Medved: ‘Graffiti is not free speech, it’s vandalism’

Jun 21, 2023, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:45 am


A Metropolitan Improvement District’s Clean Team member picks up trash next to graffiti on 4th Avenue on March 09, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. The city has recently struggled with an uptick in homelessness and violent crime. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Graffiti is not free speech. It’s vandalism,” KTTH’s Michael Medved said on The Gee & Ursula Show.

A federal judge said this week Seattle cannot enforce its anti-graffiti law after a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge said that the city’s property destruction law was too vague and a possible “threat to censorship.”

“Some claim to be upset because there were people who were arrested because they had put the slogan ‘f the police’ on a wall and put it on repeatedly,” said Medved. “So they got arrested. And the claim was that the police had no right to suppress the freedom of speech when people were protesting the police. How absurd? How ridiculous and what a disaster for the city.”

Medved said that the city has gotten much worse on the issue of graffiti.

“They can’t clean it up fast enough,” Medved said. “They have 1,000 arrests a year now. And it may take doubling that — tripling that — but it takes something and I think that this is going to be along with the homeless encampments, the basis on which people are going to judge Mayor Bruce Harrell.”

Ursula said: “Mayor Harrell has said and has made removing graffiti a priority. And, right now, the onus is on the victim, instead of the vandals.”

“The punishment should be the vandals being required to clean it up,” Medved said.

Gee said: “I want to make it a felony!”

“I think that’s perfectly reasonable. The problem here is that I was just reading about this decision and how many complaints there are. Yes, it’s really overwhelming our police we need more money for law enforcement. We need more attention to this graffiti thing.”

Ross: This level of graffiti is like defacing the Great Pyramid

Medved said graffiti is directly connected to the homeless encampments and crime that’s being allowed to occur.

“If you’re gonna let things go to hell in terms of graffiti and litter and discarded injection needles hypodermic syringes thrown everywhere. That sends a message to people that no one’s in charge,” Medved said. “It means you can continue to do what you want in terms of breaking windows and stealing stuff. And it will turn us into San Francisco and the damage they’ve had because of the shoplifting and graffiti and litter.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

Image: A Pride flag flies under a flag of the United States at Oakland Alameda Coliseum in Oakland,...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: We need to end the Pride flag debate, take real action

With June being Pride month, there has been debate over the flag and proclamations and what should the government's role be in this.

1 day ago

Image: Adrian Diaz addresses the press at a news conference on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 after Seattl...

Ursula Reutin

Ursula: Being gay has no bearing on allegations against former SPD Chief Diaz

In his first interview since he stepped down as the city's top cop, former SPD Chief Adrian Diaz publicly came out as gay.

2 days ago

Being a father means being there everyday. (Getty Images)...

Matt Markovich

Markovich: Fatherhood can’t be a part-time job

Data says the average school-age boy only spends 30 minutes a week in a one-on-one conversations with fathers when dad is at home.

2 days ago

supreme court pro-life...

Dave Ross

Ross: Supreme Court rules against pro-life challenge, so what’s next for the Christian Nationalists?

The Supreme Court last week unanimously turned down the pro-life challenge to the FDA’s decision to make Mifepristone widely available.

3 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Timed Toilets Are A Thing?!?!

A popular tourist attraction in China has installed digital clocks that display just how long someone’s been “in there.” They say it’s for safety reasons, but some claim it’s shaming their #2 time… 🚽 Listen to the John & Jake Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 […]

7 days ago

police seattle schools...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: Is it time to put police back in Seattle schools?

One senior from Garfield High School expressed disappointment over losing resource officers, wondering what difference their presence might have made.

8 days ago

Medved: ‘Graffiti is not free speech, it’s vandalism’