Seattle Police faked "right-wing insurrection" when CHAZ formed

Seattle Police faked "right-wing insurrection" when CHAZ formed
AP Photo/Aron Ranen

According to the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, a funny thing happened on the night of June 8, 2020, just as liberal rioters were preparing to block off a portion of Emerald City to create an “autonomous zone” that would later be known as the CHOP or the CHAZ. A few members of the Seattle Police Department began reporting over the police radio system that some right-wing “extremists,” specifically the Proud Boys, were on the march through the city with some of them being armed. They were reportedly heading toward the protest area and “looking for a confrontation.” That certainly sounds like a potentially dangerous situation that the police would want to keep an eye on, right? There’s just one problem with the story. The police radio chatter was all fake and it was intentionally planned and executed by the cops. (Seattle Times)

At a crucial moment during 2020’s racial justice protests, Seattle police exchanged a detailed series of fake radio transmissions about a nonexistent group of menacing right-wing extremists.

The radio chatter about members of the Proud Boys marching around downtown Seattle, some possibly carrying guns, and then heading to confront protesters on Capitol Hill was an improper “ruse,” or dishonest ploy, that exacerbated a volatile situation, according to findings released Wednesday by the city’s Office of Police Accountability…

The ruse happened on the night of June 8, 2020, hours after the Police Department had abandoned its East Precinct on Capitol Hill and just as protesters were starting to set up the zone that was later called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP.

The fake chatter on the police radio band included phrases such as, “it looks like some of them might be open carrying.” Another officer said, “hearing from the Proud Boys” about a potential confrontation. In reality, the Proud Boys weren’t out in that area on the night in question, or if they were, they weren’t organizing to do anything.

The police chatter reportedly had the desired effect. Liberal activists who were monitoring the police band quickly began repeating the false stories on social media, causing the “racial justice” protesters at the CHOP to become alarmed and begin preparing for a fight. The report described this as a case of the police “adding fuel to the fire.”

The report further found that multiple senior police leaders knew about and approved the plan for this deception. But the two people who were the primary authors of the ruse won’t be facing any disciplinary action because they’ve already resigned from the force. Four other officers who participated in the chatter “exercised poor judgment” but were not found responsible as they had reportedly been misled by the organizers.

During the investigation, the police officers involved claimed that they were only trying to give the impression that they had more cops out on the streets than they actually did. They also said it was partof an effort to prevent any of their officers from being ambushed.

But one other possibility certainly leaps to mind. The leadership in Seattle was desperate to make this look like something other than the offshoots of the BLM racial justice protesters going wild and tearing up the city. (Which was, of course, exactly what was going on.) When violence was imminent, what better strategy might they come up with than to summon up images of an armed conservative group causing trouble? Of course, that’s merely speculation on my part and the report doesn’t mention anything along those lines. But does it really sound like a crazy idea?

Still, nobody is going to be disciplined and the entire affair is at an end. So this one will likely just fall down the memory hole after this week.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on March 20, 2023