This is the kind of thing that would get you suspended or fired a year ago, now it’s considered normal by some people. A staffer who works for Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services Department (FAS) sent an email to all staff attacking police in general and police in Seattle in particular. Jason Rantz posted the entire letter here. Here’s a sample:
We turn to police and the justice system to protect us and enforce consequences on those who break our laws and cause harm. Those consequences are supposed to be balanced, blind to all but the law. But they are not—not when you consider that a Black person is three times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than a white person, according to findings by Harvard. When the arbiters of justice serve the false gods of white supremacy, they are not worthy of the power they wield. If police protection and restraint extend only to white people, they are no longer guardians; they are mercenaries and zealots, paid in the wages of white privilege, inflicting their wicked commandments upon us…
My wish is not to paint all police with a broad brush. However, it strains the boundaries of credulity to believe that these are isolated issues, confined to a “few bad apples.” The ubiquity of this phenomenon, found in all corners of law enforcement, reveals a broken culture, a world split in two: white supremacists and those who know better but go along to get along. In such a culture, good people who stay silent attempt to walk the razor’s edge between complicity and absolution. But it is a failed proposition. Silence is sunlight to the seeds of villainy. The full axiom is “one bad apple can spoil the barrel” and this barrel is writhing with maggots…
We talk about ignorance, unconscious bias, and the invisible systems that perpetuate racial inequity. But what about explicit bias? What about intentional, premeditated racism that is celebrated and rewarded? This racism cannot be scapegoated to fear or misplaced anger, or even “economic anxiety.” It is a deeply rooted, marvelously disguised, desire to harm non-white people. White supremacists hold positions of authority and influence. They make the arrests and file the reports; they testify as expert witnesses, and they control the custody of evidence. Just as they did with Ronald Greene, they get to write the story and alter the truth to suit their agenda…
The behavior of law enforcement during altercations with Black and brown folks does not illustrate a culture of justice. Rather, it belies a hunger for the tiniest plausible reason to lay hands on someone and “put them in their place.”
Well, I’m glad he didn’t paint police with a broad brush because that would have been bad. Seriously, if you start a paragraph saying you don’t want to use a broad brush and end it comparing police to a barrel full of maggots, you may have failed pretty spectacularly. That’s exactly how Seattle police officers saw this. Rantz spoke to some cops who were not fans of the letter.
“This is a prime example of why officers are leaving the force in droves,” one officer noted. “There is absolutely zero support for SPD in this city. Now we have the people who work on our buildings and cars treating us like we are public enemy #1.”
Another called out the double standard.
“If any SPD employee made disparaging remarks about another group of people, they would be under a full bias investigation, yet this individual gets to spew this hateful rhetoric to an entire division of city employees with no consequences,” the officer said.
“Articles like this one cause division and hate towards a group of people. To say they don’t mean to paint all officers with the same brush while at the same time painting all officers with the same brush is hypocritical and reckless.”
The cops are right, of course. The letter’s author isn’t demanding the police be defunded or abolished but that’s clearly the thrust of his argument. After all, if the whole barrel is full of maggots there’s no hope for saving it. So you have a city worker sending this opinionated screed about hundreds of other city workers using city resources. And a spokeperson for the Finance Department stood behind the letter saying “we stand behind our Change Team for keeping us accountable and challenging all of us to learn, to re-examine, to grow and, above all, to act in this urgent work.”
So that’s where things are in Seattle at this point. The city itself has turned on its own police department in the name of woke change. It’s a wonder that any cop wants to work there at this point.