The death of one demonstrator, and the critical injuries to another, following an attempt to block Interstate 5 in Seattle is tragic enough, from one perspective. From another, it's mind-bogglingly stupid, a miscalculation so cretinous that the mind struggles to get around it - because in the aftermath of this incident, it's emerged that the Washington State Patrol deliberately set up roadblocks to help demonstrators trying to shut down the Interstate.
One of the Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters struck by a car while blocking Interstate 5 early July 4th has died and her death has forced state cops to re-think their permissive policies allowing protesters to take over freeways.
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It turns out that the driver had to somehow get around a Washington State Patrol blockade put up to protect the protesters.
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The admission that official Seattle had apparently allowed the protesters to take over the freeway was met with incredulity from law-abiding folks, including one who rightly observed that “Seattle looks like a bunch of children learning not to touch a hot stove.”
After shootings, murder – MURDER – rapes, assaults, graft, and other assorted crimes at the Black Lives Matter/antifa autonomous zone, CHOP, in Seattle, and then Washington State Patrol makes the political decision that these same people should be allowed to hand over a swath of an Interstate freeway … ?
It’s gobsmacking. It defies the law of common sense.
For those playing the home game, the First Amendment allows local officials to exercise time, place, and manner restrictions on free speech events. That means they could have arrested people occupying the freeways. But they didn’t. This freeway takeover was allowed by political forces ordering law enforcement to ignore existing law and allowing this I-5 takeover.
Political Seattle let this takeover of the freeway on the July 4th holiday take place. Thousands and thousands of people who wanted to use the freeway to get to their Independence Day activities were literally detoured from their plans by complicit cops for political reasons.
It is a colossal disconnect.
There's more at the link.
I saw something similar in Nashville a few years ago. City cops actually blocked access ramps to a major Interstate highway, and allowed demonstrators to walk onto it and shut it down. Motorists already on the Interstate, and who were trapped there by the demonstrators, had to wait for hours until the demonstrators left before they were allowed to continue. It caused tremendous anger among the citizens of Nashville, and rightly so, IMHO.
Who the hell was responsible for this decision in Seattle? If it was the cops themselves, every person involved should be fired and blacklisted, so that they can never work in law enforcement again. If it was a politician who gave orders to the Washington State Patrol to do that, they should be publicly named and shamed, and hopefully thrown out of office at the next election. This is unconscionable.
Peaceful protest that does not impede the right to freedom of movement is fine with me. I'll even join in such protests, if I feel strongly enough about the topic in question. However, others' rights end if they seek to override mine. The authorities can restrict freedom of movement for public safety and other reasons, sure: but that does not mean demonstrators enjoy the same right. What's more, authorities can't legitimately force me, by the wrongful use of law enforcement power, to allow demonstrators to interfere with my rights.
I will not permit or tolerate anyone obstructing me in an attempt to force me to listen to their grievances. They can request that, sure. They may not demand that, and they may not coerce that. They do not have that right, and I won't concede it to them. Period. What's more, any attempt to force me to stop and listen to them - particularly involving menacing behavior, threats and the like - will be regarded as a threat to my safety, and the safety of anyone with me. I reserve the right to defend myself against the threat they pose, if I believe it's sufficiently dangerous to warrant that.
For Washington State Police to take sides in so politicized an atmosphere taints them. They are no longer acting as law enforcement personnel or peace officers. By actively helping demonstrators to obstruct the right of movement of other citizens, they are supporting one side in a political debate. That's intolerable. Even worse, they have allied themselves with scofflaws and law-breakers - meaning that at least some of the law-abiding will now regard WSP officers as potential enemies, rather than allies. If the law-abiding can't trust the WSP and/or other agencies to help them when they're threatened by law-breakers, they're going to take their security into their own hands. Is that really what the authorities in Washington state want? . . . because that's what they're going to get.
I can only hope that every WSP officer who takes his oath of office seriously, and wants to be a peace officer rather than a political flunky, will resign from that force, and look for employment in one that actually tries to do its law enforcement job, rather than be a party to enforcing one-sided political edicts.
This is, quite simply, disgusting, and tarnishes every WSP officer.