Opinion

As Crime Rises In Washington, Official Wants to End Felony Incarceration

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King County Executive Dow Constantine is about as slimy a politician who has ever slithered into political office. (Sorry, if you’re thinking I should have sugarcoated that description… I did.)

The non-prosecuting prosecutor is all aboard the defund the police train, but he’s adding an additional feature. Constantine embraces not only “a move to defund” the King County Sheriff’s Office but also, as KTTH Radio host Jason Rantz wrote, wants “to end felony incarceration.”

Hang on a sec… WTF?

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The Seattle Weekly reported Constantine, in his State of the County address, says he plans to “invest, divest, and reimagine” policing, i.e. defunding. One item on his list says he’ll, “Divest $1.9 million in detention by continuing limits on jail population.”

And he’s using The COVID to do it. He explained his public danger goals: “During COVID, King County has reduced the daily adult population in the jail to 1,300, down from approximately 1,900 pre-COVID, and the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and others will seek to maintain and further reductions.” These are false and arbitrary reductions, not letting a crisis go to waste, that put dangerous criminals back on the streets.

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Constantine’s budget cut would result in slashing up to 30 sheriff’s deputy positions. Though, as Rantz notes, probably “not the deputies in the executives’ [protection] detail….” And speaking of that detail, Dori Monson, another Seattle radio host, at KIRO Radio, wrote about, for two years, hearing from sheriff’s “deputies and detectives that Executive Constantine was abusing his Executive Protection Unit.”

Monson explains this protection detail’s special training. They “literally learn how to put their lives on the line to protect a politician.” Wow! Think about what a dramatic dichotomy that is. Honorable law officers risking their lives to protect the life of a corrupt politician.

Through public records requests, Monson found that Constantine would use deputies as taxpayer-paid chauffeurs, driving him on his “bar-hopping” excursions. Monson said a listener he’s known for years, and who has always provided him reliable information, called his show to offer some confirmation on the stories about Constantine.

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The caller said, “There’s Dow sitting there having a cocktail with some young lady,” my listener said on the air. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, here he is again, just like Dori has been talking about.’” The caller added that he went outside and saw an unmarked black car in the parking lot with government plates. Then the caller described seeing Constantine “running—literally running—and ducking…” going to his security detail, hoping nobody would see him running out of the restaurant.”

Corroboration came when Monson contacted Constantine’s communications director. Monson wrote, “First they tried to deny that Dow was there. We had a photo to prove he was there.” Then they denied there was a “security detail waiting in the parking lot.” The obfuscation increased. Monson admitted his investigation showed it was not a sheriff’s vehicle or deputy in the car. Surprisingly, it was a City of Seattle car and a uniformed Seattle police officer driving the car. That’s not weird, right?

Though this story has no direct connection to Constantine’s extreme anti-law and order agenda, it shows how ethically slippery this anti-cop politician is. When the top county official skitters around in the shadows, don’t constituents need to know what other skullduggery he might be involved in?

About the defunding efforts, cutting deputies, and prisoner releases, Rantz said, “Constantine and other leaders are taking advantage of the civil unrest and Black Lives Matter movement to forward a purely partisan social justice agenda.” He’s right. And you can add exploiting The Covid, especially in a still-locked-down state like Washington, to do it.

According to conservative activist Tim Eyman, Washington Governor Jay Inslee keeps his people’s state locked down while 80 percent of the country is opening up. To keep Washingtonians in political shackles, Gov. Inslee has issued or extended “emergency” declarations (royal edicts) from his gubernatorial Pez-dispenser for the past six months.

Inslee’s actions connect him to his buddy Constantine through the mutual support provided during The COVID. This unwarranted, unconstitutional, extended state lockdown is continuing to give political bullies like Constantine more ammo to pass their reckless anti-law and order policies. In this case, those policies have Constantine annihilating public safety by taking deputies off the street while, at the same time, putting dangerous criminals back on those streets.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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