Plenty of assumptions

Mosqueda had no clue if the protester had notice of the order she violated when the tweet was sent. In fact, the CHOP suspect almost certainly knew what she was doing was a crime, and was aware of the order.

For starters, there’s literally police tape up, and every protester is gathered behind it. She was there and was warned many times to stop crossing it, but she continued to do so, per a source. Perhaps to Mosqueda this is evidence of a coincidence and the protesters didn’t know they weren’t supposed to cross the tape. But, to believe that, you’d have to be devoid of reason and rationale.

It’s also the same location of nightly skirmishes with police since they retook the East Precinct. Given the protester’s face is almost completely covered, it’s unlikely this is his first time protesting.

And in the video, you can literally see the man taunting the cops. When they approach, the man starts to run away before he’s detained.

Mosqueda, of course, makes no effort to understand why the suspect was arrested, instead relying on an anonymous Twitter account promoting the escalating protests. This makes sense. Mosqueda doesn’t shy away from taking any side that conflicts with the police.

A second arrest for a CHOP crime

There is also video of a second arrest during the same event. The incident was captured in a separate viral video claiming the protester arrest “did nothing.” That’s incorrect.

The protester at the 4-second mark is seen pushing or hitting an officer from behind. And in the first video, you can see him at the 14-second mark. The intent seems clear: To stop the arrest of his comrade.

The officer immediately turns to the suspect, chases him, and then makes the arrest.

At the time of the arrests, King County records show Grant Dean Kulberg booked for assault of an officer. On his Facebook page, he identifies himself as a “founder” of CHAZ and CHOP. In a post from June 4, Kulberg claims he has PTSD from the protests.

Mosqueda has a pattern of attacking police

The latest dangerous claim from Mosqueda that it should be consequence-free to obstruct and resist comes at a time she’s already shown disdain for cops.

Several weeks ago, before protesters violently took over the area now known as CHOP, Mosqueda defended a man shouting at the cops to kill themselves, or the crowd would tear them apart.

“SPD, I need you to do me a favor. Take your guns, put them onto your chins, and pull the trigger,” the man yelled. “I need you to kill yourselves. That’s your only redemption. Go ahead, save us the trouble of tearing you apart and *****ing kill yourselves. Did I stutter? I said ‘k-k-k-kill yourselves.”

Watch the video here. Warning: graphic language.

As this madman shouted, Mosqueda looked at him but didn’t condemn the messaging.

“[Expletive] kill yourselves. It’s the only chance you have left to do something good for the world and that’s remove yourself from it,” he shouted.

Mosqueda then defended the message.

“The anger that you hear is justified,” she said.

After this blog outed the comments, Simone del Rosario of Q13 FOX questioned Mosqueda about it. She was forced to apologize.

Why is Mosqueda backing the activists?

Mosqueda will run for mayor and she needs to gain the trust of the base of activists. They alone can’t win an election (as Durkan’s initial win proves). But they make it easier to secure a nomination.

In 2017, long-shot candidate Nikkita Oliver would have advanced to the general had it not been for Cary Moon buying her way into a primary advancement. Moon, a privileged white lady who pretends to be down for the cause, did just enough to blunt Oliver’s advancement. It would have been for naught, of course. Oliver is too fringe to win in a general election.

Mosqueda, however, has what Oliver didn’t: The appearance of being mainstream.

The councilmember is just as fringe as Oliver and her Socialist colleague Kshama Sawant. But Mosqueda comes off as more mainstream. Her anti-business jobs tax is nearly as extreme as Sawant’s head tax, but Mosqueda dubiously presents her plan as an economic “jump start” — even though it will have the opposite impact. Sawant is more honest in selling her toxic brand; Mosqueda dresses up her agenda in a costume.

But she can’t be too mainstream or it will turn off the activist base. So, Mosqueda is spending time right now building street cred with the activist protesters who show up to the CHOP. Scream about wanting to murder cops? Mosqueda will have your back! Want to resist arrest and obstruct or commit another CHOP crime? Mosqueda will come to your defense. Because when you’re running for office, every vote counts.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

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Rantz: After CHOP assault, councilmember says don’t charge for ‘resisting’ police