I walked downtown Seattle on Monday afternoon. I was walking while wearing the katana and gathering signatures for i940. I was walking from about 3:30 to about 6, though much of the walk was standing while conversing with people.
I met a man whose wife is a deputy or assistant prosecutor in Snohomish county. He and I talked for quite a long time about 2 highly questionable police shootings this man knew of in Snohomish county. He regarded both of them as unnecessary and he said he regarded one of them as murder. He also did not like it being police only who review the questionable police shootings.
I said that I dislike applying the word murder to a situation in which police err though negligence or carelessness, even if the act of shooting to kill is intended, taken in isolation.
I think that our conversation lasted 20 minutes or 30 minutes, though I would have thought that any given Snohomish county bus would arrive more frequently than that at 4 in the afternoon.
In one questionable and highly bad shooting–as reported to me by this man–a SWAT team, with its approaching officers in plain-clothes knocked on the door of a home-owner after getting a report from a careless neighbor, who did not know the home-owner to be the home-owner, of a possible burglary. The homeowner answered the door with a shotgun in his hands and there was some slight error or movement on his part and several members of the team shot the guy dead. Previous furtive actions by members of the swat team in what the man alleges were in plain clothing or not easily identifiable put the man in reasonable fear of attack or burglary. The man shot was also apparently hard of hearing. The man who was shot is now dead; the man telling me the story is the husband of a woman lawyer in the prosecutors office in Snohomish county; he thinks the shooting was very, very bad.
However, when I search the web to see if I can read more about this story, I can’t find anything. In any case, this man believes a home-owner was shot and killed by a SWAT team after a misleading report of a possible burglary.
This man is both critical of overly quick police shootings and he is white and does not support black lives matter, due to what he regards as blm advocacy of many questionable or evil ideas, causes or persons. He thinks Trump was right to say that there were good people and bad people on both sides in the chaos in Charlottsville, and that some of the media did a disservice to the public by not publishing photos or stories of some of the violence and threats initiated by blacks or antifa against the Confederate statute protestors.
At the ending of the walk I was near the jail. There was again the mom and three kids who had a strong interest in holding the sword and being photographed and I took photos of the kids holding the sword this time. During the conversation, the mom said that the dad had had his jaw broken by being hit with a brick.
I wondered if they have been visiting the dad of the family at the jail.
At the very start of the walk, as I was putting on the sword in its belt, an SPD patrol car passed by headed westbound on Yesler within a few feet of me. The car did not stop or slow or act in a way expressing concern or notice.
On one hand, we would presume that police would always be especially attentive to any weapons that they notice and which are in their vicinity. On the other hand, people tend to not notice things that they are not expecting or which are rare.
In any case, perhaps downtown SPD patrol officers in patrol cars have figured out that I need not be their concern.
Back in May I walked one day at Alki beach. I was wearing minimal clothing and a knife in a lanyard on my neck. Near the end of the walk, an SPD patrol car drove up to say hi; someone had called saying I was walking without clothing, which the officer noted was obviously not the case, and all was well.
The funny thing about the walk at Alki in May is that the person who had called was probably asked by 911 if I had weapons . . . and the person who was calling 911 had apparently said no . . . a 911 call to SPD about a person walking nude–in an area of nudity not normally expected–while carrying weapons would have probably resulted in 911 sending out 2 or more officers . . . and they might have arrived with lights flashing or turned their lights on while approaching the person with weapons . . . Well, hey, it was a short knife; who would notice that while calling 911? Well, at least a call about a nude man with a knife did not drain extra resources of SPD for 10 minutes, that day, at Alki. . . and the arrival of several patrol cars with lights did not increase my heart rate for 30 seconds . . .
I have had an occasional person hit me while I was walking with visible weapons or threaten me while I was wearing visible weapons. . . I hope they did not fail their driving test the first time. When you go for a driving test with the observer and you drive near a sign that says, “Do not enter,” “Wrong way,” or “No turns,” what do you do?
In the middle of the walk on Monday there were a group of 4 or 5 teens who were also intrigued with seeing the sword and one of whom held the sword.
On the radio, a little after 6 p.m. Lars Larson told the story of 2 13-year-olds who found a loaded gun and one of the kids shot the other. Lars thinks that parents and schools should all be teaching the kids to assume that the guns they encounter at home are loaded and either do not pick them up, or if held, do not point them at anyone or anything valuable.
Lars believes that schools are doing a disservice by not educating the kids to not pick up the guns or not teaching the safety rules. It is an easy thing, while walking with a sword, to encounter kids who desire to see or hold the sword, and I have not given any of them yet the simple instruction on avoiding handling guns, cause guns might be loaded and the safety rule is to assume the gun is loaded. But the same kids who are intrigued by and wish to hold the sword are ones who might similarly pick up a handgun without thinking.
It seems to me like it should be mandatory yearly training in schools, just like there are lockdown drills. Gun safety instruction for kids could be done in 10 to 30 minutes.