Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, talks with Deputy Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, center, and Captain Deanna Nollette, acting chief of investigations, second from left, after briefing reporters near the scene of a shooting involving several police officers in downtown Seattle, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Someone needs to tell the police in Seattle we aren’t the U.K.
Also perhaps they need a refresher in the things that qualify as “crimes” and should be reported as an emergency to the police.
Because here’s what the Chief of Police Carmen Best is telling the public.
Washington State is no place for hate. In a show of solidarity, @LoriMatsukawa joined me to remind everyone that hate has no place in our community. Report hate, including racist name calling, to 911. We are here to help, and will respond to investigate. #WeGotThisSeattle pic.twitter.com/cFGkYopbVW
— Chief Carmen Best (@carmenbest) March 31, 2020
From Daily Caller:
“Washington State is no place for hate. In a show of solidarity, @LoriMatsukawa joined me to remind everyone that hate has no place in our community. Report hate, including racist name calling, to 911. We are here to help, and will respond to investigate.”
Best went on to talk with the local news personality, Lori Matuskawa, to talk about fighting racism and encourage people to report hate crimes to the police.
But then Best went over the slide. “Even racist name-calling should be reported to police. If you aren’t sure if a hate crime occurred, call 911. We are here to help.”
We’d think this was an April 1 joke but it was actually posted on March 30.
You’re really advising people to call 911, a system that in most cities already tends to be overwhelmed and probably is under even greater strain now with the pandemic, to report “name-calling?”
Actual crime that is an emergency is one thing and should be reported to 911. But when did “name-calling,” however offensive, become a crime that you should report as an emergency? Speech even disgusting speech is protected and isn’t criminal by itself.
Having the 911 system and police have to respond to name-calling complaints is a tremendous misuse, as Reason observes.
Telling people to report racist name-calling to the police is thus bad advice. At best, it’s wasting police officers’ time. But it can actually lead to far worse consequences: Inviting the police to intervene in speech-based disputes between people is a recipe for disaster. Teachers, counselors, and parents, for instance, could reasonably interpret Best’s remarks as an obligation for them to call the cops on kids who use derogatory language. Over-criminalization of teenage misbehavior in schools is one result of the mindset that people—even kids—causing each other offense ought to be a matter for the police to handle.
In any case, it does not inspire confidence when Seattle’s top law enforcement authority uses her crisis platform to blur the important distinction between hate crimes and hateful speech. (Seattle PD did not respond to request for comment.)
Priorities at this time.
Seattle in general has been a far-left progressive haven. As the Daily Caller notes, their local NPR station stoped airing the president’s Wuhan coronavirus task force briefings, at a time of a pandemic, because of their anti-Trump feeling. That set the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) on edge, because they rightly think that NPR should be covering the incredibly important information being disseminated at the briefings. So SPOG president Mike Solan said they would be putting it out themselves. “In light of the recent decisions made by a public news affiliate, SPOG will be live streaming all the White House’s press COVID-19 briefings on our social media channels,” he said.