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Magazine: Is Capitol Hill’s nightlife boom causing hate crimes?

Police take suspects into custody following an E Pike beating last summer. The hate crime trial is slated to begin late this summer (Image: )

Police take suspects into custody following an E Pike beating last summer. The hate crime trial is slated to begin late this summer (Image: Oleg Zharsky with permission to CHS)

The perception is things are bad enough that we need Q-Patrol again — OutWatch is now patrolling the streets of Capitol Hill.

Seattle Magazine asks if Capitol Hill’s “booming” nightlife is to blame:

But all that pulsating nightlife and affluence may be sparking disturbing, even dangerous consequences, especially for the community’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members. In 2013, attacks against gay men made headlines in local media, suggesting that a new wave of hate crimes was spreading through the neighborhood. While police statistics do not show a definitive spike in antigay violence on Capitol Hill, anecdotes abound among worried residents and visitors bemoaning the potential loss of a long-established safe haven for sexual minorities.

Spoiler alert: article doesn’t draw a conclusion but says heightened awareness could be to blame or that “a backlash impulse is not uncommon” —

Some newcomers enjoying Capitol Hill at night may be seeing their first transsexual or same-sex couple holding hands in public and responding with an angry slur or worse. But gay communities and culture have always attracted a diverse range of straight nighttime revelers, and the mix of queer and straight has been a tradition on Capitol Hill.

In some cases, mental instability seems to be as strong as the alleged hate.

Our most recent blotter update will also attest to the universal nature of street crime in a city environment. We’re all in this together.

In the meantime, East Precinct’s new leader Capt. Pierre Davis says increased patrols are in the works.


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10 thoughts on “Magazine: Is Capitol Hill’s nightlife boom causing hate crimes?

  1. The causes of crime on the Hill are multitude, but the business community here has to be part of the solution. In addition to continuing to prod the City to get more police walking the beat, we should all try to support OutWatch. Making the Hill safe, and especially protecting the diversity of people here, should be a paramount concern. Let’s all support this effort with money, volunteers, and food for the volunteers.

  2. Pingback: Magazine: Is Capitol Hill's nightlife boom causing hate crimes? | Wired Nixon

  3. I think this has a lot to do with what has already been discussed in previous posts, where people from out of the neighborhood/city are basically coming to Cap Hill on Friday and Saturday nights and treating it like their drunken playground that they can trash and just leave when they’re done–whether it be leaving garbage everywhere, starting fights, etc. Almost everyone I know goes out on weeknights now to avoid this kind of stuff. Hopefully we can band together as a neighborhood to make the area a safe place for everyone, especially the LGBT community. Hooray for OutWatch!

  4. Having lived on or near the hill for years (30+) I have seen this problem flow and ebb. We can all help by not tolerating any racist, sexist or homophopbic activity any time. If the people visiting see this they will act appropriately or not come.

    • I agree I have lived on the hill for 21 years and it has ebbed and flowed usually getting worse as clubs that catered to hiphop or hard rock crowds opened or took over spots that previously were gay clubs and it brought people to the hill from the south end and other places less tolerant of diversity.

      In the last few years I have noticed that the level of people out at night on the weekends milling around and being loud seems to have increased. Not sure if that is just due to more people who go out being on the hill or if it is a lack of policing. I don’t see much of a police presence in lower Pike Pine where I live lately. Used to be you’d see cops on bikes dealing with the drunks that like to camp out on the stoops of buildings to drink malt liquor but now the only time you see the cops is if they are called. Have not seen a bike cop in months, and a copy on foot is non existent.

  5. Do we know for certain the percentage of hate crimes that are perpetrated by Capitol Hill residents? I don’t think it’s safe to assume all are from people just visiting Capitol Hill. And what about domestic violence within same sex relationships. That happens on the Hill for sure, including sometimes in public.

    • Domestic violence tends to take place in the home behind closed doors not out on the streets though. Many of the perpetrators say they live on the hill but when you look further they are usually not true residents. They live here in the form of couchsurfing or being homeless.

  6. I thought all that was taken care of when the “Microsoft money” came in. Even the police became more cooperative then.

    I saw they a bringing back the street patrol. You should contact Tracy? She was part of the group. I remember here being security at Seattle Central a long time ago. Street patrol did help.

    We are back to the divide and conquer program in our world again through sex/race/class.

  7. These people are the same groups that assault women and other minorities also, besides gays. They can look like anyone. That is why these people are hard to find, they can run back to there neighborhoods. They never piss in their own back yard, unless it’s a private party.