King County Prosecutor dropping 1,500 misdemeanors from 2017

Feb 26, 2018, 6:07 AM
misdemeanor, food truck...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

The King County Prosecutor’s Office is cutting lose about 1,500 misdemeanor cases from 2017 due to staffing shortages.

“The King County District Court handles misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors,” said Whitney Keyes with the prosecuting attorney’s office. “The PAO decided to dismiss these cases and prioritize filing driving while under the influence cases (DUIs) and fresh cases, rather than spend resources filing old cases. Of the cases returned, more than half involved minor shoplifting, bus fare evasion and trespassing. Gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide remain the highest priority cases for the PAO.”

RELATED: Seattle police report “extraordinarily low” use of force

The public initially became aware of the issue on Reddit. An anonymous police officer in King County — going under the Reddit handle of “BummedCop” — noted that charges ranging from criminal trespass to theft, vehicle prowls, and possession of stolen property will be dismissed.

The anonymous cop wrote:

So, anyone who got arrested for any of those crimes between May 1st and December 31st, their cases just got dumped. This is thousands of arrests we are talking about. Any arrests made in unincorporated King County, and any arrests made within cities who use King County District Court rather than a municipal court. Imagine being a cop who works their was (sic) off to actually combat the rampant property crime we have here, only to see all of your cases get dumped. You want non-proactive policing, this is how you get it.

Keyes points to the King County budget “which supports the law, safety and justice programs,” noting that it is capped at 1 percent on annual growth on property tax. There are therefore budget constraints preventing the prosecutor’s office from taking on the cases.

RELATED: Seattle surveys residents about next police chief

“As a result, the PAO has fewer deputy prosecuting attorneys today than 10 years ago,” Keyes said. “The PAO has been in consultation with all referring police departments so that cases involving chronic offenders will be filed. The PAO regrets the need to decline these misdemeanor crimes and will continue to review all referred cases and prioritize those that most impact public safety.”

Local News

Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
22 hours ago
shipping containers...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
22 hours ago
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
22 hours ago
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski...
Nick Bowman

King County Councilmember accused of history of ‘verbally abusive’ behavior toward female staff

King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski is facing accusations detailing a history of verbally abusive behavior toward female staff members.
22 hours ago
Microsoft campus, vaccine...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Racial harassment allegations at Microsoft campus construction site in Redmond

Racial harassment on the job — that’s what a Black construction employee says he was dealing with for months at the build site on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.
22 hours ago
Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
King County Prosecutor dropping 1,500 misdemeanors from 2017