Friday, May 25, 2012

City of Seattle-Protect Neighborhoods Where Our Schools Sit

I can't tell you how many times you hear the Mayor or the City Council members lament that they want to do more for Seattle Schools.

They don't have governance of the schools.  But while the district is responsible for what goes on inside and on the grounds of every school, it is the CITY'S job to protect the areas around the schools.

The Rainier Beach High School area (which also includes South Shore and Dunlap nearby) has had a huge amount of violence and shootings incidents.  RBHS suffers as a result of it and is that their fault?  It is not.

And now we have an innocent father killed while driving his children and his own father, right by Garfield High School. He  got caught in the crossfire of two thugs shooting at each other.  This story from the Times.

This is completely crazy and needs to stop.  

No more of the "no snitching" mantra.

 I don't care what people feel about the police themselves (clearly the Feds don't think a lot of the current management of SPD).  But we are allowing thugs and criminals to act with impunity in these neighborhoods and it has to stop.  Firing a gun in broad daylight near a school and a university?  You don't get more confident than that in terms of believing you won't get caught.

Anyone with information about either homicide or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the shooters is asked to call 911 or the Seattle police homicide tip line at 206-233-5000.


Jet City mom said...

It wasn't really that long ago that Missie Fernandes was killed in a drive-by outside Ballard high school.

But what is this $*^+ about crowds of people preventing the emergency professionals from assessing the victims?
Besides the case in South Seattle on the 16th, I recently read of another.
Was it this one?

CCM said...

It wasn't -- it was Capitol Hill at Cal Anderson Park. A woman stabbed a man and when she was being arrested she freaked out and people surrounded police - probably thinking she was being mistreated.

I wouldn't want to be a policeman right now - I know there are abuses, but on the whole I do believe they are just trying to do their job.

We love Cal Anderson - for the local color and the beautiful field - but you do have to deal with a large amount of homelessness and drug activity.

Our kids are well aware of our rule - if someone is talking to someone you can't see, acting drunk or out of it or you just get a "weird" feeling - go the other way, cross the street, don't engage in any way.

Reality of living in the city - you take the good and the bad. Lucky for us, the good heavily outweighs the bad most of the time.

Melissa Westbrook said...

My neighborhood has not been immune. Over the last year two people have died near Ravenna Ravine/Cowen Park (one murdered and one died). It's disconcerting and upsetting.

But this incidence was a near a school and that demands even more civic attention.

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Jet City mom said...

So how should we control the area around the school?
Increased police presence?
Evaluate what businesses we allow across the street from schools?
Survillance cameras like James Kelly wanted?
We can't just ask the mayor to "do something". He's liable to decide to ban cars to prevent drive bys.
What does the community want?
Garfield has a shooting about every year, but if the cameras have reduced that, then maybe they should be used in Rainer Beach.
Looks like th cameras were a pilot study and have been removed? How did the cameras go at Cal Anderson Park?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, to increased police presence.

Yes, to deciding what businesses are near schools. (When a private school was upset about a strip club to open near them on Roosevelt, the strip club didn't get its license.)

I'm not asking the Mayor to "do something." I'm saying they all need to sit down and look at what other cities with these issues have done. They need to get community leaders and ask about what THEY think would help.

RBHS doesn't have cameras? I didn't know that. I am happy to pressure the district for that (it took me about 4 years for Roosevelt but this seems a bit more urgent).

Jan said...

For the shooting on Cherry -- it was sort of close to GHS, but not really "right by" it. To get to the corner of Cherry and MLK from the front door of GHS, you walk one or two (depending on how you count them) blocks north past Medgar Evars pool and the Garfield community center, and then about 5blocks east (from 23rd to 28-ish). I am not sure how far it would be from the GHS athletic fiel -- but presumably, the fields and the school take up a block or so to the east.

If NOVA were at Mann (or goes back there), it would be quite a bit closer. But no school mounted cameras would have helped. Possibly, if the few businesses around there mounted them, it might make a difference -- but frankly, as someone who drives past that corner daily, I have never noticed the kind of "activity" there that I used to see at Union and 23rd, or at 28th and Jackson, or even 23rd and Jackson.

If you have gangs, AND they are armed, really bad things will occasionally happen. I would be interested to know what the current state of the SPD gang unit is, whether their funding or staffing has been cut; whether they think that activity is increasing, decreasing, staying the same, or just "moving around" to different parts of the city. Not everyone whose "neighborhood" is loosely defined as someone's turf is willing to accept that, or be quiet. If stuff is heating up, and the neighborhood is informed, I think the police will get at least some help.

On the Cal Anderson thing, I heard a good interview with someone (Det. Sanders?) and Ken Schramm last night (distinguishing between the Jack in the Box situation and the Cal Anderson arrest -- and explaining some of the issues that arise when the SPD has to do crowd control while the suspect is still "loose and in the crowd" but the EMTs are trying to assist people). Again, while I think that the DOJ was justified in coming in to investigate, based on a whole string of incidents that didn't seem to produce any real internal departmental response -- I also think that many many people are willing to back public safety officers in reasonable situations. I don't know anything at all about the other situation.