Seattle Police Guild President Mike Solan claims police officers are being used as part of a “social justice experiment” as the city eliminates some minor violations as primary causes for traffic stops.
According to The Seattle Times police officers in Seattle will no longer regard these four minor traffic violations as primary reasons to make a traffic stop:
Expired or missing vehicle registration (the sticker or “tab” displayed in the top right corner of a license plate on the back of a vehicle);
Vehicles without a front license plate (vehicles must still have a rear license plate);
Items hanging from rearview mirrors or cracked windshields (officers will still enforce visual obstructions such as snow, fog, nontransparent material and shattered windshields);
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Bicycle helmet violations.
The Seattle Times also reports that the city’s acting police chief Adrian Diaz said in a letter announcing the new policy “The four violations don’t affect safety on streets or sidewalks and financial penalties for those violations may disproportionately fall on those unable to pay, the chief’s letter says. However, police can still enforce those four violations if another primary violation leads to a traffic stop.”
This has Seattle Police Guild President Mike Solan up in arms and warning that the new policy will lead to a more dangerous and lawless city.
During an interview with Fox News Sandra Smith asked “Seattle police announcing a new measure that makes it easier to get away with breaking the law in that city. Officers will stop pulling people over for minor violations like expired registration or missing license plates. Let’s bring in the president of the Seattle police guild. It’s our understanding that these are minimal offenses, but they are still the law in that city. So why is the intention then to now not have these laws addressed by the police that are on the streets there?
Solon responded by sounding his alarm saying the new policy will degrade public safety by tying police officers hands “Police officers are still being used as the body that sets the table for that social justice experiment. The problem is that police will be targeted because number 1, we were blamed for doing disproportional traffic stops. I think a naïve policy change. In May, the same office wanted to cease all traffic stops. Now we pushed back, they brought to your point the minor violations. The reason why this is being done is the naïve approach about equity.”
“The problem is the police will be blamed, disciplined if we conduct traffic stops and it appears the police are the only ones standing up for law and order. If the politicians want change, don’t do it at the police officer’s hands. Change the law. Police officers will follow the rule of law.”
Sadly, Solon is probably right.
This new policy will increase the sense of lawlessness in Seattle and beyond and is sure to embolden criminals even more.
While these may seem like minor violations, minor violations left unchecked could lead to bigger and more brazen violations from those least likely to obey the law.