Dori: Everett mayor pushes back against legislator who says police ‘can’t go around killing people’

Oct 5, 2022, 4:51 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2022, 9:18 am

everett mayor...

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin (Photo courtesy of the city of Everett)

(Photo courtesy of the city of Everett)

One day after a bipartisan coalition of 15 Snohomish County mayors announced a new campaign to tackle increasing crime and related issues, an outgoing King County legislator who has mocked the coalition’s “fear-mongering” efforts now claims police are angry because “they can’t go around killing people.”

But Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin – one of the city leaders who launched Keep Our Cities Safe earlier this week – pushed back against Twitter attacks by outgoing Rep. Jesse Johnson (D-Federal Way) on Wednesday’s Dori Monson Show.

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Despite his impending legislative departure, Johnson called the coalition’s Democrats – including Franklin – “Republicans in Democratic suits.” Johnson also tweeted that his sponsored laws made “some police … angry because their culture must shift and they can’t go around killing people.”

Johnson, who was appointed to his 30th District House position in early 2020 and elected to that position later that year, spearheaded several pieces of police reform legislation – including the state’s new statewide law limiting police use of force in criminal investigations. In March, Johnson announced he is leaving the Legislature to “focus on his family.”

When asked about Johnson’s Tweets, Franklin rebutted to Dori crime “isn’t a partisan issue” while calling Johnson’s Tweets “disrespectful” and “very false.” Fighting crime, she added, isn’t exclusively a Republican issue.

The new Keep Our Cities Safe coalition is needed because Snohomish County mayors like her receive “dozens of calls daily” from residents complaining about the rising range and volume of crimes in cities small and large, Franklin told Dori’s listeners. Besides Everett, the coalition is backed by leaders from Arlington; Brier; Darrington; Edmonds; Gold Bar; Lake Stevens; Lynnwood; Marysville; Mill Creek; Monroe; Mukilteo; Snohomish; Stanwood, and Sultan.

Franklin praised Republican and Democrat colleagues in Snohomish County who “work very well together. We have to work with everybody in our community,” she told Dori’s listeners. “As mayors, we can demonstrate bipartisanship and hopefully transfer some of that bipartisanship to Olympia.”

The Everett mayor was far more upset about Johnson’s attacks on law enforcement officers, calling the Federal Way lawmaker’s comments “a very disrespectful statement about our men and women in blue who are risking their lives every day to serve and protect our community … I would hope our elected (Olympia) leadership doesn’t disrespect them in such a way.”

Meanwhile, Franklin said, crime connected to homelessness and drug and mental health issues are taking a toll throughout Snohomish County.

Moving forward, Keep Our Cities Safe wants to partner with local businesses, Franklin said. The publicly funded startup group seeks to raise $80,000 for its campaign. Some of the coalition’s funds, she said, will go to Olympia to lobby legislators – similar to the way individual cities, groups, and causes have done in the past.

The challenges are many, she said.

“Obviously, it’s a lack of investment in mental health and services that are needed, but also lack of attention to the growing challenges of criminal behavior in our community,” Franklin said. “We need to be able to give our officers the authority to use the tools and training they have to make good decisions in the field. We need to be able to get firearms out of the hands of felons, and when people are arrested, they shouldn’t be arrested multiple times for the same issue.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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