(Why should we care, other than general humanity and John Donne? Well, decades ago, before the local drug trade was all Deano's, all the time, the "business" used to ping-pong back and forth between Madison, Union or Cherry, depending on which neighborhood made the most noise. They all left us when the bar closed, but will they be back if it gets too hot for them on Union?)
The tragic killing at 23rd & Union will probably accelerate plans to bring a mini Police Station to that block, and will surely result in a public meeting, similar to the one regarding Shannon Harps' death. (BTW see pictures and appeal)
Robert Jamieson's Seattle P-I article, "23rd and Union claims another", reminds us of of the many tragic events that have happened near that intersection over the years, and provoked a wide range of comments. I'll reproduce a very pertinent one here (because I can't link directly to it):
Posted by DefendYourLife at 2/2/08 12:22 a.m.
23rd and Union... brings back some wonderful memories.
I worked that area about 16 years ago. I was a 3rd watch East Pct patrol officer. It was terrible then. Gangs. Drugs. Shootings on a nightly basis. I really tried hard to help clean it up.
One night, my partner and I saw a drug deal going on. The guy saw us and ran into the liquor store at 23rd and Union. We followed him and questioned him.
In the process, he punched my partner in the face, and grabbed me by the neck. I held on, pulled my nightstick and hit him once in the head.
I got pulled outside, where he landed on me and tried to pull my gun out of my holster. My partner came to help, and all the while we were surrounded by "members of the community" who kicked at us yelling "Rodney King! Police Brutality!" A nice white couple driving by filed a complaint for excessive use of force, despite the fact that I was pinned on my back.
After 2 more officers arrived we were able to get the guy off me. He had a big bag of rock cocaine in his pocket and was built like a professional body builder. Of course, Ide probably be that buff if Ide just been released from prison 2 weeks earlier for a violent forceable rape of a stranger.
I was investigated for six months for excessive use of force, for hitting him once with a nightstick. I was put through hell with questioning and statements. I put my transfer in to go the North Precinct immediately after the investigation, which said of course we were completely justified.
So while the media (not Jamieson) is busy slamming cops, I still remember what happened to me when I put my life on the line to help clean up 23rd and Union.
And any of you that want to say "Well thats just part of the job." Um.. no it isnt. That was my reward for doing a great job.
Being a really good cop means putting your nose in other peoples business. It means telling people what to do when you need to. It means you do it, or you are now the problem because I might just have enough to deal with already, without dealing with your mouth too.
But being a really good cop in this city is just to costly to your mental health, physical health, and your career.