Seattle: Suspects in last month's shooting had 65 prior arrests

Two suspects in a downtown Seattle shooting that killed one woman and injured seven others last month were arrested in Nevada earlier this week. They were hiding out in a Las Vegas hotel:

Marquise Tolbert and William Tolliver, both 24, stood in shackles before a Nevada judge on Tuesday and each said they won’t contest extradition to Seattle. Tolbert and Tolliver weren’t represented by attorneys. They were arrested Saturday leaving a casino hotel near the Las Vegas Strip…

As the two men waited to face the Las Vegas judge, they chatted and laughed with each other and tried to hide their faces behind paper when they saw the television news camera recording their actions…

The two men, between them, have 65 arrests and four felony convictions, authorities have said.

Wednesday, prosecutors in Washington charged them both with first-degree murder. According to authorities, the shooting began when Tolliver and Tolbert had a dispute with a third man, Jamel Jackson, on the street in front of a McDonalds. The dispute escalated and Tolliver shot Jackson who then fired back. Tolbert also had a gun and he and Tolliver began running down the street and shooting, hitting numerous bystanders. Tanya Jackson was struck and killed. A nine year old was hit in the leg and had to be rushed to surgery.

Given this chaos, a lot of people in the area are wondering why two criminals with a combined 65 arrests and multiple felony convictions were out on the street in the first place. Seattle radio host Jason Rantz spoke to several police officers about what it would take to stop violent crime in the city. Here’s an excerpt from just one of those officers:

The blade (1500 block of Third Avenue) draws in addicts like moths to a flame. That wouldn’t be a problem, except for all of the issues that come with an open air drug and stolen items market. The first that has been made graphically clear is violence. Drug markets come with violence. This is because in black market activities, dealers can’t trust those who enforce rules with enforcing rules within their illegal behavior. For example, a drug dealer can’t come to us and say, “hey, I had a pound of meth stolen.” I’d have some follow up questions…

We need our prosecutors to do their job. Dan Satterberg and Pete Holmes are on the tail end of a disastrous experiment in legalizing drugs and pushing unproven, underfunded, and ineffective “diversion” mechanisms.

Why does LEAD have such a great success rate? They cook the numbers. Once you’re in LEAD, you don’t get arrested for following offenses, thus eliminating future jail bookings. By measuring reduction in recidivism via jail bookings, you get an astoundingly high number of “non-recidivism.” You don’t get a change in actions or activities — just stats. And hey, if we can shove stats down your throat to distract from reality, Seattle politicos will jump at the chance.

Then there’s the peripheral issues that come with the drug trade. Property crime is chief among them. You can fence jeans from Macy’s, a vacuum from Target, a belt from Nordstrom, a cell phone from a car prowl, luggage from Bergman’s at Third and Pike for a commission that can be used for drug purchases from select dealers.

All property crime is connected to drugs. All of it. Addressing an open trade of drugs is paramount in addressing property crime.

Then, violence. Our prosecutors routinely give conditional releases, low bail amounts, or straight up don’t follow through on their duty to prosecute VUFA/PSF arrests. These arrests are dangerous for officers to undertake, and are felonies for a reason.

A Sheriff’s Deputy added:

The level of lawlessness at Third and Pine cannot be described to someone who has never experienced it first hand. There are absolutely zero consequences for this anti-social behavior. As law enforcement, our hands have been tied by “progressive politics.” Criminals need to be held accountable. They don’t care about being arrested because they know they’ll be out of jail in quick order. We need the support of not only our administrations but the prosecutor’s office.

This is how you have hundreds of people who cycle in and out of the system, often being released just hours after they are arrested. Most of the time the crime is a low-level nuisance to citizens and business owners, but occasionally it flares up into deadly violence like this shooting did last month. There’s simply no way to stop the violence without taking on the underlying crime and drug abuse that has been allowed to fester on the streets.