Police: Accused 29/King killer claims slayings ‘vengeance’

Accused killer Ali Muhammad Brown is claiming political motivations for a killing spree that included the Central District slaying of two men he met after a night out on Capitol Hill.

Police say Brown has admitted to the killings as part of a one-man jihad:

“My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day,” he reportedly said. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 8.20.29 AMAuthorities this week said Brown has been connected to a fourth murder in an April drive-by shooting in Spanaway. In July, CHS reported on Brown’s capture in New Jersey where he has been accused of another murder.

Seattle Police say Brown killed 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young in a “premeditated” and “unprovoked” June 1st attack at 29th and King.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the latest charges against Brown:

The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.

Brown’s alleged attacks make the second high-profile case this year involving Capitol Hill and a suspect believed to have hate crime motivations. Wednesday, CHS reported that defense attorneys for convicted Neighbours nightclub arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

Fifth annual Linda’s Fest ready to rock the patio — and the construction pit

IMG_234610543656_724644084238704_3622052533988432165_nAs summer draws to a close, Linda’s Tavern is ready to bring Capitol Hill’s festival season to a close with its fifth annual free mini music bash, Linda’s Fest. This will be the last year Linda’s infamous back patio will not have a seven-story apartment building looming above.

“It’s not the first time that Capitol Hill has changed,” says Jonah Bergman who plans the annual event, “Even if there’s a construction pit next to it, it is still a great place to hang out.”

On Saturday the 23rd from 5 to 10 PM the bands Tacocat, Chastity Belt, the Young Evils, Kithkin, and Thunder Pussy will take the patio stage for the free show.

“It’s cool to have musicians of that caliber on a stage,” says Bergman, “that we put together for one day in a back parking lot.”

Continue reading

Seattle cops don’t live in Seattle

Data-driven news blog FiveThirtyEight reports that only 12% of Seattle’s police force calls the city home ranking it among the worst big cities in America for the measure. You’ll note that the department’s black officers are much more likely to call the city home:

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In light of the continuing protests in Ferguson, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver discusses the significance of where police officers live:

In Ferguson, Missouri, where protests continue following the shooting of a teenager by a police officer this month, more than two-thirds of the civilian population is black. Only 11 percent of the police force is. The racial disparity is troubling enough on its own, but it’s also suggestive of another type of misrepresentation. Given Ferguson’s racial gap, it’s likely that many of its police officers live outside city limits.

If so, Ferguson would have something in common with most major American cities. In about two-thirds of the U.S. cities with the largest police forces, the majority of police officers commute to work from another town.

In 2011, I helped create this map for SeattleCrime.com showing where Seattle Police officers call home around the region:

At the time, the McGinn administration was floating ideas around residency requirements for SPD officers. In the continued fallout from Ferguson, it will be interesting to see if the push is renewed.

Forget Metro cutbacks, Seattle now has a Weed Bus that lets you smoke weed. On the bus.

photo (1)The Weed Bus Club, a party bus turned stoner’s paradise, has been out and about in Seattle this summer. Perhaps you smelled the bus when it stopped by Capitol Hill Block Party.

William Prigmore’s club provides what he says is a safe space for people to tour Seattle — while smoking weed.

“You can hop on the Weed Bus by yourself,” says Prigmore, “a lot of different people are always on the bus. I think that’s why people like it a lot, it’s not like you have to rent a party bus out.”

There are two buses in the club that eventually will have set routes between legal marijuana retail stores and tourist sites such as Pike Place Market and Alki Beach in West Seattle, Prigmore says. He plans for people to hop on at different stops and ride for as long as they like. Continue reading

Defense to appeal 10-year sentence in Neighbours arson case

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.00.19 AMAttorneys for convicted Neighbours arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

“Because of the political nature of this case, one always suspected this could happen,” defense attorney Charles Swift said after the July decision by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez to double the five years both sides in the case had agreed to. Prosecutors told CHS at the time that they believed Masmari had an anti-gay bias but they asked the judge to not raise the sentence based on hate crime motivations because it would open the possibility of appeals.

The Seattle Weekly broke the news on the appeal and reported more on attorney Charles Swift’s involvement in the case:

As with Hamdan’s case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, Masmari’s sentence was political, Swift thinks. Shortly after the term was handed down by U.S. Judge Ricardo Martinez on July 31 – doubling the five-year sentence that prosecutors and Masmari had agreed to in a plea bargain – Swift told reporters he was worried this could happen “because of the political nature of this case.” The next day, he gave notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, challenging the sentence. He is set to file his appellate brief by Halloween.

Masmari, a former Capitol Hill resident, pleaded guilty to setting a New Year’s Eve fire inside a crowded Neighbours nightclub. The arsonist blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards. “This defendant violated people’s right to gather safely: he put more than 700 lives at risk when he purposely started a fire at a crowded nightclub on New Year’s Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in a written statement in May.

Extended First Hill Streetcar, bikeway will (probably) terminate at Roy in 2017, funding still unresolved

(Image: SDOT)

(Image: SDOT)

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 4.18.38 PMFor years, maps of the First Hill Streetcar on Broadway have shown a dotted line extending north of E Denny Way to indicate the possible addition of two or three more stops to the route. The city is now ready to fill-in that line, and end it at Broadway and Roy.

Officials at the Seattle Department of Transportation say they have settled on a $25 million extension of the streetcar with a stop at Broadway and Harrison and a terminus at Broadway and Roy — two stops bewilderingly known as the Broadway Streetcar. The city had been considering an additional third stop at 10th and Prospect, but officials said the estimated $12 million price tag outweighed the benefits of extending the line near Volunteer Park.

“In some respects, the writing was on the wall. When we came back with the gross cost estimates, it was a lot,” said SDOT spokesperson Art Brochet.

The First Hill Street car is expected to open in November, running from Pioneer Square to a temporary Capitol Hill terminus at E Denny Way. When service begins, the First Hill Streetcar will have ten stations along a 2.5 mile route from S Jackson and Occidental to Broadway and Denny Way and will connect Pioneer Square, the ID, Little Saigon, First Hill and Capitol Hill.

Planning for the half-mile, two-stop extension is now 30% complete. Brochet said construction of the two stops could begin in 2016 with an opening in 2017. Continue reading

Backyard Barter comes to Capitol Hill for crafty swaps and creative trades

Wednesday, 19th Ave’s Miller Community Center will host the August session of Seattle’s Backyard Barter:

We are pleased to announce our first Capitol Hill barter venue : Miller Community Center. This is a Wednesday evening barter, and if weather permits we will be holding the barter in the courtyard. Come join us!

It’s relatively late notice but you should consider dropping by Wednesday night if you’re interested in alternative economies — or homemade ice cream. The barter events give home and hobby crafters an opportunity to trade their creations for the works of others. We visited this Capitol Hill barter session in 2012. We saw mead traded for bagels and Lucky Charms ice cream swapped for a small press book. Good deal. What do you make?

The August Backyard Barter begins at 6 PM. If the weather continues to be gorgeous, organizers plan to hold the swap in the Miller Community Center courtyard at 330 19th Ave E.

‘I love crows. They are my favorite animals.’

Are you like Diana? A few weeks back, CHS received a letter from her asking about the CHS Crow (temporary) tattoos we gave away last summer. Lucky you, Diana — we found a few more. Yours are in the mail.

If you’d like a few crow tattoos, too, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the following address… and your dreams just might come true.

CHS HQ
1914 E ALOHA
SEATTLE WA 98112

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Capitol Hill’s NWFF hosts ‘community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford’

The “Hands up, don’t shoot” protest over police violence and the slaying of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has spread across the nation, around the world, and onto Capitol Hill. Thursday night, an incident that echoes with the themes of violence in the name of public safety, race, and the power and the role of media in protest will be the subject of a forum at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

Earlier this month, Seattle freelance photographer and frequent CHS contributor Alex Garland captured pictures and video of a disturbing incident outside the Westlake mall in which private security targeted a black man with pepper spray after a fracas broke out at a protest against violence in Gaza.

Garland will be on hand along with a panel for Thursday’s forum described as “a community discussion about what happened at Westlake, and what we can do as a community beyond recognizing events like these as unjust.”

More details on Thursday night’s free event are below. Continue reading

Blotter | Harvard/Pine gaybashing charge — Plus, conviction in 2008 Central District murder

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Gaybashing charge: A 22-year-old Auburn man arrested in the Sunday night, August 10th alleged gaybashing at Harvard and Pine has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. Ivan Prokhorin faces the charge for his role in allegedly sparking an attack on two men he saw holding hands on Harvard Ave. According to police, Prokhorin, who was with two other males, yelled “Fucking faggots” and followed the two victims to their vehicle carrying an empty Corona bottle. The men told police they grabbed a baseball bat from their own car to defend themselves. “Is there a problem?,” one of the victims asked. “Yes, because you are a fucking faggot,” Prokhorin is alleged to have yelled as he attempted to strike the victims with the bottle but missed and hit the car, shattering the glass. Police say one of other suspects then wrestled away the bat and hit one of the victims several times on the back. The victim was not seriously injured. According to police, the attackers fled in a car but officers located the BMW near 9th Ave and E Alder. There are currently no charges filed against the men who were with Prokhorin. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dulces calls it quits (again) on Capitol Hill

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White table cloths and a bar couldn't draw Lawrence Lofts neighbors downstairs (Images: Dulces)

White table cloths and a bar couldn’t draw Lawrence Lofts neighbors downstairs (Images: Dulces)

Even for a man who called his restaurant Dulces it’s hard to not sound bitter about burning out on Capitol Hill.

“We had a hard time getting new clientele,” owner Carlos Kainz tells CHS about the sudden shuttering of his 19th and Madison restaurant over the weekend. “Our old clientele were very loyal. But the very young customers upstairs… they wanted a club.”

Kainz and wife Julie Guerrero served their last dishes at the latest incarnation of Dulces Latin Bistro after only 280 days of business in the restaurant space of the Lawrence Lofts building. Kainz said he and Guerrero struggled to grow business on the corner — “The cars go by too fast, so they can’t see we we’re here” — and were given the option to either sell or get out.

Turns out, there were plenty of takers looking for a turnkey, Capitol Hill-area restaurant space. Thudsuan Kitchen and Bar will take over the corner with a start-of-September opening planned. Continue reading

King County to roll out low-income $1.50 Metro fare in 2015

In November, Seattle voters will have their say on creating a new tax base to help fund Metro bus service in the city even as service cutbacks are scheduled to begin in September. Metro fares are also already slated to rise another 25 cents next year. The county is moving to address some of this continued belt-tightening and reduction in service by creating a new reduced-fare program. Continue reading