(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Here’s how charging documents describe Trey Alexander, a 40-something Black man who was recently charged with organized retail crime for stealing liquor from a Target store in downtown Seattle: a “career criminal” and “chronic shoplifter” whose offenses over the past 15 years have included theft, drug possession, and criminal trespass. (Trey Alexander isn’t his real name; we’re calling him that to protect his anonymity.)
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office has embarked on a strategy that will harm our community’s most vulnerable members and lead to the incarceration of individuals too mentally ill to stand trial. The city attorney should abandon this counterproductive effort and allow service providers to work with these individuals without criminal legal system interference.
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 18, a Seattle Municipal Court judge approved a motion by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to quash all outstanding warrants for misdemeanor prostitution, including some issued well over a decade ago.