King County Prosecutor: Pandemic brings more hate crimes as mental health and drug issues go untreated


Hate crime reports are up in King County this year, with 51 cases filed by the prosecuting attorney’s office in 2020. This is up from 38 in 2019 and 30 in 2018.

This increase puts the region as having one of the highest hate crime caseloads in the country, according to hate crime co-lead for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office David Bannick. But Bannick added that this is partly due to the Seattle Police Department prioritizing these investigations.

Most hate crime filings in the county occur in Seattle, Bannick said. These numbers do not include all hate crimes because not all get reported to ities.

“There is likely dozens of hate crimes that go unreported or do not ever make it to us,” Bannick said in a call with reporters Monday.

Leandra Craft, also a hate crime co-lead for the prosecuting attorney’s office, told reporters Monday that she thinks the rise is due both to an increase in reporting and an increase in incidents. She also said that the coronavirus pandemic has led to different offenders of hate crimes, specifically more committed by people with mental health and substance abuse issues that aren’t getting assistance because of restrictions stemming from the virus.

This fact has complicated filing decisions for Bannick and Craft. For alleged hate crime offenders to get treatment instead of jail time, prosecutors often have to reduce the cases to misdemeanors from felonies. Continue reading

Three arrests as protest marches on Capitol Hill for ‘essential workers’

Protests in the street on E Olive Way (Image: SDOT)

A Black Lives Matter march for essential workers part of “Black Friday” protests across Seattle ended with arrests Friday night at Denny and E Olive Way on Capitol Hill.

A group marching through the neighborhood was reported blocking traffic and had been given dispersal orders, Seattle Police said. Continue reading

Driver busted for DUI in five-car E Pike collision

(Image: SPD)

Police say a driver was busted for DUI and taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries in an incident Tuesday night that left cars scattered across the street and sidewalk along E Pike at Bellevue.

SPD and Seattle Fire were called to the scene of multiple crashed vehicles just before 8:30 PM and found one of the smashed up cars on the sidewalk resting against the wall of the First Covenant Church. Cars including a silver Subaru SUV were scattered across the area but other occupants reported only minor injuries, police said. There were no reported injuries to pedestrians or bikers in the busy area. Continue reading

911 | Cal Anderson hatchet assault, Madrona electrocution accident, Lake WA Blvd arsons

See something others should know about? @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Hatchet assault: Police took one man into custody but say the victim refused medical attention after an assault with a hatchet in Cal Anderson Park Sunday morning. According to the SPD report on the incident, police and medics were called to a large disturbance in the park around 11:30 AM and were flagged down by the suspect who admitted he had struck the other man in the head with the hatchet. Police detained the suspect and located the victim in a tent inside the park. “The victim stated he was hit in the head with a hatchet as he intervened in the disturbance near the encampment,” the SPD report reads. “As Seattle Fire was responding to the scene, the victim refused all medical assistance. Officers were not able to persuade the victim to wait for Seattle Fire to evaluate his injury.” Police say the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault. Continue reading

Man killed during Capitol Hill election celebrations identified — Police call for public’s help in investigation

(Image from Marquies Patterson’s Facebook page)

The man shot and killed in the street on Capitol Hill in the midst of weekend Biden-Harris celebrations has been identified as Marquies Patterson.

Groups held a vigil Sunday night at 10th and Pike at the scene where the 31-year-old was gunned down and marked the death of a Black man only a block from the neighborhood’s large Black Lives Matter street mural and the area where the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest formed.

Hours earlier as music and dancing continued late into the night after a long day of celebrating the election results, Patterson was shot at close range by a male suspect on foot, According to Seattle Fire, Patterson died as an ambulance was taking him to Harborview. Continue reading

One dead in shooting at 10th and Pike — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang)

One person was shot and killed early Sunday morning at 10th and Pike.

Seattle Fire reports the man died while paramedics were transporting him to Harborview. Seattle Police said the victim was a 31-year-old man.

A suspect was reported seen running from the area southbound of the shooting first reported around 1:08 AM.

Continue reading

Police investigate reported gunfire near Cal Anderson

Seattle Police investigated a report of gunfire early Friday morning on the edge of Cal Anderson Park.

According to East Precinct radio updates, multiple people in the park reported a shootout involving a white sedan near Nagle and Pine around 4:20 AM.

Police responded to the area but did not immediately locate the vehicle or any suspects, There were no reported injuries or property damage.

$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

911 | Canterbury booze burglary bust, Central District gunfire, Seattle catalytic converter theft wave

See something others should know about? @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Canterbury burglary bust: A 22-year-old has been charged after police say he was caught in the act trying to burgle ten bottles of booze after allegedly breaking into 15th Ave E’s Canterbury Ale House. Prosecutors say Ocean Nemeyer has been charged with second degree burglary in the Wednesday, October 28th break-in. According to the SPD report on the incident, police were called to the 15th Ave E bar just before 5 AM to a report that a burglar could be seen on live video from the Canterbury’s security system. Police arrived to find a busted window and were waiting to enter the bar when they say Nemeyer ran from inside carrying three bags:According to court documents, the suspect was charged in Seattle with misdemeanor theft in late 2018 and also had two active warrants in King County. He has not yet entered a plea. CHS reported previously on a surge in burglaries around Capitol Hill especially involving commercial properties and businesses.
  • CD gunfire: Multiple reports of gunfire from the area near Miller Park into the Central District were made late Monday night as police found evidence of a vehicle-involved shooting along 23rd Ave. According to East Precinct radio updates, gunfire was reported by 911 callers starting around 11:15 PM. Police were able to pinpoint the shots to the area near 23rd Ave and Marion where a shell casing was found nearby. Police closed 23rd Ave between Marion and Spring for a short term while they collected evidence. They were also searching the area for at least one vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

Seattle Police Department brings ‘perfect storm’ concerns to East Precinct community crime meeting

SPD Crime Dashboard

Wednesday night’s virtual meeting of the East Precinct Advisory Council brought community members fatigued by ongoing pandemic restrictions and months of protest together with Seattle Police officials who described the situation around crime in the East Precinct as a “perfect storm.”

SPD brought statistics to back up its claims including what the department says is a near 13% rise in overall crime in the East Precinct. That’s in line with CHS’s report on summer crime trends that showed overall crime down but the core, most serious crimes up 12% in a surge that began in January well before the pandemic and protests set in.

Focusing on the most serious crimes that SPD uses for its statistical analysis like assaults, burglaries, and vehicle related crimes, CHS showed crime was down 4% through August in 2020. In June during the height of CHOP, crime — including everything from animal cruelty to street robberies — dropped a whopping 14% from recent years across the precinct.

There have been areas of frustration, however, as burglaries have surged around Pike/Pine and in the area between Broadway and I-5. Homicides and gun related crimes have also climbed. There have already been nine murders across the East Precinct — there were five in all of 2019 and three the year before.

And the month since CHS’s analysis has not been a good one. In September, the East Precinct recorded a 23% jump in overall crime compared to the same month last year.

The surging stats come on the heels of months of demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality often based at the East Precinct on Capitol Hill that have frequently resulted in arrests. One community member said they were frustrated demonstrators weren’t being punished more for “tearing this city up.”

SPD officials said Wednesday night that it is difficult to prosecute these cases with lower jail capacities due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the time it takes to complete paperwork on each case.

“I think everybody is tired of all the protests and all the violence and all the property destruction,”  Lt. Paul Leung said. “This is almost a perfect storm.” Continue reading

Seattle City Council shows support for changes to allow poverty, addiction, and mental illness as defense for misdemeanor crimes — but legislation will probably have to wait

The City Council on Wednesday debated a budget proposal that would lead to making poverty, mental illness, and addiction possible defenses for people accused of misdemeanor crimes in Seattle.

The proposal from West Seattle representative Lisa Herbold would lead to the creation of new defenses allowed under the city’s code for misdemeanor crimes in an effort to keep more people out of incarceration to reduce the city’s costs utilizing the King County Jail and reduce so-called “poverty crime” in the city.

Herbold said Wednesday that the effort would give Seattle courts the ity to hear a defense with transparency about the conditions that led the defendants to the alleged crimes and would help reduce city jailing costs. Continue reading