Non Sequitur

Dec. 1, 2009 at 6:36am

Gangs and the War on Police

ignoring the problem will only make it worse

It's all over the news, the dude who shot the 4 cops is dead, and acted alone. The dude who killed the cop in Seattle acted alone. Connected? Not necessarily in an "accomplice" kinda way, but in the fact that nothing happens in a vacuum. The dead killer knew damn well about the cop killed on Halloween, and he wasn't the only one who hates the cops. Hell, even I, a law abiding citizen don't like cops. But I would never harm one. Most people wouldn't either.

But some people would and do carry it out. Gangs have long looked at cops as a prize trophy. You take out a cop, you're "the man". And when you see this kind of senseless violence, like the 5 cops killed in a month or part of Seattle nearly burned to the ground by a serial arsonist, or whatever crime, it emboldens more thugs to do the same. It's a feedback loop.

What REALLY concerns yours truly is 5 cops killed in a month. No one wants to talk about it, but there is a war against cops, against authority going on in the Puget Sound Region. Gangs own Seattle, Everett and Tacoma. No one wants to admit it, no one wants to acknowledge the shootings at Southcenter and Northgate being gang territory skirmishes.

Ignoring the problem because the region is "so totally safe" is only going to put us back to 1986. Remember when walking the streets of Seattle or Tacoma was a guaranteed way to get beaten, mugged, raped or killed if you wore the wrong color? I do. I remember the day in 1985 when one of my closest friends was nearly beaten to death outside of Pike Place at 4 am. All he did was take the dog for a walk. Maybe if he had a German Shepherd instead of a Beagle the dudes would not have jumped him. Who knows? But they did, and he lost an eye out of it. "Lucky" he didn't die. Those gangbangers were never caught and the SPD closed the case the next day.

Ignoring the problem is why a group of hooligans who were wanna-be crips beat Eric Taves to death and assaulted many others. The gangs are trying to take back Tacoma as their own. They're trying to take back Seattle. The economic depression we're in (and if you actually believe the "recession" is over, you're part of the ignorance problem) is only accelerating the inequality between the elite and everyone else and the friction between races. Don't forget the unemployment and homelessness is significantly higher among Blacks and Hispanics than whites. As things go downhill in the greater economy, the do as well in society.

Ignorance is what got us there, it's what is taking us back there.

What are going to do about it, Tacoma? You gonna sit on your laurels and regress 25 years or are we going to stop being ignorant and do something about this? What will it take? A homemade carbomb blowing up the Bellevue PD headquarters? More mall shootings? More color flying?

comments [24]  |  posted under cop killers, crime, Gangs, Tacoma


by KevinFreitas on 12/1/2009 @ 7:06am
As I walk to and from our office in SoDo I've noticed an dramatic increase in tagging (not graffiti) on all sorts of things. I don't know about an overall gang war but it's pretty easy to imagine with more vacant buildings throughout Tacoma comes fewer eyes helping keep neighborhoods safe.

One thing that might help is for out-of-town building owners to sell their spaces at reasonable prices to help fill some of these voids in our downtown with businesses that want to contribute to our community rather than greedily play monopoly with local real estate.

by L.S.Erhardt on 12/1/2009 @ 7:22am
My buddy and his wife live in a condo in Capitol Hill. About 5 months ago, signage appeared in their lobby and garage warning residents not to go out alone after dark. Apparently 4 people in his building alone were mugged & beaten before the sign went up. He tells me they plan to move to a safer neighborhood once his wife finds a job.

But yeah, @ KFr8... I do see much more tagging. Just like I'm seeing more "suspicious" characters on street corners at all hours. Not to stereotype, but you can usually figure 10-15 young men in clothing popular among gangs standing on the corner at 3 am on a Tuesday are probably up to no good.
I'm also seeing shoes on power lines again.

Do not like.

by fredo on 12/1/2009 @ 7:37am
Kevin, it's not just the greedy property owners who keep these spaces vacant. There is a myriad of regulations and taxes, both sensible and arcane, facing anyone who wants to start a business. And building owners have to be careful about their tenant mix. If a guy has class A office space for rent he isn't going to let Oprah rent the ground floor for a thrift shop.

But I do share your concern for the problems caused by a proliferation of vacant commercial space. The best thing the government could do is to eliminate all b & o taxes (these are taxes on gross revenue), eliminate minimum wage laws and run all government programs with as much austerity as possible. When people are allowed to keep the fruits of their labor they tend to work and invest more vigorously.

by tacoma1 on 12/1/2009 @ 8:44am
This was a terrible tragedy. A tragedy that could have been prevented if people close to this person would have spoken up when the initial threats were made. And a tragedy that was apparently prolonged by "friends" who were willing to help this individual elude justice even after he had committed these awful crimes.

Clearly, a portion of our society has become lawless. One of the cures, unfortunately has to be long periods of incarceration for people willing to cause harm to others, impede justice, or live a criminal lifestyle.

by NineInchNachos on 12/1/2009 @ 8:59am
you feel terrorized by gangs. OK

let me tell you what I find terrifying:

especially the majority of comments that are OK with immediate executions of criminals "we know are guilty"

by jenyum on 12/1/2009 @ 9:27am
I don't think there's any evidence this terrible incident was anything more than the actions of a sick man, his sick family who helped him hide, and a bizarre conjunction of really bad calls by the justice system.

I'm less worried about tagging and more worried about why child rapists in this county are often released on their own recognizance, and a career criminal with a history of fleeing other jurisdictions is able to post bond with the equivalent to the title to a 2006 Honda Civic.

Increasing law enforcement efforts will accomplish nothing if the guys, once caught, just go through a revolving door.

by Nick on 12/1/2009 @ 9:31am
Eh, I don't know. I don't hold much sympathy for the guy. That act was disgusting, disturbing, and I am neither surprised at the police's reaction nor do I blame them for it.

That being said, I would have preferred he survived to see a courtroom. I'd like to think I'd find more objectivity in a courtroom than a handful of grief stricken cops.

by L.S.Erhardt on 12/1/2009 @ 10:10am
Seems screwy to me that the Seattle cop fires without the dude brandishing a weapon or anything. Since when were the cops allowed to shoot first and ask questions later? Cop coulda tasered him, or whatever. But firing on the dude with no weapon in hand? Bad.

Realistically, there needs to be an investigation with that cop on leave during that time. BUT the cops were out for blood, and got it. There will be no investigation, and said cop will be a hero among his comrades.

"Justice" is served

by Non Sequitur on 12/1/2009 @ 10:22am
Has anyone ever stopped to think that maybe this is natural selection? If all 4 cops managed to be taken down by one dude with one non-automatic gun, they were probably pretty poor excuses for cops.

One, understandable. Two? Maybe. Three? Uh, no. Four? That borders on incompetence.

by NineInchNachos on 12/1/2009 @ 11:11am
word on the street was the Police were in a 'take no prisoners' state of mind.

on the same token I don't think the crazy dude was going to be taken alive if he could help it.

by panachronic on 12/1/2009 @ 7:20pm
"Has anyone ever stopped to think that maybe this is natural selection? If all 4 cops managed to be taken down by one dude with one non-automatic gun, they were probably pretty poor excuses for cops."


by panachronic on 12/1/2009 @ 7:26pm
@ Thorax:

It seems to me that you haven't thought through the scenario...

You're a police officer, it's the middle of the night, and you are on patrol in a crappy part of town. It's been scarcely a month since one of your fellow officers was randomly shot in cold blood, and less than 48 hours since four officers were ambushed and killed in a town a few miles away. You and your department are on the highest possible alert because the suspect in the most recent killings has been sighted in your city. You know he's out there, possibly somewhere close by. You know he has a weapon. You know he is willing to shoot cops. In fact, for all you know, he could be looking to shoot more cops.

And, suddenly, there he is. Right in front of you.

The officer told him to stop and show his hands. Twice. That is very clearly an effort to take him alive. But instead, the suspect runs for cover and reaches for something in his wasteband.

So if you are this cop, what are you going to do? Allow yourself to become the sixth cop killed in the last 30 days? Do you seriously propose that the cop's best option is to pull out a fucking TASER??? Please, get real.

by jenyum on 12/1/2009 @ 7:36pm
I find it really weird to be agreeing with panachronic, but it seems to me he was definitely not going quietly, and everyone knew this. Anybody paying close attention to the manhunt had to be afraid as I was that he'd ultimately commit "suicide by cop" and take another innocent person out with him.

In other news...

forget what I said about the Honda Civic, Jail Sucks Bail Bonds requires no collateral up to $20,000.

"In the child-rape case, prosecutors wanted $200,000 bail, Lindquist said. The judge, Thomas Felnagle, set bail at $150,000.

Lindquist said he thought both judges set bail too low.

"As prosecutors, we face an uphill battle walking into court," he said. "We have to show that the defendant is a danger to the community and a flight risk."

by Non Sequitur on 12/1/2009 @ 8:02pm
One man with one gun taking down 4 cops tells me that the Lakewood PD needs to train their officers better.

by panachronic on 12/1/2009 @ 8:17pm
"I find it really weird to be agreeing with panachronic"

It's OK. It happens to everybody sooner or later. Take a shower if it will make you feel better.

by Spike Jensen on 12/1/2009 @ 10:30pm
Mr. Non Sequitur,

Why would a member of the human race (?) do a post game analysis of this tragedy? You may feel compelled to pontificate on all issues but you took a wrong turn here. Are you so unloved? This hole in your neo con soul is disturbing. Next time leave the weapons training evaluations to someone with life experiences other than fingering a remote control all day.

by Non Sequitur on 12/1/2009 @ 10:35pm
A Neo-Con? Hardly.
Actually, I'm a proud Democrat. Though I'm not sure what any of any of that has to do with the possibility that the LPD doesn't train their officers well enough.

by panachronic on 12/1/2009 @ 11:23pm
NS, has it not occurred to you that the first three officers were probably dead inside of 2-3 seconds or less? They were sitting together at a table in a coffee shop; the shooter could deliver single shots to their heads just as fast as he could pull the trigger. Just as fast as you could say "pop, pop, pop".

Nobody -- I don't give a damn what kind of training they have had -- could have reacted fast enough to prevent that.

I will leave your utterly disgusting lack of judgment in saying this stuff out loud for others to deal with.

by wildcelticrose on 12/2/2009 @ 6:14am
For those who are so quick to judge the police...

by tacoma1 on 12/2/2009 @ 10:12am
N Sís comments are incredibly insensitive and ignorant. I find it hard to believe that someone could be so uncaring at a time like this. Four human beings were murdered. Wives lost husbands, a husband lost a wife. Parents lost their sons, a daughter, and nine children lost their parents. N S is right only about the fact that politics donít play a role in this cavalier attitude towards human life. These postings by this person are apolitical, amoral, and he/she should be ashamed of themselves. Iím sure they arenít, but they should be. A caring human being would have the capacity to experience empathy. N S obviously is missing that normal human trait.

Thank you Wildcelticrose and Panachronic for your postings.

by fredo on 12/2/2009 @ 10:18am
One of the murdered officers was able draw his sidearm and a get a shot off that hit the assailant. I'd call that a pretty good showing.

by L.S.Erhardt on 12/2/2009 @ 11:46am
Touchy, touchy aren't we?

by NineInchNachos on 12/2/2009 @ 12:44pm
spike jensen kicks ass. Wish that guy would write more on the feed.

by NineInchNachos on 12/2/2009 @ 1:32pm
that wildcelticrose link is definitely worth a read too.


Just your average middle-aged guy in the 253.

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