In the last few months, the homeless people in Seattle have become more aggressive, violent, and have even become deadlier. While they have taken over many public places in the city and have terrorized Seattle’s residents, local progressive politicians remain silent. Some believe this inaction has created this violent environment among Seattle’s homeless.
A lot of Seattle’s homeless stay at City Hall Park, an area situated by the county courthouse in downtown Seattle. Given the large number of people who stay here, it resembles a refugee camp, with dozens of tents all over the park.
It has become the city’s most dangerous par. However, the demands and requests made by courthouse officials to clear it have fallen on deaf ears.
The Seatle City Council and local activists argue that getting rid of the homeless shows a lack of compassion. To add to this, they used the COVID-19 pandemic as another reason to refuse. This has led sweeps to become practically inexistent in the city. It left Seattle’s homeless suffering in many public places in the city. Although these people are not just hurting themselves, they’re hurting residents, too.
Cases of Aggression and Violence in Seattle’s Homeless
One case of aggression involved a homeless man named Clint James Jory, 35. He was released from prison last July 23, following a 21-month sentence for random assaults on women. Six days after his release, he was doing what he went to jail for again.
Jory allegedly went into the county courthouse and snuck into the women’s bathroom. He stripped off most of his clothing and waited for his victim, which happened to be a pregnant woman. That he “savagely attacked.”
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A few weeks before this incident, Courtney Jamar Williams reportedly assaulted a senior who was only walking his dog. Williams also tried to rob the man of his jacket but the latter managed to defend himself with pepper spray. Following a short break, law enforcement said Williams came back for revenge.
Another incident involving a homeless man took place. According to law enforcement, Michael Sedejo has confessed to stabbing another homeless person to death. Weeks before this incident, Sedejo has been arrested for assault. However, he was released on reduced bail as it was paid by the Northwest Community Bail Fund.
Democratic Politicians Remain Opposed to Sweeps Even with Residents in Danger
Because of the many ongoing issues at the park, 33 superior judges decided to write a letter, asking for the city to clear it.
In the letter, the judges wrote: “Our Court has repeatedly met with park officials, city leaders and law enforcement to request urgent assistance to address these conditions. Little has changed, other than conditions becoming even more dire.”
While court officials also add to the environment by giving light sentences on these assaults, they are still in constant threat.
Apart from them, commuters and drivers are also being assaulted on the freeway as homeless encampments are found on either side of the freeway and in overpasses. Since April, the city saw 209 reported incidents of debris thrown at cars and drivers. Several people have suffered serious injuries but all have managed to escape death.
Before a sweep on encampments was allowed, the Washington State Department of Transportation waited until 5 separate arrests have been made.
There is a standard claim against sweeps. Those opposed to it say it lacks compassion and humanity. Instead, many Democratic politicians believe it’s compassionate and humane to let these people sleep outdoors, surrounded by trash, living with untreated mental health issues and addictions.