U.S. Marshals: Operation Triple Beam Jet City clears 72 ‘violent offenders’ off Seattle streets

This operation came with its own Flickr set (Image: U.S. Marshals)

A U.S. Marshals-led task force made up of multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies including Seattle Police and the King County Sheriff cracked down on gangs across the region from July through October but officials can’t say if the interdictions and arrests will help bring justice after a wave of gun violence and the September murder of a Central District man with gang ties.

Operation Triple Beam Jet City is the latest in an ongoing federal effort to curb the illegal drug trade and gang violence on a regional basis in areas across the country. Officials said another Triple Beam operation — a triple beam is the type of scale you might remember from science class and reportedly is popular with drug dealers — just cleared more than 500 drug dealers, gang members, and sex offenders off the streets in the state of Mississippi, garnering praise from U.S. Attorney General and Southerner Jeff Sessions.

Around “Jet City,” the fed-led operation wrapped up with the arrest of 263 fugitives, 149 of whom were gang members or associates, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. A U.S. Marshals deputy said the agency could not provide the names of people arrested in the effort “as some individuals may not be in custody anymore.” Of the arrests, 108 “violent offenders” — 72 with gang ties — were taken into custody in Seattle. Continue reading

Tacos Chukis ready to go big in Central District at 23rd and Union

Broadway-born Tacos Chukis has a new headquarters but the neighbors around 23rd and Union are probably more interested in the grilled pineapple and adobada.

The latest expansion of the small Seattle chain including its new central kitchen is set to open Saturday in the Central District.

“This will be our central base and supply our other restaurants,” owner Beto Salmeron tells CHS about the biggest Tacos Chukis yet. Continue reading

Where, when, and why Capitol Hill calls 911

We’re #2!

Residents and businesses around Broadway and Pike/Pine have produced the second highest number of 911 calls so far in 2018 but a huge bulk of the calls on Capitol Hill and across the city involve traffic issues and disturbances involving noise or fighting, according to a newly available dataset from the Seattle Police Department.

SPD’s new online dashboard tracking the number of 911 calls it receives comes after years of complaints that the department’s focus on completed crime reports obscured the true levels of crime and safety issues in Seattle neighborhoods: Continue reading

On night of community meeting to discuss gun violence, East Precinct investigates another drive-by shooting

The East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) gathered for its monthly meeting Thursday to discuss an ongoing wave of shootings and gang activity in the neighborhood and Seattle Police and City Hall’s response to quell the violence.

A recent period of quiet following the shooting death of a man on 25th Ave S earlier this month was busted in the hours before Thursday night’s meeting breaking a string of 17 days without a shots fired incident in the Central District or on Capitol Hill. In the AutoZone parking lot at 23rd and Jackson, two groups in cars exchanged gunfire and witnesses reported people running in opposite directions in an incident reported just before 5 PM, according to Sergeant Andrew Zwaschka, a member of SPD’s gang unit who spoke at the EastPAC meeting.

“We want to put shooters in prison,” Sgt. Zwaschka said. “It takes a lot of time. It’s hard to stand up here and ask for patience when you’re laying in your bed at night and you hear gunfire outside of your window.” Continue reading

Central District students walk out to say annual teacher reshuffling unfairly targets Seattle’s ‘marginalized’ schools

Seattle school kids led by students at E Cherry’s Nova High School marched on City Hall Tuesday afternoon to protest the district’s enrollment-driven teacher transfer process and its effect on schools with strong LGBTQ, and student of color populations.

“We are marching and walking down to Seattle City Hall just to show that we stand with our teachers as much as they stand with us,” senior Casey Thomas told CHS about the walkout and rally. Thomas and student organizers say the district’s transfer of teachers targets marginalized students. “Schools up north are not being targeted,” Thomas said. Continue reading

In response to Central District gun violence, Seattle mayor pledges $7M to youth safety

Central District residents and activists calling on City Hall to do more than flood the neighborhood with police got a preview of a small part of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s new budget proposal over the weekend.

The mayor Friday responded to criticism of the SPD-focused plan to quell gun violence following a wave of shootings and a murder on 25th Ave S with a letter outlining her plan reportedly “doubling” investments in Seattle youth safety programs with some $7 million in spending lined up for the Human Services Department. Continue reading

‘Coffee with Kshama Sawant’ — District 3 representative holds rare community meeting

(Image: @cmkshama)

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant met with a standing room only crowd of constituents to discuss issues ranging from affordable housing and gentrification to low internet speeds and privacy at Squirrel Chops, a coffeeshop in Seattle’s Central District, Saturday morning.

“There’s a lot of issues facing us as a district with skyrocketing rents and hypergentrification and we’ve certainly seen the increase in gun violence,” Squirrel Chops co-owner Shirley Henderson said while introducing council member Sawant. “A lot of that is tied to our economic reality and the shifts that are happening.”

Sawant, who came with her husband and dog, opened the event by highlighting her struggles for $15 per hour minimum wage and Friday’s King County Superior Court ruling that upheld a Seattle law that capped move-in fees for renters. She also noted the broad struggles ahead in terms of achieving economic equality and racial justice.

“We are all getting screwed together,” Sawant said. “Ultimately, whether you’re talking about city politics or state level, we’re going to have to build movements to win any of these things.” Continue reading

50 years ago, the Seattle Freeway Revolt kept the Central District from being ripped apart

Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated, and Honored) has plans for a “Ramps to Nowhere” memorial (Image: Seattle ARCH)

(Image: Seattle ARCH)

Priscilla Arsove remembers sitting in her family’s living room as her father called hundreds of volunteers and city officials throughout the evening on their house’s single landline telephone to stop freeway projects that he saw as troubling throughout Seattle. Now, she’s working to maintain that legacy as the work of her father and hundreds of others celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

On Sunday September 23, a 50th anniversary celebration of their work will be held at the Central Area Senior Center.

Maynard Arsove was pushed to action by the construction of I-5 which effectively separated Capitol Hill and First Hill from downtown.

The “Freeway Revolt” began in 1960 when voters approved the Bay Freeway, which was set to be a link between I-5 and Seattle Center, and bonds to fund the R.H. Thomson Expressway, a 15-mile roadway that would have stretched from Duwamish to Bothell, thus setting in motion the creation of a transportation system that would have a greater freeway density than Los Angeles.

The R.H. Thomson Expressway would have destroyed up to 3,000 homes and displaced as many as 8,000 people. The Bay Freeway would have walled off South Lake Union from the rest of the city. These possibilities fostered a public outcry that resulted in a public outcry from affected residents which saw the citizens suing the city two years later. Widely-attended public hearings on the future of transportation in Seattle ensued before Citizens Against the RH Thomson (CARHT) and Citizens Against Freeways (CAF) formed in 1968.

“An arrogant disregard for the needs and the interests of the people that lived in the area,” Anna Rudd, a former anti-freeway activist, said of the city’s plan. Continue reading

‘Person of interest’ in Central District shootings reported arrested

As activists criticize Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle Police Department’s decision to patrol the Central District with SWAT and K9 units in response to last week’s homicide and a wave of gun violence, the increased police presence may already be downshifted.

CHS reported Monday on the deployment SWAT officers on the streets of the Central District and outreach to civilian representatives SPD calls “violence interrupters” after the murder of 25th Ave S resident Marshall Bennett.

In a message to residents of the neighborhoods near the 25th Ave S homicide, SPD Lt. Paul Leung said Wednesday it is too early to know if SPD has its man but a “person of interest” has been arrested in Federal Way: Continue reading

As man dies in Central District shooting, neighbors call for SPD to do more to quell spike in gun violence

(Image: SPD)

Neighbors are pushing for more to be done by police in the Central District following Friday’s murder of Marshall Bennett after the 38-year-old was gunned down at his 25th Ave S residence in continuing gang violence and what police say are personal vendettas driving an ongoing wave of shootings.

Bennett is being remembered by family and residents of the area who knew him as a neighbor and a man who had lived through serious run-ins with the law while paying a major price along the way. When he was convicted of drug charges in 2013 after being arrested with crack cocaine after a fight in a Capitol Hill alley, prosecutors said Bennett had already served more than a decade in jail for a 2001 robbery conviction. Bennett was sentenced to 13 more months in jail in the 2013 case. This summer, Bennett was released from jail in July after being jailed during another drug investigation, according to King County Superior Court records.

Friday’s homicide remains unsolved and detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a green sedan seen fleeing the area following the shooting. You can call (206) 233-5000 if you have any information that might help. Continue reading