Rantz: MLB All-Star weekend couldn’t mask Seattle’s crime surge

Jul 9, 2023, 6:00 PM

A man is passed out in Seattle as an outreach worker asks him to move on Thursday, July 6. He did n...

A man is passed out in Seattle as an outreach worker asks him to move on Thursday, July 6. He did not move. (Photo courtesy of Jason Rantz, KTTH)

(Photo courtesy of Jason Rantz, KTTH)

Less than 24 hours into the MLB All-Star Week and Seattle already had suffered a violent and bloody weekend. By Sunday morning, the lawlessness continued.

Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the city experienced three fatal shootings, with two in SODO, the site of the All-Star Game. In one homicide, a man was found shot to death outside an unidentified business Friday night around 11:30pm. Less than 12 hours later, around 9:30 a.m., SODO saw another homicide. According to a police source speaking anonymously to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, the victim’s body was found holding a gun. There were, the source said, roughly 100 rounds recovered. A third shooting death occurred in the Leschi neighborhood.

More on the shootings: Seattle sees violent start to All-Star Week

The state law and Seattle policy against vehicular pursuits impacted an active shooting early Sunday morning according to an incident report obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. Around 2:50 a.m., officers attempted to stop a vehicle with an incorrect plate, but it drove off. Under the Democrat-passed vehicular pursuit law, police were not able to follow. Moments later, that same car drove by different officers who saw the someone in the fleeing vehicle firing shots out of the window, but the target was unclear. City policy prohibits nearly all vehicular pursuits, regardless of time of day and, even if they were given the green light under the new state law, officers have still not received the mandated training. Police say roughly 20 shell casings were found across three blocks in three separate calibers. There were no known injuries.

Seattle Police staffing an issue for the MLB All-Star Week

Seattle Police Department staffing remains severely strained as officers are working what’s called a “blue/gold shift” where every officer works 12.5 hour shifts, with no new vacation time being approved. The department is being supplemented by the King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

“If we weren’t on blue/gold, we would have been screwed city-wide, for sure,” one officer tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Since 2020, the department has lost nearly 600 officers with fewer than 1,000 deployable officers. After the Seattle city council embraced the defund movement, with councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales, Andrew Lewis, and Dan Strauss leading the way, the department experienced a mass exodus of officers. While Mosqueda is seeking a seat on the King County Council, the three other councilmembers mentioned are seeking re-election. With so few officers and a city and state that embraced soft-on-crime policies, we have seen record high homicides since 2020 and 2022 saw a 15-year-high violent crime rate.

More from Jason Rantz: Seattle cleans up the city for MLB All-Star Week, not for us

But city leadership, and a mostly compliant media, continues to send the message that there’s nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here, keep it moving

It wasn’t just a violent weekend as the city continued to experience the non-violent crime surge.

Between Friday and Sunday morning, Seattle Police responded to 51 reports for motor vehicle theft, 47 for assault, and 48 for a combination of larceny burglary, and robbery.  With the exception of a small dip in February, Seattle has seen month-over-month crime increases through May (the latest monthly data available) when counting all categories.

But you wouldn’t know it if you listen to Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

The mayor continues to focus exclusively on the positive during MLB All-Star Week, even pretending that he didn’t increase homeless sweeps to impress MLB executives and tourists visiting the city. And while it makes sense to be a city cheerleader during a major event that brings significant dollars into the local economy, it’s indicative of a larger problem from the mayor and others in city leadership: no one wants to admit we have several crises on our hands.

No leadership

The Harrell administration has been mostly silent when it comes to the issues facing the city.

While Harrell has undoubtedly engaged in some efforts to clean up the downtown area, he does it so slowly and casually that there’s plenty of time for the issues to creep back up. For example, while he has been sweeping parts of SODO, the homeless just end up returning because there’s little follow-up and no pressure to push homeless into a shelter or treatment. While downtown’s deadly intersection at Third Avenue and Pine Street look much better than during the height of the crime crisis, aggressive enforcement ended and the homeless addicts returned. The area still reeks of urine. Meanwhile, most other neighborhoods in Seattle are forgotten.

It would be one thing if Harrell was aggressively tackling the issues and offering honest assessments of the city, only to take an understandable break to be a city publicist during the MLB All-Star Week. But there hasn’t been a significant change in his messaging between before and during the MLB event. That means he’s likely to continue to stay mostly silent while the city continues to suffer, once the MLB executives pack up and leave. And with too little media attention paid to the systemic issues, connecting dots to policy or laws to explain the rise in crime, homelessness, and drug addiction, nothing will change.

While I want big events like the MLB All-Star Week to come to Seattle, I want them here because we’re actually a safe and clean city, not merely pretending to be one.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). He is the author of the book What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our CitiesSubscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

King County Courthouse...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: King County Court mandates defense for youth gender surgeries

"I am very disappointed that CASA, whom I have supported for many years, has succumbed to the extreme liberalism that is rampant today," the volunteer said.

11 hours ago


Max Gross

Reichert: Inslee ‘should have been honest from Day 1’ about ballooning gas prices

"When you look at the gas tax, that of course adds cost to everything in the state that we buy," the candidate told The Jason Rantz Show.

18 hours ago

County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay speaks to grant recipients following the press event at Garfiel...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Councilmember argues to keep more criminals out of jail

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay complains that putting criminals in jail is unrealistic because our criminal legal systems are at a "breaking point." He hopes you don't realize he's one of the local radicals pushing to starve the criminal justice system of resources. 

1 day ago

seattle fox news...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle residents, media mock dead victims to own Fox News

Some in Seattle media celebrated the responses "owning" the conservatives at Fox News, even looking for some of the people featured in the video.

3 days ago

sound transit trees...

Max Gross

Gross: Sound Transit wanted to decimate trees; residents demanded better 

Lake Forest Park residents were livid when they heard about a potential new Sound Transit Project that would destroy tree life in the community.

4 days ago

A promotional poster for fentanylfacts.org provides what a Washington health agency believes are ke...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: One health department’s anti-fentanyl campaign actually pushes drug use

A new campaign from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department ends up encouraging kids to use fentanyl in a "safer" way. It's dangerous and will only make the crisis worse.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Rantz: MLB All-Star weekend couldn’t mask Seattle’s crime surge