ACAB, Seattle edition

The weapon of choice by those supporting the police and institutional racism (I repeat myself) is the car. The alt-right finds it very satisfying to plow into a crowd and then pretend it was all a terrible ‘accident’. The latest victim is Summer Taylor, who was murdered the other night by a man who weaved past police roadblocks, zoomed the wrong way up a freeway offramp, and struck two people with his car. You’d think this was a deliberate act of violence, but the Seattle police seem baffled about who to blame and who to arrest.

You’d think this was a clear cut case of homicide. The cops know he acted with intent.

“He went around a series of vehicles that were blocking I-5 and went around on the shoulder where a group of pedestrians were standing,” said Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead.

But guess who is to blame?

The trooper insisted pedestrians should not be on the freeway for their safety.

“And we’ve said that steadfast,” said Mead. “We’ve worked tirelessly to separate motorists from pedestrians fearing a tragedy like this could very well happen.”

You know who needs to learn a lesson from this sad mistake.

Mead said it is illegal for pedestrians to be on the freeway, and he hopes the incident will persuade protesters to protest someplace safer.

But is it illegal to murder someone with your car?

“Very candidly, we don’t know at this point in the investigation what the motive was, what the reasoning was,” Mead said.

Hmmm. Good point. The driver wasn’t drunk, didn’t have drugs in his system, but it’s a total mystery why he up and slammed his car into a group of protesters. Maybe he had a good reason for veering around a roadblock to drive the wrong way up a freeway exit. Who knows?

Troopers said there is no proof that [the murderer] acted deliberately.

Can you even imagine the police saying something like that if they had just arrested a man who shot someone during a holdup? There is no proof that he actually intended to commit a crime with a handgun. Then we can get all philosophical about the meaning of the word “proof”.

The one thing we can be sure of is that the protesters are in the wrong and deserve to be arrested.

As troopers investigate the crash, they’re also cracking down on any future protests that might happen on the freeway.

“We’re letting them know now that we’ll block their access, and if they go around and they actually do go out on the freeway, they will be arrested,” a trooper said.

But, officer, how can you be sure they’re out on the freeway deliberately? Their reasoning is so opaque and unknowable. How can any of us know why we’re in a particular place and time, or why fate puts us in any specific situation? As the great philosopher Mongo said, we are only pawn in game of life.

Jesus, but cops can be so obtuse when it suits them.

By the way, the cops didn’t catch the killer, who had fled the scene. It was another protester who chased him down and stopped him by putting his car in front of him. The cops were just kind of useless. Wait, no, how can I say that? Perhaps they have some invisible grand purpose to their existence that we prisoners of our senses cannot discern.


  1. lakitha tolbert says

    Okay,I cant prove it, but I’m absolutely certain the cops probably put the man up to it, to use as a plausible excuse to crack down on the protesters. I’m just saying.

  2. raven says

    By the way, the cops didn’t catch the killer, who had fled the scene. It was another protester who chased him down and stopped him by putting his car in front of him.

    They might never have caught him unless somebody else did.
    The cops have a habit of not finding the killers of people they don’t like.

    Portland Anti-Fascist Activist Killed In Hit And Run Outside … › news › article › antifa-killed-homicide-…

    Oct 14, 2019 – Sean Kealiher speaks at a rally following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on Nov. 11, 2016, in Portland, Ore.

    Here is proof.
    A Portland antifa activist was killed by a car one night 8 months ago.
    The murder weapon, a 2 1/2 ton SUV was found at the scene.
    There were quite a few witnesses as a crowd was around.

    Despite all the evidence, the Portland police have made no progress in solving this case.
    I’m sure they spent more time on where to go to lunch then they did on this case.

  3. unclefrogy says

    it is amazing how often the cops make the case that they are the problem and demonstrate openly that what the protests are saying is true.
    they are not the source of the problem of course merely the outward expression of it
    the tip of the spear so to speak
    uncle frogy

  4. says

    The fact they are protesting on the freeways shows how dedicated they are to the cause. This is civil disobedience in the 21st century. They’re not listening? Shut down the bridges and freeways. Dangerous for sure, but these people feel that danger is necessary.

    Any coward can scream “FREEDOM” and plow his car into a crowd, or shoot up a club/concert/church/mosque/synagogue. It takes real courage to be willing to take a bullet for what you believe in.

  5. says

    A complication here is that the driver is African American. It is not clear what exactly was going on. The police are indeed considering charges of vehicular assault, which may now be upgraded, but they have not determined a motive. I just think people need to have all the facts.

  6. microraptor says

    You think someone can’t be African American and pro-Trump/police at the same time?

  7. drew says

    About a century ago there were auto clubs in the US. They were industry-backed but they were social groups for the average motoring enthusiast. Think “NRA for cars.” They were instrumental in changing laws across the country to raise speed limits and to make it illegal for people to walk in roads, places they’d been able to walk for at least the entire history of humankind. They paved the path (yes, I just did that) for things a generation later like Robert Moses’s selective demolition of NYC because roads trump people.
    I don’t see anything in this that’s inconsistent with American car culture. Cars over people. Isn’t that the American way?

  8. raven says

    You think someone can’t be African American and pro-Trump/police at the same time?

    Kanye West, Herman Cain, and Candace Owens, among many others.

    That being said, I would really like to hear this guy’s reasons for deliberately killing one person and almost killing another.
    It’s clear from the OP that he spent a lot of effort to deliberately run over those two people.

  9. petesh says

    @10: Honestly, I don’t want to hear his excuses. Not even if they begin with an apology. All I want to hear from him is a guilty plea, and that assumes that he is formally charged with a major offense such as murder; littering won’t cut it.

  10. numerobis says

    It’s clear he spent a lot of effort getting on the highway, that he ended up killing people by driving dangerously including the wrong way on an offramp and so on, and that he fled the scene of an accident.

    It’s not clear he deliberately ran over people; he’d probably have hit more than two if he tried.

    Manslaughter is pretty clear: he deliberately broke rules and in doing so ended up killing someone. Murder isn’t as clear. It’s not like he was choking someone until they died.

  11. raven says

    At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, the suspect allegedly drove into a group of protesters on a section that the WSP had closed about midnight. Mead said a car drove around a series of “support vehicles” that protesters were using to block I-5 and protect themselves, and onto the shoulder of the freeway, where protesters were standing.

    According to CNN, the protesters were standing on the side of the road.
    That makes it more likely that he was deliberately steering his car towards people.

  12. says

    Despite all the evidence, the Portland police have made no progress in solving this case.

    I bet it takes them 5 seconds to run a license plate when they are writing a speeding ticket.

  13. says

    They did solve the case. The perpetrator is in custody. They’re just trying to decide how to charge him. Again, let’s stay fact based here.

  14. kome says

    Isn’t it interesting how in all the protests against quarantines, where the protestors were wielding weapons with abandon, explicitly threatening government officials and police, and were actively blocking efforts of ambulances to get patients to hospitals, no one got run over despite the protestors then effectively demanding we stop protecting people? But for BLM protests demanding that we start doing more to protect people, protestors are being assaulted, hit with tear gas (which, btw, is prohibited by the Geneva Convention for use in warfare), arrested, and murdered.

    It’s as if there’s a very clear segment of the US population that wants to inflict as much violence as possible onto the most vulnerable people, and are emboldened to do so because they face zero repercussions from any segment of society when they do. It almost makes me wish people would drive through gatherings of anti-abortion protestors, protests demanding the end of quarantine, and crowds of police… just for a “taste of their own medicine” thing. Almost.

  15. wzrd1 says

    Obviously, the freeway is at fault.
    Blow the freeway, standard cratering charge and cut any elevated freeway stringers in alternate spans.
    Maybe then the lawless enforcement officers will gain some common fucking sense.

  16. says

    Look, the factual basis people are going on is wrong. The perpetrator was immediately arrested, and placed in custody, and he is scheduled to appear on court on charges of vehicular assault. He is Black, and he is not known to be associated with any political organization or movement. His motive is as yet unknown. The police did nothing wrong in this case except maybe for screwing up by not preventing him from evading the barricades. They surely did not do that on purpose.

  17. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    @17 Kome
    Yeah strange that. It’s not like a cop would ever take a side though. They’re just public servants, objective automatons trying to do a job.

  18. Chris Capoccia says

    In general, penalties for killing someone with your car are lower than any other method. As long as you’re not drunk or going through a construction zone and you stop instead of fleeing the scene, you can say you didn’t see them or they appeared out of nowhere and you might not face any significant penalty at all. Problem is the same for pedestrians and bicyclists. Here the situation and evidence is a little different, but still, it probably will not get the same penalty as when James Alex Fields killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

  19. says

    If the early reports that the driver was black are correct that would explain the police confusion. They have trouble using their usual excuse of mental illness they trot out when a white guy is the extremist.

  20. elspeth says

    I’m happy that he is in custody and that he will be charged. I’m less happy that they’re not talking Murder 1 and Felony Murder, both of which seem to apply even without intent or motive. Knowing what he intended and when he formed the intention might allow an additional hate-crime charge or strengthen the Murder 1 charge.

    I’m not sure if I have enough link-fu to make this work, so I’ll direct readers to google “RCW 9A.32.030” which is the statue defining “Murder in the first degree.” Interestingly, Washington includes “depraved indifference” — I think most other states make it second degree? The relevant part is,

    “(b) Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person;”

    Which appears, on the face of actual and observed actions, to cover it.

    As far as the safety of protesting in the street or on the shoulder of an interstate highway — Actually that does seem to me like risky behavior. I’d view the police talking about this in a lot better light if they were meeting with protest representatives to come to a mutual agreement on what can be done to protect protestors from traffic, e.g. providing alternate venues. Rather than trying to criminalize street-adjacent protestors.

  21. Kagehi says

    @17 Kome

    where the protestors were wielding weapons with abandon, explicitly threatening government officials and police, and were actively blocking efforts of ambulances to get patients to hospitals, no one got run over despite the protestors then effectively demanding we stop protecting people?

    I admit to not obsessively watching Fox News for all the BS claims about what protestors are doing but.. Every source I am seeing has a) the protestors not being armed at all, unless they are counter protestors, like white nationalists, and the like, b) not actually threatening government officials at all (though, again, the other side is doing a lot of threatening), c) the only case I know of where an ambulance was “prevented” from going some place was by the cops, into an area with protestors, to take someone injured to the hospital, and it was people among the protestors themselves that drove the guy in a car, to the hospital, instead (and which the police then used as an excuse to create a fire zone for drive bys), oh, and finally – NO ONE IS SAYING WE DON’T NEED SOMETIME LIKE POLICE – just that we shouldn’t be sending them in to every freaking situation from some dude walking down the street with a toy car, which some other dude thinks might be a gun, to actual active crimes, in which we actually know guns are being used. And, that, in those cases, gun toting numnuts, who can’t shoot straight, but think they have a mandate to go Dirty Harry on every suspect, should be the “last” resort to negotiation the situation, not the freaking first one.

    But, yeah, nice spinning of the situation in favor of the cops, and corrupt politicians, and, falsely equivalizing everyone on the field, by claiming that all protestors are rioters, and all on one side, when, in reality, this has brought out white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and various other “protestors” – WHO ACTUALLY DO GO ARMED EVERY PLACE, and think the problem is all the people protesting against racism, fascism, corruption, and police brutality. Maybe you can get a job at Faux Noise.

    All of that said, this is kind of reverse profiling, I think – “There is no way a black guy could have a motive to attack people that are pro black!” So, basically the same shit being protested against, in a different form. CSI might, “follow the evidence”, unless told flat out to stop running tests, and doing their jobs, because the people they work for have decided they already have all the evidence they need, and the rest should be shelved, but cops.. cops are like the cops, often, even when they mean well, are like the cops in Sherlock Holmes novels – they mean well, but they rely, far, far, too much on their “gut”, or personal bias/opinion, etc. I mean, how many times have there been, over the years, where advocacy groups have paid to have prior evidence, including rape kits, processed, which where never run through DNA, even “newer” kits, because the cops already “knew” they had the right guy, and not only was it not the right guy, they released the actual perp, having decided they didn’t “fit” some set of criteria, and that perp went on to commit multiple more crimes, including murders, only to land in jail, when they should have been caught on victim #1 (or a lot closer to that number), when brought in for questioning the first damn time? Honestly, dozens, at least, maybe hundreds, given the number of cases per year, and the tens of thousands of kits still collecting dust on shelves? But, even one dozen would be an indictment to the failure of police to do their jobs right, and the DA to follow through on ALL of the evidence available.

    And, its been a truism, to the point of being TV trope, clear back to the flipping 70s, that, if the victim is a minority, especially a prostitute, in many cities, no one will bother to even try to solve it, and the DA won’t give a damn. But, this has been the case of everyone marginalized. If you are not important, they think you are a runaway, even if you are not working the street, etc., etc., etc., somehow the cops don’t give a F, the DA won’t make them do their jobs, and you will be lucky if a CSI even gets called to “take” evidence.

    But, this is also the case for “anything” they deem to be beneath their notice. We had a rash of people breaking car windows in the city here, one car had freaking hand prints all over it, which didn’t belong to the owners, but the cops wouldn’t even take prints. Another time someone had a statue stolen out of the middle of their locked, fenced in, yard. Again, no prints taken, and they where told, basically, “It was probably one of your neighbors, since we all know Mexicans in this area do that sort of thing. It doesn’t matter than you are one of the ‘rich ones’, its your own fault for living so close to the rest of them!”

    If you don’t matter to someone important, or you are not someone who someone important will notice was mistreated by the cops, no one cares, including, more often than not, the court system, and the guy who decides what cases to even bother handing over to be judged (i.e., the local DA). Its rot, all the way through.

  22. gyreandgimble says

    Here is a study of our police system, which concludes that it is “even more broken than you think.” Very interesting but it does not conclude, as many here do, that all cops are bad.

  23. gyreandgimble says

    Whoops, forgot to include the link. Also, here is a quote from it.
    “ The problems with ideology and prejudice are dramatically intensified by the demanding nature of the policing profession. Officers work a difficult job for long hours, called upon to handle responsibilities ranging from mental health intervention to spousal dispute resolution. While on shift, they are constantly anxious, searching for the next threat or potential arrest.

    Stress gets to them even off the job; PTSD and marital strife are common problems. It’s a kind of negative feedback loop: The job makes them stressed and nervous, which damages their mental health and personal relationships, which raises their overall level of stress and makes the job even more taxing.

    According to Goff, it’s hard to overstate how much more likely people are to be racist under these circumstances. When you put people under stress, they tend to make snap judgments rooted in their basic instincts. For police officers, raised in a racist society and socialized in a violent work atmosphere, that makes racist behavior inevitable.

    “The mission and practice of policing is not aligned with what we know about how to keep people from acting on the kinds of implicit biases and mental shortcuts,” he says. “You could design a job where that’s not how it works. We have not chosen to do that for policing.”

    Across the United States, we have created a system that makes disproportionate police targeting of Black citizens an inevitability. Officers don’t need to be especially racist as compared to the general population for discrimination to recur over and over; it’s the nature of the police profession, the beliefs that permeate it, and the situations in which officers find themselves that lead them to act in racist ways.”

    Sent from my iPad

  24. gyreandgimble says

    More from the box article. This is really disturbing.
    ‘“ Police don’t treat whole communities like this because they’re born worse or more evil than civilians. It’s better to understand the majority of officers as ordinary Americans who are thrown into a system that conditions them to be violent and to treat Black people, in particular, as the enemy. While some departments are better than others at ameliorating this problem, there’s not a city in the country that appears to have solved it entirely.

    Rizer summarizes the problem by telling me about one new officer’s experience in Baltimore.

    “This was a great young man,” Rizer says. “He joined the Baltimore Police Department because he wanted to make a difference.”

    Six months after this man graduated from the academy, Rizer checked in on him to see how he was doing. It wasn’t good.

    “They’re animals. All of them,” Rizer recalls the young officer telling him. “The cops, the people I patrol, everybody. They’re just fucking animals.”

    This man was, in Rizer’s mind, “the embodiment of what a good police officer should have been.” Some time after their conversation, he quit the force — pushed out by a system that takes people in and breaks them, on both sides of the law.”

  25. gyreandgimble says

    Not a cop, social scientist.
    Wmdkitty-did you read the article? Not just “excuses”, actually some nuance in the article, a range of explanations for people’s’ behavior. Too often here it’s just the cop “is a racist piece of shit”. I think it’s more complicated.