LGBTQ youth shelter and nighttime shuttle for Capitol Hill get support at anti-violence forum

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(Images: Alex Garland)

unnamed-8A public forum to address LGBTQ violence on Capitol Hill drew what organizers said was around 300 people to Capitol Hill’s All Pilgrims Church Tuesday night. The city’s mayor joined in and spoke as did many trans residents who shared stories of violent attacks.

City Council member Kshama Sawant organized the forum to find solutions to making Capitol Hill feel safer for the neighborhood’s LGBT community in the wake of several high profile attacks over the past year. The first-year council member and candidate to lead the new District 3 focused on economic inequality as a driver of anti-gay violence in a preview of the forum with CHS.

Building a new LGBT youth shelter on Capitol Hill was one proposal that drew repeated applause through the night Tuesday. Sawant said she would do “everything in my power” to get money for a shelter in the city budget.

Jackie Sandberg, who works for Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets, drew a standing ovation for sharing personal stories about the dangers homeless queer youth face in the neighborhood.

“Street culture is not kind to queers,” Sandberg said.  Continue reading

Blotter | Heroin overdose concerns, 11/Pike beating, Broadway/Pike phone robbery

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

  • Heroin ODs: Seattle Police are warning heroin users of a possible increase in overdoses and reminding people of the state’s good samaritan law after six ODs were reported Monday around Seattle including two simultaneous emergency responses inside Pacific Place mall:
    Police and Seattle Fire Department medics have seen an increase today in the number of reported heroin overdoses, and would like to remind the public of a Washington State law designed to curb opiate overdose deaths.As of 4 P.M. Monday, both police and fire officials received at least six reports of overdoses in North Seattle and downtown, requiring hospitalization.Washington’s “Good Samaritan Law”  offers legal protection against drug possession charges to anyone who calls 911 to report an overdose. If you or anyone you know is overdosing on drugs,please remember you can call 911 for help without the fear of prosecution. Continue reading

Sawant says economic disparities underpin Capitol Hill hate crimes ahead of LGBTQ forum

10498060_10101874770097606_3032210991963063043_o-21-356x550How to make Capitol Hill feel safer for the neighborhood’s LGBTQ community, especially during peak nightlife hours, is a question that seems to elude any simple answers. Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant is hoping to hear some solutions at an open community forum the councilor and candidate to lead District 3 organized for Tuesday night at All Pilgrims Church.

The forum will be moderated by Danni Askini, executive director of the Gender Justice League, and is slated to include the following panel:

Zach Pullin – Acting President, Capitol Hill Community Council

Lils Fujikawa –Queer Network Program Coordinator, API Chaya

Raven E. Heavy Runner – Acting Co-Chair, Northwest Two-Spirit Society, MSW

Christie Santos-Livengood – UW Graduate Student, Master Public Health

Shaun Knittel – President & Founder, Social Outreach Seattle; Seattle Gay News Associate Editor

Marta Idowu – Seattle LGBT Commission Liaison, Seattle Office for Civil Rights

Sawant is not generally seen as a leader on council when it comes to public safety, but it’s likely to be a key issue in this year’s Council District 3 race. Statistics and anecdotal accounts point to an increase in bias crime incidents within the newly formed district, which includes Capitol Hill and the Central District. The political concern is definitely on the rise.

For Sawant, her bread-and-butter issues of economic inequality and affordable housing are crucial to preserving LGBTQ culture and safety on Capitol Hill.

“I want to make an appeal to everyone to connect these (crime) issues to larger economic issues,” she told CHS. “Underlying all of this is that people of color, LGBTQ people, working people are finding this city increasingly unlivable.” Continue reading

East Precinct meeting talks pot, reform, but mostly violent crime in the CD with City Attorney and SPD brass

Thursday night, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and East Precinct commander Captain Pierre Davis met with community members in a packed Seattle University room to talk about updates on precinct crime and how SPD and the attorney’s office can better serve residents.

Many of those in attendance who spoke vented their frustration and concerns with both the nuisance of day to day criminal activity and more serious violence around Capitol Hill and the Central District.

“Cops can’t do everything,” Holmes told the crowd. “if there are building code violations, if there is something that SDOT can do… that [collaboration between departments] is something that my office is really good at helping pull in.” He added that law enforcement is not always the solution. “It could be civil, it could be regulatory.”

Violent crime, particularly in the Central District, was on most attendees’ minds, particularly the intersection of 23rd and Union, which has recently seen numerous instances of gunfire.

“It’s not about gentrification, it’s not about any of that shit. It’s about getting gangs off the streets … you can actually time it [when gun shots occur],” said one attendee.

Some speakers blamed the Midtown Center property at 23rd and Union for the criminal activity. One speaker called out property owner Tom Bangasser — who was present at the meeting — for not selling the property to developers fast enough because he was waiting as the value rises. Continue reading

Blotter | Valentine’s brawl outside Rhino Room

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

  • Club fight: A female victim suffered a minor facial injury and a male victim was knocked unconscious in an assault reported late on Valentine’s outside the Rhino Room at 11th and Pine. We’re not sure exactly how to explain what played out but the report seems to describe an altercation between a group of women and two males that got turned up a notch when two more guys intervened and started throwing punches. Here’s how one victim reported the melee began:
    Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.14.45 PMRhino Room security described a scene when two new people showed up out of nowhere and started punching: Continue reading

911 | Warrant operation in Central District brings SWAT to 27th Ave — UPDATE

Seattle Police and SWAT raided a residence near 27th and Marion Tuesday night as part of a warrant and gang unit operation.

Backed by the King County Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter above, the operation started around 8 PM. Police discussed some warrant details via radio as the operation was executed. Witnesses said multiple people were removed from the building and handcuffed in the street outside.

SPD has not yet confirmed any arrests and we do not yet know the details of the warrant or warrants being served at the address. There were no injuries reported during the operation. UPDATE: SPD confirmed the warrant operation but a spokesperson said there would be no additional information available tonight. UPDATE 2/25/2015: SPD said they expect to be able to provide more information on the operation later today. UPDATE x2: Police say the raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation. The report details three arrests — one 31-year-old man who police say tried to flee the area, and two women inside the home. Police say they also seized guns and drugs. The full report on the incident is below. Continue reading

Man injured in assault in front of Broadway Dick’s

(Image: Tim Durkan)

(Image: Tim Durkan)

A dispute reportedly involving Broadway panhandlers in front of Dick’s Drive-In sent a man to the hospital after he was reportedly attacked with a baseball bat. UPDATE 2/25/2015: As of commenter Waste of Space so helpfully points out, video recorded by a witness shows the suspect punch the victim but not strike him with the bat-like object he is carrying.

Police and a Seattle Fire medic unit responded to Broadway — with a news helicopter not far behind — as a large crowd gathered at the scene of the assault.

The victim in the attack was placed in a neck brace before being transported to the hospital. It was believed he suffered additional injuries when his head hit the pavement after witnesses said he was struck by the bat in the altercation. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening, according to responders at the scene.

Police searched the area and Cal Anderson for a man described as Native American and wearing a black and white jacket who was seen leaving the area with the bat after the attack. There were no immediate arrests.

Marshals, SPD detectives track down suspect in $10K E Madison pot dispensary robbery

The US Marshals have helped track down the suspect who robbed an E Madison marijuana dispensary at gunpoint earlier this month and made off with more than $10,000 in cash and pot, Seattle Police announced.

The 22-year-old has not yet been charged with the crime. He was tracked to a hotel in Sea-Tac and arrested last Thursday, according to SPD. He is currently held in King County Jail for investigation of robbery and is not eligible for bail because of a previous conviction.

CHS reported here on the Tuesday, February 10th armed robbery at Best Buds. Owner Jiovani McKelvy told CHS the suspect had been barred from the dispensary because he did not have a medical marijuana card but returned and held the small shop up at gunpoint, taking $1,000 in cash and nine pounds of pot.

While we’re not yet identifying the suspect, CHS has learned that he was convicted for an armed robbery as an 18-year-old and sentenced to nearly five years in prison for the crime in 2010. While it’s not yet clear when he was released from prison, he was booked back into King County Jail in 2014 for what appear to be parole violations. As part of the 2010 sentence, the suspect was barred from owning a handgun.

Sawant leading Capitol Hill forum on LGBTQ hate crime

#caphillpsa poster by Greg Lundgren

#caphillpsa poster by Greg Lundgren

Seattle City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant has announced an upcoming forum on LGBTQ-related hate crime on Capitol Hill.

The forum will take place on March 3rd at 7:00 PM in Broadway’s All Pilgrims Church.


Councilmember Sawant’s Town Hall Meeting – End Hate Crime against LGBTQ People! – Find Real Solution on Capitol Hill
WHEN Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 7 p.m.

ADDRESS All Pilgrims Christian Church, 500 Broadway E
Town Hall Description: There has been an alarming spate of hate crimes on Capitol Hill against LGBTQ people. This is outrageous! Our community has long been a bastion of the LGBTQ struggle – not a place where we can’t even feel safe walking home at night.

Join Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant as she hosts a Town Hall, where we’ll hear testimony from those directly affected on the Hill. The discussion will bring LGBTQ activists together with human service providers, housing justice advocates, and public safety representatives. The goal? To find bold and lasting solutions to address the crisis.


“[I]t’s not about drawing blame, but about addressing the fundamental causes of what’s changing on the Hill,” Sawant said. “We’re going to have speakers outline various solution-based points,” said Sawant as she announced the forum at the Capitol Hill Community Council Thursday night.

With statistics and anecdotal accounts pointing to an increase in bias crime incidents and the disturbing, higher profile attacks like the Neighbours arson and the Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young murders, the are more concerns along with more awareness of the issue. Police increased their presence in Pike/Pine late last summer to address an overall increase in street crimes in the area. Some efforts like the #caphillpsa poster campaign have been formed to also bring more attention to keeping Pike/Pine and Broadway safe for LGBTQ people. Organizers from Social Outreach Seattle say they are also planning a weekend shuttle described as “the most obnoxious, gay van you’ve ever seen in your life.” CHS reports on hate crime incidents can be found here.

Sawant will be on the panel, discussing the economic side of the changing face of Capitol Hill, along with the community council’s vice president Zachary Pullin.

Sawant said that there will be “collective testimonies” from the LGBTQ community — specifically from racial minorities — about hate crimes and safety on Capitol Hill.

“The solutions can’t always be legislated,” Sawant said, “they have to also be something that ordinary people, working people take charge of.” She said that while she and others are organizing the event, she would like the solutions to come from those who are most affected by the issue. The council member also said she wants some “concrete” and “immediately doable” services to be identified to help better serve the LGBTQ community, particularly the trans community, so that public funding appropriations can get underway.

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Police peacefully end short 21st Ave E standoff

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Seattle Police successfully negotiated a peaceful end to an hour-long standoff with a reportedly armed man who refused to leave a home in what an officer at the scene described as a domestic violence incident Thursday night in the 700 block of 21st Ave E.

Police took the man into custody just after 10 PM after he agreed to leave the house following talks with a negotiator by phone. Earlier in the night, police attempted to negotiate with the man via loudspeaker with the sound of the bullhorn echoing through the leafy neighborhood around the Holy Names private school.

Police, using the large trees on the street for cover, waited in the drizzle for the man to finally answer his phone and agree to surrender.

We do not know what kind of weapon the suspect was reportedly armed with. A check of the home after the incident determined the residence to be safe as the man was taken into custody.

As 12th Ave justice center moves forward, juvenile court judge calls for racial reform

Juvenile court judge Susan Craighead.

Juvenile court judge Susan Craighead.

Justice isn’t color-blind, at least in King County.

According to a special report published last month, black youth in KC are roughly six times more likely than white youth to face a judge in juvenile court. And while the number of youth referred to juvenile court has been falling for years, the bulk of that benefit has gone to whites.

Speaking on behalf of the more than fifty judges on her bench, she says, Judge Susan Craighead is calling for a series of “listening sessions” with key players in the juvenile justice system. This includes representatives of government institutions which are “upstream” of the court—police, schools, and child welfare services — but also the families and communities most impacted by juvenile courts.

“We feel like we need all hands on deck to try to figure out what more can we do with this problem,” Craighead told CHS. Continue reading

Blotter | Group holds up victims at gunpoint in Boylston robbery — UPDATE

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

  • Boylston armed robbery: A group of suspects described as male and female teenagers — including at least one carrying a pistol — reportedly robbed three people and beat one of their victims late Tuesday night in the 1200 block of Boylston. CHS received a message from one witness to the crime who also provided information to police:
    I was witness to an armed robbery at The Manhattan on the corner of Boylston and Seneca. There was a group of approximately 8 people who attacked a group of three people who live in this building as they were outside smoking. I live in The Manhattan and heard the noise, looked outside to the front door of my building from above, and saw the group scattering.The primary victim is a man who was punched and knocked down, getting various bloody scrapes. They attacked from behind and stole his phone. The two women he was with both appeared unharmed. One of them ran, called the cops, and was brought back to the building in the police car. The other called 911 while caring for the primary victim. Continue reading

Blotter | Domestic violence arrest after Summit Ave stabbing

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

  • Summit Ave stabbing: Seattle Fire medics and police rushed to an apartment building in the 1700 Summit Ave late Monday night to a report of a domestic violence stabbing inside. According to police radio, a female reportedly stabbed a male in the side in the assault around 11:30 PM. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. The male victim was taken to Harborview with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
  • 14/Spring hold-up: Police are investigating an armed robbery reported early Sunday morning near 14th and Spring. Information on the incident is limited at this time but the hold-up was reported around 1:50 AM Sunday. The victim reported the hold-up occurred near 14th and Spring around 20 minutes earlier. We’ll post an update when we learn more about the investigation.
  • Flo Ware shooting: A gunman was arrested Friday night after a woman was shot in the leg in a hail of bullets inside  Flo Ware Park near 28th Ave and S Jackson. Police say two groups of suspects may have exchanged gunfire in the incident just after 6 PM. The 29-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening injuries. The 26-year-old suspect was tracked down and arrested downtown after trying to flee the area via a Metro bus.
  • Shots fired: Police investigated a burst of gunfire at 25th and Yesler Sunday around 7:15 PM but fortunately found no victim in the shooting. Investigators collected several shell casings and a slug found at the scene.
  • ‘Stop throwing shade’ assault: The suspect in an early Saturday assault reported near 13th and Madison reportedly told his victim to “stop throwing shade” after hitting the male victim with a glass bottle:Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.26.32 PMPolice took the assault suspect into custody. The victim was not seriously injured.

With gunfire joining sounds of construction, 23rd and Union property owner tries simple measures as bigger changes loom

(Image: Wayne Walsh via Flickr)

(Image: Wayne Walsh via Flickr)

Since the new year, reports of gunfire and increased criminal activity around 23rd and Union have amplified calls for police and property owners to ramp up safety efforts in the heart of the Central District even as millions of dollars in development spending flows into the intersection. The sprawling Midtown Center property on the southeast corner has lately been a source of concern for neighbors in the area.

Midtown owner Tom Bangasser tells CHS he is taking steps to try to curb nighttime crime. Last week, Midtown shop owners put up larger “no loitering” signs and Bangasser said he has met with police to discuss stepping up loitering enforcement, especially at night. Still, Bangasser said he can’t control deeper issues in the community.

“We’re about to spend $215 million on this new jail center, maybe that should go into jobs,” he said. “Some of these guys are just hanging out because they don’t have jobs.” Continue reading

Blotter | Police search for 15/Alder armed robbery suspects — UPDATE

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

  • 15th/Alder armed robbery: Police searched the streets and yards around Seattle University Thursday night after a reported armed robbery near 15th Ave and E Alder. CHS is working to confirm that at least one suspect was arrested. There were no injuries in the incident reported just after 9 PM. Suspect descriptions available via police radio were vague but police got a better look at two male suspects as they ran from officers following the robbery. A K9 unit searched for the males on foot but there were no immediate arrests. Later in the night, however, officers were working to bring a witness to a location near the robbery to identify a possible suspect. We’ll update when we learn more.
  • E Olive Way mugging: Earlier this week, CHS reported on charges in a January Broadway/Pine beating and phone robbery and rhetorically asked whether it might be the “last of the Capitol Hill phone muggings” thanks to the reported success of mobile phone “kill switch” technology. Clearly it was not. Police are investigating a Monday, February 2nd mugging on E Olive Way near Harvard in which the female victim told police she was overpowered by two male attackers: Continue reading