SPD increases efforts to put ‘shooters in handcuffs’ after East Precinct gun violence

Seattle Police commanders say they’re taking a laser focused approach to identifying and arresting suspects of violent crime in the wake of an uptick of shootings in the city, several of which have occurred in the East Precinct.

Chief Kathleen O’Toole highlighted the department’s recent strategies to tackle gang violence with “predictive analysis” at a briefing Tuesday. The cornerstone of the increased effort is a daily meeting at the department’s Real Time Crime Center, where officials discuss every violent crime that occurred over the past 24 hours.

In the meetings which began last month, O’Toole said information on suspects vehicles and known gang affiliations is widely distributed and specific officers are tasked with making arrests. SPD also began holding a weekly violent crime meeting with regional and federal law enforcement agencies.

“Shooters in handcuffs, that’s our top priority,” O’Toole said. The effort recently led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle connected to the August 13th killing of 24-year-old Antonio Jones at 26th and Columbia. Continue reading

Second phase brings a busier E Pike pedestrian zone

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IMG_0062The rainbow crosswalks served with even greater purpose over the weekend as the second phase of the E Pike pedestrian zone pilot shifted the test of a car-free Pike/Pine into a model with more activity and more options for motor vehicles.

Saturday’s set-up again included the closure of E Pike between Broadway and 12th but north-south cross-streets 10th and 11th remained open to driving — and everything else that cars like to do in the big city. The result was a busy scene with flashing SPD safety lights in all directions. Let’s turn it over to our correspondent at 10th and Pike, Pike/Pinerepreneur Dave Meinert.  “I like it, but I liked it better when the streets were completely closed off,” Meinert said Saturday night. “I could do without the flashing police lights, too.” With the streets closed except for the north/south streets, the rainbow crosswalks were the only safe way to cross.

IMG_0079Saturday’s E Pike closure also included “programming” for the first time — street yoga and drag queens were on the menu this weekend. The threat of mimes was postponed until the next session. The verdict is still out on how the street entertainment mix worked out. SDOT also said data collected on the pilot is not yet ready to share publicly.

Next weekend, On August 29th, Century Ballroom will host queer-friendly partner dance classes On E Pike, planned to include live musicians. Amplified sound will be wrapped up by 11 PM. The programming will then shift gears into more “calming” performances. “We want string musicians to serenade people goodnight and indicate that it’s time to get out of the street, get some food or head home,” EcoDistrict organizer Alex Brennan told CHS.

The EcoDistrict’s pedestrian zone project is being funded through $30,000 of a $160,000 city grant the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce received earlier this year. A similar program is up and running in Portland’s nightlife core. A pedestrian-only pilot program on Vancouver, BC’s bar-laden Granville St. was well-received by the city’s police department, which reported public intoxication calls decreased by almost half. The Seattle Police Department has been supportive of the idea so far as street fights and other crime could be substantially reduced by allowing bar crowds to disperse into the street rather than being crammed together on sidewalks. Spreading crowds over a greater area could also allow police officers to intervene quicker when incidents occur, Brennan said.

Find more information about the pilot program here. You can contact the EcoDistrict with feedback.


(Images: Capitol Hill EcoDistrict via Facebook)

What the Broadway ‘post office’ building will look like — Plus, first look at plans for 95 Slide development

Believe it or not, this is not the plan (Images: )

Believe it or not, this is not the plan at Harvard and Pike (Images: Skidmore Janette )

There aren’t any plans — exactly — to preserve old Capitol Hill buildings as part of two projects slated to share the City of Seattle design review stage this week. We’ll get our most complete look yet at the six-story project that will replace Broadway’s old post office. And, at Harvard and Pike, we’ll get our first look at the plans — and the preservation scheme — behind the seven-story building set to replace 95 Slide.Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.09.50 AM

722 E Pike St

722 E. Pike St – Design Review Early Design Guidance for a 7 story structure containing 90 residential units with 4,000 sq. ft. of retail at street level. No parking is proposed. Existing structure to be demolished. View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting
August 26, 2015 6:30 pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance  

Project Number: 3020112  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice

Planner: Magda Hogness

CHS first reported this spring on the plan to develop the old pre-1940 building at the corner of Harvard and Pike currently home to sports bar 95 Slide. Owner Marcus Lalario later told CHS he was bummed by the choice to go the redevelopment route and not allow him to buy the club. “Capitol Hill is what it is, now,” Lalario said.

On this particular block, at least, Capitol Hill is set to stand about seven stories tall and be packed with apartment units. The property, by the way, was purchased in June from its longtime owners for $2.9 million. The new owner knows a little bit about Capitol Hill these days — Kevin Pantzar is chief financial officer at W.G. Clark Construction.

Wednesday night, developers Johnson Carr and the architects at Skidmore Janette will bring a design to the review board that will easily fit into the block now dominated by the seven-story Pike Motorworks project. It is being planned for around 26,000 square feet of residential space. At 90 units or so, the average living space will be a tidy 288 square feet.

But the design of the project is less interesting than the means by which developers Tyler Carr and Kelten Johnson propose to build an extra story in the six-story-approved zone: Continue reading

Round two of E Pike’s pedestrian zone will feature earlier start, drag, street yoga — UPDATE: no mimes!

IMG_4579Updated-map-image-1024x630Now the fun really begins. After Pike/Pine revelers needed a little coaxing to get into the street during the first trial run of the E Pike pedestrian zone, local drag performers should have no problem drawing people off the sidewalks this weekend.

The second round of Capitol Hill EcoDistrict’s street closure pilot program starts Saturday night and will include an earlier start and performances through the evening. Vehicle traffic will be blocked on E Pike between Broadway and 12th Ave from 8 PM to 3 AM, however 10th and 11th Avenues will remain open to traffic.

The night’s festivities will start with a free street yoga class at 8 PM put on by SweatBox Yoga. Owner Laura Culberg said mats and athletic clothing would be optional for the beginners level session.

The main event starts a 9 PM with the Grand Diva Deluxe drag show performed on a stage just outside The Wildrose. Here’s the rundown from host Jackie Hell:

You won’t be the only drag queen on E Pike St this night! The lineup includes some of Seattle’s finest, including: Tony James, AKA Freckles Riverside, of New Noise Productions (the King of F’ing with Burlesque). RainbowGore Cake, the 12 year old, drag superstar. Shelli Kountz, bringing you Drag King realness. Ade, the sultry singer we all love. Honey Bucket, Pac Highway’s hottest Ho.

Amplified sound will end by 10 PM. The programming will then shift gears into more “calming” performances that could include human statues, mimes, and acoustic musicians.

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SDOT cameras have been recording the scene around E Pike as part of the pedestrian zone study. We wonder what they’ve seen! (Image: CHS)

Last month, the City installed video cameras along E Pike in order to complete a pedestrian count study of the Pike/Pine core, including during the pedestrian-only trials. Seattle Department of Transportation officials tell CHS the cameras are “strictly” for counting purposes (unlike the cameras federal agents quietly installed in the CD last month).

Data from the study won’t be ready until next month, according to a SDOT spokesperson. A handful of interns will be responsible for painstakingly counting each pedestrian captured on hundreds of hours of video, though we’re sure they’ll catch some interesting moments to make the time go by.

The success of the E Pike pedestrian zone could go a long way towards making the EcoDistrict the next big thing on Capitol Hill. EcoDistrict representatives recently went before City Council members to tout their successes since launching in 2013 and to discuss their tackling even bigger neighborhood projects in the near future.

Here are car/parking details for Saturday night:

No parking will be allowed on E Pike Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue, and the east side of 11th Avenue 150 feet north of E Pike Street, from 6PM until 3AM. The following left turn lanes will be closed from 8PM to 3AM: -Southbound Broadway at Pike -Northbound 12th Avenue at Pike Closure details: Three blocks of E Pike Street will be closed to vehicles from 8PM Saturday until 3AM Sunday Parking on E Pike Street will be closed between Broadway and 11th Avenue starting at 6PM Saturday

For more information visit capitolhillecodistrict.org 

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‘Our neighborhood belongs to us, not crime’ — Vigil planned for Pine parking lot where 23-year-old gunned down

Candlelight Vigil FlyerA group dedicated to increasing public safety on Capitol Hill is planning a vigil and march against crime Saturday night to begin in the Pine St. parking lot where a 23-year-old was gunned down this past weekend.

“This candlelight vigil is focused on the mantra, ‘OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BELONGS TO US, NOT CRIME,’ the flyer states. “Violence of any kind is unwelcome.”

The event is being organized by Social Outreach Seattle, a group started in 2013 by community organizer Shaun Knittel, and Daniel Goodman, the victim in a recent Capitol Hill robbery and assault, turned neighborhood activist.

The march includes a vigil and moment of silence across from the Baltic Room in the parking lot where Ramon Mitchell was shot and killed in a gunfire-filled melee just after 2 AM last Sunday. Continue reading

Homicide detectives seek tips in investigation of deadly shooting — UPDATE

Investigators worked to finish the collection of evidence Sunday morning (Image: CHS)

Investigators worked to finish the collection of evidence Sunday morning (Image: CHS)

Seattle Police detectives are seeking help in their investigation into a Capitol Hill gunfight outside The Baltic Room that left one man dead early Sunday morning.

SPD has not yet released a suspect description and officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the victim.

A Seattle Times staffer reported that the victim was the son of Ritchie “OG Ratt” Williams — a member of Seattle’s Hoover Crips who was fatally shot in 2013. Posts on social media memorializing “Monie Ratt” appeared in the hours following the shooting Sunday.

"In Loving Memory Of Ramon Mitchell" via GoFundMe.com

“In Loving Memory Of Ramon Mitchell” via GoFundMe.com

UPDATE 8/18/2015 3:10 PM: Officials have identified the victim as Ramon Mitchell, 23. A fundraiser has been set up to help cover his funeral expenses:

In Loving Memory Of Ramon Mitchell
Ramon Mitchell /monie however you known him we all know he was loving person and loved by his family.
On August 16,2015 monie was at a club in capital hill when senseless shots rang out and out of 30 shots Ramon was the only person who was shot and killed.
Monie was the kind of person who was a leader, a friend,loving father to his only baby girl and a goal getter. Monie was taken away way to early from all of his family for no reason. Our family is asking for all caring hearts to donate what you can to support us threw this diffitcult time all donations will be used towards the cost for the funeral no other accounts should be donated to other than this account.

Mitchell, unable to own a gun because of a past robbery conviction, was convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm after his arrest in 2014 during the investigation of a South Seattle burglary. He was sentenced to a year in jail that was scheduled to end in June.

Original report: As of Monday, SPD’s report on the incident was not publicly available as homicide detectives typically put a hold on reports while they investigate, an SPD spokesperson told CHS. Continue reading

Police investigating after man shot in gunfight outside club at Pine/Melrose — UPDATE: Homicide

Pine between Boren and Bellevue remained blocked to traffic and pedestrians into the daylight hours Sunday morning as investigators continued to collect evidence. (Images: CHS)

SPD found a man shot in a parking lot near Melrose and Pine after what police call a “large disturbance” including multiple gunshots early Sunday morning.

Seattle Fire and SPD were called to the scene across from the Baltic Room just after 2 AM after reports of at least 15 shots, and people running and ducking behind cars to avoid the gunfire.

Officers administered CPR to the victim in the parking lot on the north side of Pine and medics transported him to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. Multiple SPD units were called to help deal with the large crowd at the scene. UPDATE 11:57 AM: The victim in the incident did not survive and the shooting is being investigated as a homicide.

Police say officers have located several separate groups of shell casings within 1.5 blocks of the shooting indicating multiple people fired weapons.

Police recovered at least one gun at the scene and witnesses reported physical descriptions of at least two different shooters firing into the air. According to East Precinct radio, a club security guard at the scene also “returned fire” with one shot from the south side of Pine.IMG_9293

Later in the morning, an armed man was taken into custody and his gun was taken into evidence by police near the shooting but it was not believed the suspect was involved in the shooting, according to radio dispatches.

According to East Precinct radio, a 911 caller reported that the occupants of a vehicle pulled a gun after a hit and run at Boren and Pine around the time of the shooting. The black Suburban vehicle was last seen headed north on Boren.

Police also were investigating a report of around seven shots fired heard near 23rd and Jackson about 45 minutes following the Pine shooting.

It has been a deadly week for gun violence in the city. Thursday night, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed at 26th and Columbia. SPD officials revealed earlier this summer they are working with federal agencies to quell a wave of gun violence across the East Precinct. Last week, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms its agents had installed surveillance cameras on utility poles in the Central District.

Meanwhile, Saturday night was the second in August’s pilot of a pedestrian zone safety program closing E Pike between Broadway and 12th to traffic.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Homicide/Assault tip line at (206) 233-5000.

UPDATE 2:00 PM: In a statement, Baltic Room management said the club had asked for “closer supervision” of the parking lot where the shooting occurred. Continue reading

Baso needs your help curating work of Capitol Hill street artist

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(Image: @michelledirkse via Instagram)

If you’ve walked Broadway, you’ve seen Darryl Ary’s work — usually set up in front of Dick’s. Everything for sale. Artist and big Red Wall mural creator Baso Fibonacci is looking for help from the people who have bought Ary’s paintings to help put together a show of the outsider artist’s work:

Hey, I’m putting together a show of Darryl’s work this thursday at Vermillion. Trying to find as many people as possible to loan pieces they have of his and was wondering if you would be willing to put up a post asking people to bring work by tomorrow (tuesday the 11th) around 6p. The show runs through Sept. 5th, thanks, baso.

You can learn more about the Darryl Ary show starting at Vermillion later this week here.

What it looked like when E Pike was pedestrian only

IMG_4711It looked mostly fun, naturally. The first of four August Saturday night tests of a pedestrian zone in the nightlife rich heart of Pike/Pine went mostly smoothly this weekend.

One of the biggest issues: questions. Police said many E Pike visitors Saturday night into Sunday morning didn’t know what was happening and hadn’t heard about the pilot program. Despite a wide open, car-free street, many groups stuck to the sidewalks until being coaxed into the road.

Others, however, were clearly ready for the party.

The pilot project run by the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is designed to test a three-block pedestrian zone between Broadway and 12th on E Pike as part of a month-long trial of the concept hoped to alleviate street violence and make the area easier to patrol for police.

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Continue reading

Here’s what Bernie Sanders said at the Comet

Couldn’t squeeze into the Comet Saturday or didn’t have the scratch to donate to the Bernie Sanders for President campaign? Here’s what you missed thanks to YouTube user Aaron Arterburn.

Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held the fundraiser meet-and-greet Saturday inside the Comet Tavern before a rally at the UW’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Earlier in the day, the appearance of Sanders at a Westlake rally supporting Social Security was cut short by Black Lives Matter protesters.

“This income and wealth inequality is grotesque, it is immoral, it is unsustainable,” Sanders said during his 14-minute speech. Following the scene at Westlake, Sanders spoke frequently of the need for unity in his remarks at the renovated Pike/Pine dive bar and extolled the crowd to tell “Corporate America” that “their greed is destroying this country and they ain’t gonna get away with it anymore.”

UPDATE: Sunday night brings the #BLACKLIVESMATTER : March For Freedom event starting at 6 PM at Seattle Central:

Its has been one year since Mike Brown was shot by ex police officer Darren WILSON.

Since Mike Brown was killed August 9th 2014– Hundreds of Unarmed Black people have been killed by police in 2015 already

THIS HAS TO STOP-TIME TO MARCH FOR FREEDOM AND PUT A END TO the POLICE BRUTALIZING PEOPLE AND The police MURDERING PEOPLE AND TIME TO END Racism and anti blackness

WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND BE UNITED AS ONE AGAINST injustice ,racism,oppression,police brutality and get JUSTICE FOR Freddie gray,Mike Brown,Tamir Rice,Tony Robison,Sandra Bland and hundreds of other unarmed people of color KILLED BY POLICE

people must gather and make a very visible and loud demonstration and do what it takes to get justice for Mike Brown and Freddie gray,Mike Brown,Tamir Rice,Tony Robison and hundreds of other unarmed people of color KILLED BY POLICE ! Bring signs and banners, bring cardboard and markers so other people can make signs.

The scene outside the Comet was, perhaps, even more dramatic. A crowd gathered around the tavern’s windows with people hoping to get a look at the goings-on inside mixed with people watching the production of a day-long Mercedes Benz commercial shoot on 10th Ave involving nearby businesses and buildings. Meanwhile, E Pike was also being prepared for the first night of the pedestrian zone project to create a safer street experience for weekend nightlife crowds.