KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Tacoma officers ‘disgusted’ by chief’s statement, warn of ‘police extinction’

Jan 17, 2024, 10:32 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2024, 3:11 pm

Image: A Tacoma Police Department vehicle...

A Tacoma Police Department vehicle (Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Police Department)

In an effort to placate anti-police activists, the Tacoma Police Chief insulted scores of officers. They’re not holding back their criticisms.

Three Tacoma officers were accused of killing Manny Ellis following a traffic stop in 2020. Caught up in the post-George Floyd activism from Black Lives Matter, Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson charged two officers with second-degree and first-degree manslaughter and the third with first-degree manslaughter. These were always false charges meant to make a political point and appease a radical anti-police base that was key to Ferguson’s political future; he has made charging decisions to help his gubernatorial campaign.

It was the first time the state used a law meant to make it easier to charge officers over misuse of force. All three were acquitted, a jury moved by arguments that Ellis, who suffered from a heart condition, died as a result of a toxic level of meth in his system at the time.

Activists responded in ways we’ve come to expect. Egged on by local politicians like Mayor Victoria Woodwards, activists declared justice had not been served because they didn’t get the verdict they wanted. After helping dismantle the criminal justice system to make it easier to target innocent cops, they failed. The U.S. Attorney for Western Washington then announced that the office would now review the case, looking for anything they can to sacrifice the officers to the Radical Left mob.

And now the chief of Tacoma Police was ready to target his own cops.

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Blaming Tacoma cops for historical racism

This week, the Tacoma Police Department (TPD) released the findings of an internal investigation. It cleared the officers of wrongdoing. But Chief Avery Moore, likely fearing the community reaction, released a reactionary statement throwing his officers under the bus.

Moore implied the three acquitted officers were responsible for Ellis’ death but noted the policy at the time allowed for their actions. He said the policy has since been updated. While he acknowledged the cultural change TPD has experienced, “placing a strong emphasis on fostering inclusivity and pride among all stakeholders,” Moore also cast aspersions against policing and offered a “collective” apology for racist policing that his department didn’t conduct.

“I acknowledge the detrimental impact of policing on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, extending both a personal and collective apology,” he wrote. “My awareness of the historical context of policing includes acts of oppression, abuse, and dehumanization, all carried out under the color of law. Additionally, I recognize the atrocities spanning the last 30 years up to the present. I am committed to acknowledging and taking responsibility, adamantly refusing to condone or turn a blind eye to such heinous acts.”

The implication that his officers are somehow responsible for or partook in “atrocities” didn’t land well with his officers.

TPD Officers are livid: ‘Policing in Washington is slowly coming to an extinction’

Several officers from TPD reached out to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to express their disgust with Moore. They said the email was inappropriate and divisive and showed the chief to be out of touch with actual policing.

“I am disgusted by Chief Moore’s press release,” one officer explained to The Jason Rantz Show. He asked for anonymity. “I have never served under someone so out of touch and disassociated from patrol officers and what we do day in and day out. I have never seen him in turnout [roll call]. Not once. He is not seen. He is not heard from anyone below the ivory tower of the third floor of the station. For him to come out and blast this department is truly a heinous act and an atrocity; not the way we police. The fact of the matter is 12 jurors unanimously said ‘not guilty.’ Internal affairs said no wrongdoing. The way to truly heal as a community is with facts and not feelings. All death is tragic; no one argues this. We all hurt for the Ellis family. But instead of coming out strong and backing your officers, you rely on the woke cry of the ‘fill in the blank’ punchline or political talking point that’s popular at the moment. The only way to put out the fire of lies is with the water of truth. Sadly we have an administration with an endless supply of gasoline.”

Detective Henry Betts, union president representing TPD officers, told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that he’s heard from a number of officers expressing a similar sentiment.

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The truth about TPD

A second officer, who also asked for anonymity, also reached out to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. He said Moore and other administrators just spat in their faces.

“They (TPD officers) are being mischaracterized by their own absent chief as racist monsters who have abused their power for the last 30 years. There have been no actual examples provided,” the officer noted. “The same chief that is never seen or heard from by the rank and file except in emails and press releases where he demonizes us as a whole. A chief that hasn’t responded or handled a single 911 call for service the entire time he’s been in office. In the end, it is the community that suffers from a lack of policing. While TPD wasn’t defunded, what we got was de-policed. Radio silence when there are no pending 911 calls. Every officer is afraid. Not afraid of losing their life in the line of duty, but afraid of being prosecuted for doing their job. Policing in Washington is slowly coming to an extinction, a point of no return. If the citizens of this state don’t put an end to the current political climate, I fear there won’t be any hope of reversing course.”

He said that the “transformative policies that they so deeply brag” have led to more violent crime and property crime city-wide. While the city said crime is down, they are comparing the data to historic highs, and cops argue the city is mislabeling some crimes as a way to pad the stats.

“This administration including the city administration, single-handedly destroyed, what was once a great place to work. Their transformation can be summed into one word — de-policing,” he said.

The chief declined a request for comment through his spokesperson.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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Rantz: Tacoma officers ‘disgusted’ by chief’s statement, warn of ‘police extinction’