DAVE ROSS

Ross: With current police shortage, Seattle is already no-cop zone

Oct 19, 2022, 9:54 AM | Updated: 10:20 am
police...
A view of an abandoned Seattle police East Precinct station inside the so-called "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone is guarded by a dwindling number of protesters. This afternoon, Mayor Jenny Durkan met with some protesters to try to negotiate an end to the stand-off. (Photo by Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

As most of you know, the city of Seattle is being sued by the families of two young men killed in the CHOP on Capitol Hill in 2020 for the city’s lack of police in the area due to the abandonment of the East Precinct.

The family of Lorenzo Anderson, who was shot June 20 at 10th Avenue and East Pine Street, argued in federal court on Monday that the city was at fault and taxpayers must be held liable.


More from Dave Ross: If AI can learn to be good, maybe people can too

Not only because paramedics were prevented from helping the victim – but because the CHOP, or Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, had become a “no cop zone” that invited lawlessness and created a foreseeable danger. The lawsuit argues that the lack of police in the area allowed the shooting to happen.

And from the oral arguments I heard, it sounded like the court was inclined to agree.

But here’s what surprises me: in all the public discussion about the lawlessness in the CHOP, one very important part of the story is rarely mentioned, the actual shooters – and the people who helped them.

The city of Seattle may have been negligent, but the city didn’t fire those bullets.

It turns out the suspect, now under arrest for the shooting of Lorenzo Anderson – had been feuding with Anderson for a long time. There was even a viral YouTube video of their fight. So a lot of people knew about it.

The people with the shooter the night he went to the CHOP to confront Anderson knew he had a gun because the video shows he drew it in front of them. Did they try to stop him? Did any of the people who saw that video and who knew about the feud call the police or try to disarm the guy? I think those are important questions too.

Law and order means holding criminals accountable – not giving them excuses.

The city screwed up in abandoning the East Precinct – I think we all agree on that – but that’s no excuse for murder.

And I would not want to hear the killer of Lorenzo Anderson, or the killer who shot 16-year-old Antonio Mays in the CHOP a week later – claiming that the city made them do it by “inviting lawlessness.” And I am not against the family’s lawsuit; on the contrary. If they win on the grounds that the CHOP was a no-cop zone, that would be like a direct order to the city of Seattle to get serious about shootings.

With the current police shortage, you could argue that parts of the city are still a no-cop zone and that taxpayers could therefore be held liable for any shootings anywhere within the city limits. The mayor could then announce a relentless campaign, in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, to enforce the law, hunt down, arrest, and disarm anyone illegally in possession of a weapon, and to shut down any dealers who consistently look the other way.

It might be expensive to hire all those investigators – but a lot cheaper than losing an endless string of lawsuits.

Listen to Seattle’sMorning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

signatures...
Dave Ross

Ross: Lawsuit challenges election officials for a better process

Right now, there are 26,933 ballots statewide being challenged, and some are suing for rejecting ballots just because the signatures don’t match
7 days ago
election...
Dave Ross

Ross: Another year without any major election fraud issues in sight

We’re three weeks past the election - and, based on what I’m reading, there’s no indication of any organized attempt to change or steal votes
8 days ago
Thanksgiving dinner...
Dave Ross

Ross: How to keep your Thanksgiving peaceful this year

I know Americans define Thanksgiving as a holiday to remind us all why we moved away from our relatives. But it doesn't have to be that way.
13 days ago
pilot...
Dave Ross

Ross: Could planes only have one pilot someday?

Just one pilot in the cockpit. That would free up more pilots to compensate for crew shortages, and of course, save money.
13 days ago
holiday...
Dave Ross

Ross: Want to solve holiday travel? Just live closer to your family

The answer to solving holiday travel is always the same – the best time to fly is when nobody else is flying.
14 days ago
young voters...
Dave Ross

Ross: Young voters are key to Democrat wins, if they can get a high turnout

It said that young voters “delivered on President Joe Biden’s hopes they would turn out in the mid-terms,” and that voters under 30 were key.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Ross: With current police shortage, Seattle is already no-cop zone