Federal District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled that the city of Seattle, Washington, may not enforce a graffiti ban, the Washington Examiner reported. Last week's ruling applies to both private and public property.
Pechman, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, claims that cops arresting vandals for writing messages such as "BLM" is a violation of their First Amendment rights. She claims that the law on the books is "impermissibly vague and substantially overbroad."
"On its face, the Ordinance sweeps so broadly that it criminalizes innocuous drawings (from a child’s drawing of a mermaid to pro-police messages written by the Seattle Police Foundation) that can hardly be said to constitute 'visual blight' and which would naturally wash away in the next rain storm," Pechman wrote in her opinion, according to Fox News. Now, instead of encouraging police to keep the city orderly and safe, there has been a concerted effort to demonize and minimize officers' roles.
The Seattle Police Department released a statement following the ruling to clarify that it was not their decision to abandon their duty to life and property. "Late yesterday afternoon, SPD received an order from a US District Court judge that enjoined, in full, enforcement of SMC 12A.080.020 – the City’s misdemeanor property destruction law," a statement from the SPD said.
"This means that until further order of the Court, SPD cannot take action on damage to property under this law," the statement continued.
"This is not a matter within SPD or City discretion; we are bound by the court order as it is written."
Police are currently working with city officials to rectify this situation which is sure to be unpopular with constituents. "We understand and share the concerns that are being relayed to us by our community, businesses and residents alike," the SPD continued.
"We know, as evidenced by the thousands of calls for service we receive each year reporting acts of vandalism and other forms of property damage that property damage is, in fact, a crime that is of significance to community members," the police department acknowledged. This move is just the latest in a string of efforts to restrict policing in Seattle in an apparent effort to turn the city into a dystopian hellscape.
Beginning with the Black Lives Matter riots in 2020, police were told to stand down as rioters filled the streets of Seattle. They were barred from using crowd-dispersing methods such as tear gas despite the destruction and violence, and the results were catastrophic.
Rather than cracking down on the problem from the start, officers were told to do nothing as Seattle was looted and burned. Rioters took over a neighborhood and blocked it off as an "autonomous zone" free of police.
Besides the loss of property, there were half a dozen shootings that left two people dead, thanks to the hands-off approach imposed by officials. Seattle would end up settling for millions of dollars with business owners impacted by the riots.
Seattle is not alone in its effort to ruin a once great American city with lawlessness. Cities all across America are allowing criminals to run amok while law enforcement is forced to stand idly by in order to promote racial equity.
In Chicago, suspects who flee on foot will no longer be chased by police, NPR reported. That policy came after separate March 2021 incidents where 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez were shot by police after fleeing on foot.
Unfortunately, officials failed to take into account that both suspects were armed at the time, thus warranting such action by police. In San Franciso, the decision not to prosecute crime has forced half of the retail outlets in the city to close their doors, the New York Post reported.
The left is bent on excusing criminal behavior, from minor infractions like graffiti to major ones like shoplifting. This idea doesn't help criminals and it makes cities less safe for law-abiding citizens, and yet they just keep doing it.