The May Day protests were a complete snooze show. That was to be expected though,. No surprises from anything that happened outside the courthouse May 1st in downtown Seattle. Nothing exciting really at all.
Because the event was bound to be the same as always, just a bit smaller and more underwhelming that usual, it offered the perfect opportunity for me to talk to the police a little bit more than I normally would be able to during a May Day Protest.
There. Was only about 10 people at the protest and about 40 or 50 police along with a barricade for good measure. So they were under no threat whatsoever. I was able to talk to many of the officers one on one at least for a brief chit chat and ask them a trivia question that they ended up not know the answer too. At which point they all would shut down and play the silent game.
I was okay with then shutting down though. Because at that point I had gotten proof of what I suspected.
I asked the officers all the same questions. I asked them a trivia question about trespassing and retail theft crime in Seattle.
Here is the exact question – How is the way that Seattle prosecutes shoplifting different and unique than any other city in the entire country?
Not a single officer knew the answer to the question I was asking. Not a single correct answer to anything even close.
The answer was that in Seattle the police have no involvement whatsoever in any stop of the prosecution of shoplifters. The Seattle Police Department has signed over all the rights and privileges of fighting shoplifting over to the stores and the security and loss prevention. The Police have no involvement in a any shoplifting case, no matter what. No police involvement in any step of the process from the case being built and evidence gather to when the shoplifter is sentenced by a judge.
The fact that none of the officers knew this is starting it painting a picture about the Retail Theft Program, which is the contract that makes this special arrangement all possible. How can nobody know this thing even exists. The police don’t know about it. Journalists don’t know about it. The people in the community don’t seem to know about it. How can nobody know about it? Maybe I am the only one to know?
I don’t want to call this a conspiracy, but its pretty strange wouldn’t you agree?