Seattle is having an awful August with a record 11 homicides this month

Source: Hot Air

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat has a piece up today describing what he calls the city’s awful August.

Seattle has seen 11 homicides this month — making this the deadliest single month in the city as far back as the police’s crime dashboard has records (to 2008). The previous high for any month was nine homicides, and for any August before this one, six.

Crime like this can ebb and flow. But currently the city is on its deadliest pace in nearly three decades. Seattle this month has also passed 500 shootings for the year — a year that is only two-thirds done.

I know I sound like old man shouting at clouds, but here goes anyway: When is Seattle going to rouse itself from its comfortable numbness and acknowledge it’s got a serious crime problem?

I recall communitywide outrage and mobilization about a decade ago when Seattle first started seeing an average of one shooting per day. Now there are two shootings daily — up 100% from before the pandemic. But there’s no similar rallying to action. The shootings — even the killings — are becoming background noise.

Last Friday night a woman was shot an killed at a motel on Aurora Avenue. There still haven’t been any arrests in that case. Then Sunday night a man was found beaten to death along Aurora Avenue. Tuesday night police got a domestic violence call and wound up being shot at by a man they were trying to arrest. While that was happening they heard another shooting take place not far from them. One man was killed in that shooting.

As for the idea that people are already growing used to the jump in violence, KOMO News spoke to a business owner who agreed that was the case.

Eduardo Ponce, owner of JE Wheels Automotive, talked to us about the homicide right outside of his store that happened early Tuesday at midnight.

Ponce said he is not surprised, “it’s kind of getting normal to me now. It’s Seattle now, the new Seattle right?”

Ponce said he has watched crime issues near Aurora Avenue North, spiral out of control over the years. Ponce, who said he has also dealt with people stealing from his shop, is thinking about leaving the city.

“I just don’t see any future anymore out here where you’re getting taxed every corner, everywhere you go. Seven, eight different taxes and then you got to deal with shootings, with break-ins, with drug(s),” he said.

But KOMO also spoke to an employee working at a coffee shop on Aurora Ave. who said she’d had enough. She had decided to quit her job because she didn’t feel safe anymore. “You hear that the response times for pretty much any emergency services is not great and that’s because there’s always something happening and so that doesn’t help with the safety concerns,” she said.

Here’s a local report from King 5 which connects the rise in crime to the staffing shortage that started in 2020 with the defund the police efforts in the city.

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And one more clip to wind this up. This one is from KOMO News and involves a fatal beating that happened in broad daylight earlier this month. As you’ll see, the suspect in this case had been arrested for threatening to murder someone and has a previous history of violence in Idaho. Prosecutors wanted him held on bail but a judge released him. Eight days later he beat a man to death with a pipe. All that to say, it’s not just a staffing crisis that is part of the problem in Seattle.

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