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Rantz: Defund CM Lisa Herbold smears Seattle cops cleared of wrongdoing, wants more investigation

Councilmember Lisa Herbold. (screen grab)

Despite being cleared in a civilian-led investigation, one anti-police Seattle City Council member isn’t satisfied. Councilmember Lisa Herbold wants to punish officers for attending a political rally she disagrees with. Even worse, she’s smearing cops as extremists.

Herbold spent the last year pushing to defund the Seattle Police Department and fire white officers for the offense of having the wrong skin color. She even wanted to effectively legalize most misdemeanors committed by anyone claiming to be homeless or low-income.

Now, Herbold wants more to be done after the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) found that four officers who attended the January 6 rally for President Donald Trump were cleared.

Herbold wants another witch hunt

The OPA launched a proactive, partisan investigation into six officers who attended the political rally in Washington, D.C. There was no evidence that anyone broke any laws, but the OPA pushed forward with a six-month-long investigation.

The officers were effectively forced to prove their own innocence and deprived of due process. Under threat of termination, officers were ordered to turn over personal documents like text messages, photos, and receipts to the city to prove they had nothing to do with the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Not a single officer has been charged with a crime. Nevertheless, as I predicted, OPA found two of the officers were close enough to the lawlessness that they should have been aware of what was going on. OPA, not a law enforcement agency, also concluded they trespassed. The two were offered termination recommendations, despite not having full access to evidence used against them.

For Herbold, this isn’t enough.

“I told Director Myerberg that I believed that the investigation should go further than asking the question of what actions SPD employees took while in D.C. on January 12 and should include an inquiry of whether SPD employees traveled to D.C. with knowledge, like so many people did, that there was going to be an attempted insurrection,” Herbold said in a statement.

With that contrived concern in mind, Herbold appears to want even more due process rights abused.

She appears to want a criminal investigation against officers for merely attending the January 6 rally. She says she’s looking into “whether questions were asked of the four officers without sustained findings, and whether evidence was sought, to determine the advance knowledge they had of the planned violent events at the Capitol insurrection of January 6.”

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Herbold thinks cops are extremists

Herbold has no reason to believe the cleared officers knew of any planned violent events at the Capitol. But she’ll imply they were cleared prematurely anyway.

“If public employees knowingly travelled [sic] to a location in support of people whom they knew were intending to attempt an insurrection, even if their participation was as a passive observer, that is a ‘clear connection between conduct and duties or … responsibilities’ and is an offense that merits termination. I will review the OPA investigation with an eye towards whether questions were asked of the four officers without sustained findings, and whether evidence was sought, to determine the advance knowledge they had of the planned violent events at the Capitol insurrection of January 6.”

Herbold couldn’t be bothered to read the investigation documents before releasing a statement. She saw four cops were cleared and was triggered.

The councilmember’s position is informed by a bias that views all cops as extremists. Using a left-wing group that suggests extremist groups have strong ties to police departments, Herbold implies these cops could be extremists. What a disgusting and calculated smear. But when you’re viciously anti-police, it’s not shocking.

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Herbold should be investigated for creating a deadly autonomous zone

Perhaps Herbold should be the one under investigation.

Despite seeing the violence against police outside of Seattle’s East Precinct in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing that Herbold pretended to care about, the radical councilmember showed up to a violent rally.

Cops were assaulted and threatened with murder. But Herbold didn’t care much. She supported the future insurrectionists who took up arms to commandeer an autonomous zone to be known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). She was a Founding Mother of the Capitol Hill insurrection.

Using the logic that Herbold frames in her criticism of cleared cops, shouldn’t she face an investigation? We all knew police were under attack before they abandoned the East Precinct. Herbold was at the rally where violence occurred and was threatened. Did she know of the plan to commit violence? Shouldn’t she have? Even if her participation was as a passive observer, should she be held to account?

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What this is really about

Herbold only releases statements when she can attack cops while staying silent as they face attempted murder due to an anti-police environment she helped create. She’ll work with cops when she’s a victim of a crime, all while turning them into victims of political smears and future firings and defunding.

No matter what the OPA investigation results showed, Herbold was ready to act. If all six committed crimes, Herbold would have painted this to attack all cops. And if any cop was deemed innocent, she would question if the investigation did its due diligence.

Herbold does not like the police. And she uses them to stay in front of a radical base of Seattle voters she needs to keep her in power.

And the goal is simple: The West Seattle radical wants to run as many cops out of the SPD as possible. She doesn’t care if she tramples on rights or makes Seattle more dangerous in the process.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then 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,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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