Rantz: Seattle CM called police she defunded to report crime she is effectively legalizing
Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold called the police department she defunded to report a crime she suffered that would be effectively legalized under her proposal. Good thing she didn’t wait until after she passes her bill to report the incident.
Under Herbold’s proposal, most misdemeanor suspects would get a pass for crimes committed to meet a basic need. It’s essentially a poverty defense. But it goes deeper than that.
The future legislation is modeled after a draft bill by radical public defenders. In it, you get a pass if you show symptoms of mental illness. That’s where Herbold’s 911 call comes into play.
Lisa Herbold calls the cops after menacing incident
On Friday afternoon, Dec. 11, a man reportedly threw a rock a Herbold’s West Seattle home, striking her living room window.
Though the incident report has been redacted, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has confirmed the residence is that of the Herbold family. In the report, she tells police that “she was on the west side of the living room near the kitchen when she heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot and dove into the kitchen for cover.”
Luckily, it wasn’t a gunshot, but a rock.
Herbold told police that “her staff has received anonymous phone threats recently, but nothing in particular that links the threats to today’s incident.”
While Herbold didn’t see the suspect, her neighbor did. The witness said he spotted an “unathletic and a bad runner” leaving the scene. He described him as a clean shaven, white male in a black hoodie and jeans. The witnesses said he would recognize the suspect if he saw him again, but declined the officer’s business card to contact him in the future.
The sad irony
Under the legislation as currently presented in the model bill, Herbold is handing her perpetrator a free pass.
The model bill tells prosecutors to consider dismissing charges against a suspect “experiencing symptoms of a behavioral health disorder” while they committed the crime. What is considered a behavioral health disorder? Well, a lot, as defined by RCW 71.05.020:
‘Mental disorder’ means any organic, mental, or emotional impairment which has substantial adverse effects on a person’s cognitive or volitional function.
In other words, you could claim you experienced symptoms of anxiety during the crime. But how could the prosecution prove otherwise? Scott Lindsay, former public safety adviser to Mayor Ed Murray, noted in a white paper that “there is no practical way for a prosecutor to disprove a defendant’s claim that they are experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder.” He concludes:
The standard to satisfy either of the two ‘symptoms of behavioral health disorder’ defenses is so low, it is euphemistic to call them defenses. For all practical purposes, this legislation would provide blanket immunity from misdemeanor prosecution for virtually all non-DUI/DV defendants. Any credible claim of anxiety, depression, trauma, or addiction would make the defendant un-prosecutable for the vast majority of crimes in the Seattle Municipal Code, no matter how many times the defendant had committed the crime or how egregious the circumstances.
We don’t know the motives of the suspect. On the surface, this seems targeted. Was the man experiencing temporary anxiety or depression over the future of this city thanks to Herbold’s shoddy leadership? If her proposal was currently the law, prosecutors wouldn’t have a case against him.
Herbold should have a change of heart
Earlier today I wrote my analysis of her proposal and wondered how she would respond if she were a victim of a crime that would get a pass in the city she’s turning Seattle into. Now we know: She’d do what any normal, reasonable person would do. She called the police, though, in this case, just weeks after defunding them.
Herbold wants a criminal investigation into this man. She should. He broke the law and should be punished. But in Seattle, thanks to councilmembers like Herbold, we don’t punish criminals. We have an aversion to putting people in jail who are threats to society. Usually, the councilmembers aren’t victims themselves. They just create the victims with their permissive policies.
Under Herbold’s proposal there will be more victims. Now that she’s experienced the crime, perhaps she’ll have a change of heart. Or, perhaps, she’ll continue to embrace her own hypocrisy. She’ll seek vengeance upon the criminal who targeted her. But if that same criminal targets a small business in downtown Seattle, that business owner is on their own.
Herbold did not respond to my request for comment.
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