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Seattle mayor wants public suggestions in search for new top cop

   Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn – he’s the new defendant in the Second Amendment Foundation/National Rifle Association lawsuit against the city’s illegal park gun ban which will be argued before Judge Catherine Shaffer this Friday at 2 p.m. in King County Superior Court – is asking for public input as he develops selection criteria for a new police chief.
   The department has been under the command of interim Chief John Diaz since anti-gun Chief Gil Kerlikowske was tapped by the Obama administration to be the nation’s “drug czar.” Kerlikowske pulled out of Seattle without recovering the 9mm Glock pistol stolen from his department car while it was parked on a downtown street Dec. 26, 2004. It was his personal gun, and now it’s out there, posing more of a public safety threat than any of the privately-owned firearms – including so-called “assault weapons” – that he lobbied in Olympia to ban. 
The Seattle Police Chief Search Committee, a 26-member citizen panel, has been tasked with the job of narrowing the pool of potentials down to three finalists to recommend to the mayor in May, in the hopes of making a final selection by June.
   According to the Queen Anne View, McGinn’s search committee is asking the public to answer these questions:
·         What qualities are you looking for in a new Police Chief?
·         What is the most important public safety issue in Seattle?
·         What does the Seattle Police Department do well?
·         What changes would you like to see?
   Many in the gun rights community would offer these suggestions:
   The new police chief should be pro-gun-rights, fully-versed on the individual right to keep and bear arms as defined in the Washington State constitution.
   The new chief should understand that lawful concealed and open carry is protected by the state constitution and appeals court rulings, and that existing state statute nullifies the current ban on legally-carried firearms in Seattle parks and recreation facilities, imposed under former Mayor Greg Nickels, an anti-gun extremist.
   Most gun rights activists think it would be nice to have a chief who is an endowment or benefactor member of the National Rifle Association, and some might think it would be better if the chief had quit the NRA, believing it to be “too soft on gun rights.”
   The first of three public meetings on the selection of a new chief is this afternoon, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center, 10510 – 5th Ave NE.
   Two more meetings are slated during the same hours on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Franklin High School, and Friday, Feb. 26 at the New Holly Gathering Center.
   According to the Seattle Times, two names have surfaced as top contenders for the job; Diaz, and Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.
   Now would be a proper time to ask how they might handle a powder keg issue that has exploded in East Palo Alto, CA involving a controversial Facebook entry by a police detective on that city’s department that suggests open carry activists might be forced to the ground and shot if they made a "furtive gesture." One California activist identified as Adnan Shahab is furious, according to the Bay Area's KTVU.
   My colleague, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea, discusses this story in his morning column. We expect other Examiners to weigh in shortly.

I understand that many police work under conditions where wanting to go home at the end of their shift can be a real concern. I and my fellow gun owners would like to go home at the end of your shift too, fellas.—David Codrea

   The controversy erupted on the CalGUNS forum, and over the course of 36 hours, emotions reached the boiling point as outraged gun owners read Facebook entries allegedly made by Detective Rod Tuason regarding some open carry incidents in East Palo Alto. California open carry advocates have been gathering at coffee shops – an activity that helped provoke the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to launch a boycott effort against Starbucks, which allows open and concealed carry in its shops nationwide – with unloaded, but exposed handguns. California concealed carry permits are hard to get, but open carry of unloaded firearms is legal in many cases.
   Tuason’s Facebook entries, which have now apparently been removed but not before one CalGUNS member saved them as an image posted to their forum, joked to a colleague about confronting an armed citizen thusly: “Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night. Should’ve pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement…2 weeks off!!!”
   Tuason also allegedly wrote about an incident involving a Redwood City man who appeared armed at an East Palo Alto market.
   “Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it,” Tuason exclaimed. “He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat.”
Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night! Should've pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement ... 2 weeks off!!!"
   The controversy spread to the pages of the Contra Costa Times and other newspapers, which reported that the East Palo Alto Police Department’s professional standards division is “looking into the Facebook remarks to see if they violate any rules or policies.”
   The CalGUNS debate spanned 61 pages before moderators locked the thread, but it is still available for viewing.
   Here in Washington, loaded open carry is legal and police departments are getting used to seeing open carry activists in their neighborhoods. They don’t get hysterical, many don’t ask any questions other than “what kind of gun is that?” and departments have even issued training bulletins reminding officers about firearms civil rights. We’ve discussed the recent incident in Olympia involving Washington CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli’s “learning experience” with open carry, courtesy of the very professional Washington State Patrol.

In no way are his personal comments reflective of any policies or procedures here at the department, nor does he speak for the police department.”—East Palo Alto Police Capt. Carl Estelle.

   But the question remains for a potential new Seattle police chief: How would he or she handle the kind of outrage ignited by the apparent Facebook remarks? Yes, there are First Amendment issues here, as well as Second Amendment concerns. Tuason is free to share his opinions, no matter how offensive, and it could be argued that he was “just kidding.”
   However, to gun rights advocates, the remarks suggest a cavalier, and perhaps dangerous hostility toward legally armed private citizens exercising their rights.
   This Friday’s King County Superior Court hearing may determine where the city’s parks gun ban stands. McGinn’s public appeal may help determine where Seattle’s new top cop stands on gun rights.
More from Gun Rights Examiners 

Atlanta: Ed Stone |  Austin: Howard Nemerov |  Boston: Ron Bokleman |  Charlotte: Paul Valone |  Cheyenne: Anthony Bouchard | Chicago: Don Gwinn |  Cleveland: Daniel White |  DC: Mike Stollenwerk |  Denver: Dan Bidstrup |  Grand Rapids: Skip Coryel |  Los Angeles: John Longenecker |  Minneapolis: John Pierce |  National: David Codrea |  Phoenix: Douglas Little | Seattle: Dave Workman |  St. Louis: Kurt Hofmann |  Wisconsin: Gene German
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  • Brandon Combs 5 years ago

    We will continue to post updates at as they are available; currently, our next step is to wait for a reply letter from EPAPD and Mayor Woods.

    With regard to your contention that this is a first amendment issue, I think we're overlooking the fact that such coloring comments make him a legal risk to EPAPD if he is ever involved in a shooting, and would likely be personally sued and possibly charged based on his history (this incident will be in his record). Your 1A rights are not unlimited as an employee, especially as a sworn law enforcement officer. This is not about 1A vs. 2A, and it's both improper and incorrect to make that argument. Let's keep this focused on the facts - a public servant, sworn to "protect and serve", did, in fact, admit to an *actual* violation(s) of a law abiding citizen's rights during a recent encounter (“He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat”).

  • Spokanite 5 years ago

    Kirpatrick is a good cop and really good at fixing the big ticket issues with officers in her department, got rid of most of the good ol boys and has a truce with those remaining. However, at the same time she will back up her officers with the old Blue Shield of Justice if it will paint the department in a bad light. But as a few of Spokanes finest have found out the hard way you lie to her at your own peril, as she carries a hammer that Thor would be envious of and does not have a problem dropping on those foolish enough to challenge the truth. Open carry in Spokane is not encouraged and dont even try as a private citizen to get a class 3 weapon she will not issue the proper documents needed for one. I for one would not like to see her go as Spokane is running better with her at the reins than any of the past chiefs we have had but then we never did give Chief Chertock a chance, We just paid out his contract and we can thank the Blue Flu and the Police guild for that!!!

  • Todd 5 years ago

    Another fine article, Dave. I have to say that anyone who takes officer Tuason's comments lightly would probably feel differently if he had said the same thing about a minority. Of course, if that were the case, the ACLU would already be involved.

  • Bill 5 years ago

    Why would you want a new police chief? I say disband the department and save some money and some lives.

  • NW Shooter 5 years ago

    Just like the 1A interpretations do not allow for yelling fire in a crowded room, I don't think you get 1A protection for conspiracy to commit a felony. What the officer has outlined is his planning to use a ruse to assault and restrain someone for doing something legal.

  • straightarrow 5 years ago

    " However, to gun rights advocates, the remarks suggest a cavalier, and perhaps dangerous hostility toward legally armed private citizens exercising their rights."-Dave Workman

    Not exactly correct. What it really shows is his contempt for all citizens and his belief, not without foundation, that he can commit murder and be rewarded with a paid vacation.

    If he faces any departmental sanctions they will be applied for his telling of what they have tried to keep secret, not his contempt for the law and the citizenry.

  • Ken Grubb 5 years ago

    Q: What qualities are you looking for in a new Police Chief?

    A: Keeps track of own firearm.

  • Listening and learning 5 years ago

    "Back in the day we knew ‘em, their wives and kids, seem ‘em nearly every week in church. Most of the ones we grew up with are either retired or expired. Nowadays there’s a whole different breed out there, some of ‘em just young with something to prove and nobody around to teach ‘em proper. A lot of ’em with a whole different attitude that wherever it comes from it sure as hell ain’t based on any old school religion and upbringing. Used to be if anything was going on you’d watch out for ‘em and help ‘em anyway you could. But with a lot of it being about money anymore, if it ain’t cameras takin’ your picture it’s them pullin’ you over and tryin’ to pick your pockets anyway they can use laws to do it. Much as I hate to say it, if I were to see one of ‘em off the side of the road today gettin’a beating, my first thought would be he probably brought it all on himself one way or another. If you can’t trust a man to begin with, you sure as hell can’t trust him with a gun and a badge."

  • Liberty Bell 5 years ago

    That's why were attempting to pass Senate Bill 6590, the Keystone Kops Klassic, shown best in the Washington State Supreme Court's "Kitsap County Sheriff's Guild v. Kitsap County Sheriff"

    It "IS" amazing, that you have to pass a bill, to fire a Brady Cop, in the General's State of the Union!

    "Truth will ultimately prevail where there are steps taken to bring it to light."
    George Washington

    "Though shall not lie."

    Brady v. Maryland, a older case from a real court, effecting 54 cops in Seattle!

    Car 54, report to the firing squad room, "We the People" have a termination paper for you!

    And some new employment opportunities coming soon to a Crown Victoria near you!

  • Flavet 5 years ago

    Todd's comment: "Another fine article, Dave. I have to say that anyone who takes officer Tuason's comments lightly would probably feel differently if he had said the same thing about a minority. Of course, if that were the case, the ACLU would already be involved."

    Flavet's expansion: I lived and worked in the immediate area for more than a decade, although it's been a long time ago. I checked 2008 demographics against my memory. "The racial makeup of the city was 6.1% White, 23.5% African American, 0.73% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 11.8% Pacific Islander (mainly Tongan and Samoan immigrants)[citation needed], 11.8% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 74.3% of the population." (Wikipedia).

    You have it right, Todd, the perp/cop was speaking from a racial perspective. I think we'll see the SHTF before too long. There's been a shift from black population dominance to Hispanic/Latino but that shouldn't affect a rotten cop.

  • wire_paladin 5 years ago

    seattle, the land of the loopeys needs a top cop? tough position to fill since seattle they fights crime with gregorian chants . . how about euwell gibbons, we'll break the bad guys by feeding 'em wild hickory nuts.

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