KTTH Freedom Series: State policies created WA crime crisis

May 26, 2023, 2:31 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm

In latest KTTH Freedom Series, Jason Rantz was joined by Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, Snohomish County Councilmember Jared Mead, and Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer to discuss how much the state’s crime crisis is directly related to legislative policy.

“Most of it, all of it. Absolutely all the reform,” Troyer said in response to how much blame should be put on the state’s laws limiting law enforcement. “All the no chasing cars, letting all the kids go. We’ve had three sets of shootings and robberies, all juvenile kids and stolen cars. Every one of them, I’ll bet you when we catch them, has been in jail multiple times in the last year. A catch-and-release thing, especially with juveniles.”

KTTH Freedom Series: Seattle, Bellevue have dramatically different approaches to crime

“I think politics has absolutely negatively impacted policing,” Mead added. “As soon as politics gets involved in most things, it tends to negatively impact that thing. But specifically, with community safety and policing, you see policies that tie some of our officers’ hands behind their backs when they’re trying to go out in the community and keep people safe.”

Governor Inslee recently signed a new police pursuit law that will roll back some restrictions from previous laws limiting when police in Washington could engage in a pursuit. An officer now needs just “reasonable suspicion” to start a police pursuit rather than “probable cause” of a violent crime.

Similarly, Inslee signed a bill defining drug possession in Washington state as a gross misdemeanor instead of a misdemeanor after calling for a special legislative session.

“I think if there’s a way that if you have a first offense or first couple of offenses, you’ve got to be able to figure out how to restore somebody back into the community because you don’t want it to always be a punishment system,” Diaz said during the forum. “However, you do have to have accountability. Sometimes that is jail honestly. Taking somebody to jail is going to save their life because they’ve been involved at a shooting scene multiple times, and they are going to be the next victim.”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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KTTH Freedom Series: State policies created WA crime crisis