LYNNWOOD, Wash., October 28, 2023—This morning our inbox was inundated with emails and my cellphone with 14 voicemails and 23 texts from readers frustrated at what they consider partisan propaganda perpetuated by a competing mainstream local newspaper in Snohomish County regarding the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office race.
We at the Lynnwood Times follow objective journalism and not the advocacy journalism you read so much in mainstream news outlets. This is why mainstream is failing. Because of the internet, people can read a myriad of perspectives and see through the propaganda.
Mainstream news outlets should tread carefully on making safety a partisan issue. In Washington state, one party has controlled Snohomish County and the state executive government for decades, incrementally passing laws that hinder policing, legalizing drugs, and empowering offenders.
The “chickens are coming home to roost,” to quote the infamous phase from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, also known as President Barack Obama’s pastor.
The polls show overwhelmingly, 67% of American’s reject the Defund the Police rhetoric and the failed policies that we are now experiencing. So, I say again, tread carefully on making safety a partisan issue.
Here is a theory…The governing party (and those elected to represent and promote that governing party) are putting ideology before public safety.
The “welcoming city” and “sanctuary city” policies passed in 2017 and 2018 directing local and state law enforcement to NOT cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement, often by rejecting “detainer” requests emboldened drug cartels to establish organized crime operations in cities. Then sheriffs and District Attorneys adopted catch-and-release policies. Then we had sheriff’s and governors across the United States, including Washington state, release criminal offenders because of COVID in 2020. During that same year in 2020, elected officials refused to call out the violence and destruction of rioting throughout Washington state and allowed armed vigilantes to take over a portion of Downtown Seattle for weeks emboldening criminal behavior.
Elected officials of the governing party allowed, and in some cases, promoted Defund the Police rhetoric.
Between 2021 to 2023, lawmakers passed bills reducing sentencing and consequences for adult crimes and gang members who are minors; and let’s not forget hindering pursuit laws. District Attorneys throughout Washington state, including Snohomish County, refused to enforce drug offenses. Also, because of the Defund the Police rhetoric that turned into legislation or policy, School Resource Officers were taken out of public-school systems throughout Washington state and also law enforcement personnel left the profession in droves in which we are now facing a policing shortage including right here in Snohomish County. The law enforcement officers that remain are overworked and demoralized.
So, I ask Snohomish County residents, who are to blame for the fentanyl epidemic, gangs in schools most likely organized and run by drug cartel proxies, the surge in violent crime and youth shootings, and the fear of “public unsafety” which is our new reality?
If news outlets want to make public safety a partisan issue, then where is the assessment of the contribution to “public unsafety” by the governing party and the link of these elected officials and surrogates to that governing party. Advocacy journalism fails both the people and the profession.
Snohomish County residents have two choices for the direction of public safety—a Sheriff candidate backed by the governing party or a Sheriff that is not.
Commentary by the Lynnwood Times Publisher, Mario Lotmore.
- A weekend of fear and failure
- Seattle burning, National Guard activated- George Floyd Riots
- Hundreds join Fortney to support law enforcement and in remembrance of Officer Shoop
- Rally for law enforcement: Tolerance, collaboration, and dialogue
- County Council respond to calls to defund the sheriff’s office
- Hundreds of BLM supporters storm Snohomish County neighborhood to protest at Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s home
- Law enforcement volunteers show support for Lynnwood Police Department
- Edmonds man pleads guilty to unlawful possession of destructive devices during Seattle Riots