In November 2021, the normally progressive residents of Seattle elected Republican Ann Davison as their new city attorney because they’d had enough of the soft-on-crime actions of woke leadership. The city’s progressive-run council immediately began tying her hands to prevent her from prosecuting criminals. Davison is working to undo the mistakes of the past City Attorney, but the city’s bureaucracy is standing in her way. The WSJ reports:
Lowe’s employees came to recognize William Piccone by his skinny jeans, distinctive gait and posture—and his prolific shoplifting, police say. Over a 97-day spree last year, he allegedly stole from the same store 27 times, walking away with more than $4,650 in merchandise. Welcome to Seattle, where impunity reigns.
That’s what Ann Davison, Seattle’s newly elected city attorney, is learning as she acts on a voter mandate to restore order. Her office ran the numbers and discovered that 118 individuals were responsible for more than 2,400 crimes in Seattle over the past five years. Her effort to crack down on the worst repeat offenders is facing progressive resistance.
At issue is Ms. Davison’s proposal to exclude prolific criminals from Seattle’s Community Court. In 2019 her predecessor signed an agreement with the Seattle Municipal Court and the Department of Public Defense. Some two dozen classes of misdemeanor cases now go straight to the Community Court, which releases the accused after referring them to support services and sometimes assigning them a life-skills class or community service.
Theft of up to $750 in a single incident in Seattle is a misdemeanor. Other crimes that go express to Community Court include residential trespassing, possession of tools for burglary or auto theft, and property destruction.
The 2019 agreement includes no eligibility restrictions, so those with serious criminal histories qualify. Seattle criminals get four tries in the Community Court before they flunk out. Each can encompass multiple charges. Repeat offenders see the lack of consequences as an invitation to commit more crimes.
Since 2017 Mr. Piccone has been charged in some 60 criminal cases across Washington, and police have referred him for prosecution to the Seattle city attorney 46 times, Ms. Davison’s office says. Twenty-two of his most recent cases were referred to the Seattle Community Court, where he was turned loose, the city attorney’s office says.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney, which handles Seattle felonies, has three current cases against Mr. Piccone for organized retail theft and burglary. On a judge’s order Mr. Piccone was released into a halfway house after receiving detox treatment. A police report shows that cops responded to a shoplifting call at a Seattle Nordstrom Rack on April 21, where Mr. Piccone was accused of stealing three pairs of shoes and a pair of pants. On April 28, Mr. Piccone missed a hearing after he was arrested on multiple municipal warrants earlier that day.
Mr. Piccone has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree burglary charge and didn’t respond to a message left at a phone number listed for him in police records. His public defender didn’t respond to our inquiry by deadline.
“With regard to Mr. Piccone, court documents show significant mainstream criminal court involvement predating the creation of community court,” said Anita Khandelwal, the director of Department of Public Defense, in a written response to our inquiry.
She continued: “That involvement resulted, at times, in multiple months of incarceration, but it neither ended his involvement with the system nor addressed his unmet needs. Those same documents suggest that Mr. Piccone is experiencing housing instability. Providing him housing is much more likely to promote safety than continued court involvement.”
As Ms. Davison seeks to renegotiate the 2019 agreement, she sits across the table from Ms. Khandelwal and Judge Damon Shadid, a progressive who oversees the Seattle Community Court. On April 27, Ms. Davison told the Seattle Municipal Court that negotiations had reached an impasse. Is it any wonder?
Ms. Davison has now asked the Seattle Municipal Court to intervene. The court said in a statement that it was considering her proposal and would work “to identify how to move forward together and create a prioritized plan for people whose needs and issues are not being addressed, and have not been addressed historically, by our criminal justice system.”
Here’s hoping the court means the victims of crime, not the criminals.
Action Line: Don’t find yourself caught in a place where politicians care more about their woke ideals than about your quality of life. Find a new home in one of Your Survival Guy’s Super States. For more on living free in America, stick with me.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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