Seattle’s taking a page from the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. When half of the New Orleans Police Department walked off the job before and after Katrina, private security firms answered the call. Today, Seattle’s swells, who cheered on anti-police protesters from their high-rises and Madrona manses, are doing the same thing.
With apologies to “Top Gun,” the Seattle elite’s egos are writing checks the rest of us poor schmucks have to pay.
Business owners, afraid that Mayor Jenny Durkan will continue to let the rioters go buck wild while simultaneously standing down the cops, are hiring private security at a frantic pace.
The Seattle Times reports that local security firms have been swamped with calls asking for private security to watch their businesses in case rioters, arsonists and looters further target them.
It was the Monday after weekend protests occurred in downtown Seattle over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Fortress Security Services, co-owned by Bamba and her husband, Deschamps, was besieged by local businesses seeking armed guards to protect their property.
“My phone shows I logged more than 200 calls that day,’’ said Denise Bamba, adding the couple turned down numerous requests because the company didn’t have enough guards.
Other security companies also reported an uptick in protection requests from businesses of all sizes and residential complexes downtown, in Capitol Hill [home of CHAZ], Pioneer Square and even Redmond, West Seattle and Tukwila. Fueling the surge, they say, are fears police consumed with controlling protests won’t prioritize property protection.
The calls have been coming from all over, but there’s an especially urgent bunch of requests from Capitol Hill. This is the home of the six-block area taken over by rioters and protesters known as CHAZ, which as my colleague Matt Margolis notes, is chock full of irony, including the bizarre notion that Durken believes this could be the scene of a new “summer of love,” maaan.