JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Spokane Councilmember told cop she wasn’t ‘too enthused to help’ with murder investigation

Oct 26, 2021, 6:52 PM | Updated: 6:58 pm
Spokane council...
Spokane City Council Member Betsy Wilkerson speaks at an event. (Photo courtesy of Council Member Betsy Wilkerson/Facebook)
(Photo courtesy of Council Member Betsy Wilkerson/Facebook)

Spokane City Councilmember Betsy Wilkerson touts three of her self-proclaimed values as she runs for re-election: collaboration, trust, and respect. But when officers asked for her assistance in a tragic murder investigation, a police officer says she told him she wasn’t “too enthused” to help.

Wilkerson runs a family business that houses individuals with disabilities — Moore’s Boarding Home. Last August, the neighborhood was rocked with what was described as an execution-style murder of a mother of two. It occurred around the block from Wilkerson’s business location.

Police asked Wilkerson if she could provide surveillance footage taken at the assisted living facility. But an officer recounting the conversation told his colleague that she said, “I’m not really too enthused to help you.” The colleague was shocked.

‘I’m not really too enthused to help you’

Body cam footage obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH shows an officer speaking with Wilkerson over the phone on Aug. 9, 2020. You can only hear the officer’s side of the conversation.

“Officer, this is my boss Betsy Wilkerson,” an assisted living staff member tells the officer, handing him a phone.

The officer introduces himself and explains why he’s calling.

“We just noticed there are cameras here that are pointed outward and they possibly captured events today that happened around 12 o’clock,” he explains.

After asking some questions about the surveillance system, he asked, “how hard would it be to get a hold of that footage?”

There’s prolonged silence, he chuckles awkwardly, then informs her that “we had a murder just down the street.”

After he ends the conversation, he walks over to another officer to explain what happened.

Officer was shocked by the response

The officer tells his colleague he had just spoken with the business owner.

“So, I don’t know how willing Betsy is going to be,” he tells his colleague. “I got her phone number. She’s the manager, address, I’m going to call her back later because she’s never done this before … supposedly, she just said she works for the City Council and, Betsy said, ‘I’m not really too enthused to help you.’ But she was like, ‘I’ll try.'”

“She said that?” a shocked colleague responded. “Did you tell her what this is for?”

“Yeah, I said it’s for a murder …,” the officer replied.

As the colleague walked off, he repeated, “Not too enthused to help us?” And then he called her a “piece of work.”

The officer then pointed back to the assisted living facility to note that the employee on-site was nothing but supportive. You can hear her in the body cam footage praising the officers, wishing them to stay safe, and hoping they do not quit the department.

Wilkerson did not respond to four requests for comment to clarify what she meant or if the officer understood her correctly. It’s unclear if she provided surveillance footage later in the investigation.

Councilmember seems like no fan of police

Wilkerson adopted some of the same rhetoric of anti-police activists in the wake of 2020’s Black Lives Matter rallying and the accompanying riots.

During debates on defunding the police in Spokane, Wilkerson advocated for community program funding. This has been a key demand of police defunding advocates: remove money from policing and funnel it into community organizations that would supposedly get at the root causes of violence.

The councilmember routinely says she does, in fact, support police. But it seems to come with caveats. After officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd, Wilkerson claimed cops were purposefully targeting Black people for murder.

“Every day we wake up and worry about the safety of our family and friends at the hands of law enforcement,” Wilkerson said. “The ones who are supposed to ‘protect and serve,’ we beg you to stop killing us. Intentionally or unintentionally, the deaths of unarmed Black and Brown people by the hands of officers is grossly out of proportion and it must stop.”

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Will this impact the election?

Wilkerson is running unopposed for re-election and this won’t impact her directly.

This incident can, however, make it more difficult to claim she cares about the community given her reluctance to help police solve a murder that happened around the block from her business. Moreover, this could strain any relationship she has with local law enforcement.

It could also cause problems for any candidates or colleagues Wilkerson aligns with.

Perhaps Wilkerson’s views on policing caught the attention FUSE Washington, a far-left activist group. It endorsed Wilkerson’s race.

FUSE also endorses Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez, a 50% police-defunding advocate. It also thinks police and prison abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is “clearly the better choice” because her opponent, Ann Davison, is a moderate Democrat. Though Thomas-Kennedy says she won’t prosecute most misdemeanor crimes, FUSE claims she holds “common-sense justice reforms.”

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (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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Rantz: Spokane Councilmember told cop she wasn’t ‘too enthused to help’ with murder investigation