seattle crime homeless amazon
A Seattle Police officer walks past tents in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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By Larry Keane

Seattle is the home of Amazon’s corporate headquarters, employing more than 80,000 people. It’s also one of the nation’s epicenters of crime, rioting, and looting that erupted in 2020 which remains concerns today.

The online sales behemoth that embraces gun control and defunding police is now witnessing the effects of those policies. Amazon is moving its employees out of one of its downtown corporate buildings over concerns of rising crime.

“Given recent incidents…, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere,” an Amazon spokesperson recently told media. “We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so.”

Amazon Go
Amazon is going, thanks to spiraling crime in downtown Seattle.  (Shutterstock)

To understand how the neighborhood became so violent as to force the company to relocate their employees to safer confines, Amazon may want to look in the mirror.

Gun Control Donations

Amazon has the largest employment footprint in Seattle, nearly double that of locally-based Starbucks, and the company’s employees are active in campaign giving. This includes donating to gun control groups and elected officials who support restricting the Second Amendment in Washington

Jenny Summer of Love Durkan
Former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool)

Locally, the online delivery giant was the single largest source of donations to former Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny “Summer of Love” Durkan. All told, employees donated more than $350,000 to a group supporting her mayoral campaign. Durkan, of course, supported defunding police and gun control. She cheered the city council’s approval of her budget that slashed nearly $20 million from the police budget.

“I applaud the City Council for taking a more deliberate and measured approach to the 2021 Seattle Police Department budget…,” the mayor said after the council approved her budget by an 8-1 vote.

The one “No” vote wasn’t in protest of cutting police budgets though. It was a vote by Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who didn’t think the cuts went far enough. She wanted 50 percent of the budget eliminated.

According to donation analysis, contributions from Amazon employees helped Councilmember Sawant overcome a recall election effort to remain in office.

Mayor Durkan turned down running for re-election, an unsurprising move when the city’s crime spiraling out of control. Current Democratic Mayor Bruce Harrell ran and won election on a message of law and order and increasing police.

“Part of that plan requires more officers. The depleted staffing we see today does not allow us to react to emergencies and crime with the response times our residents deserve,” Mayor Harrell said. Online searches for Amazon contributions for Harrell’s campaign come up empty.

Summer of CHAZ

Washington State is already home to some of the nation’s strongest gun control policies and Seattle has even stricter local ordinances. None of that seemed to matter in the summer of 2020, though. Seattle achieved national recognition as an infamous crime hotspot because of CHAZ, or the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Police and first responders were prohibited from entering the zone and crime was rampant, including a number of murders.

Seattle chaz chop shooting durkan
A sign on a street barricade lists some of the demands of protesters in what has been named the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in downtown Seattle, Monday, June 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Notably, video surfaced of a criminal named “Raz” handing out semiautomatic rifles from the trunk of his car. The recipient in one case was 18 years old. The incident was a blatant violation of Seattle’s safe storage laws, laws prohibiting open carrying a firearm for the purpose of intimidation, ignoring the state’s universal background check requirement, as well as the prohibition of anyone under the age of 21 from possessing a gun.

At that time, little was done by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee or Mayor Durkan to put a stop to CHAZ. Now Gov. Inslee is doubling down…by signing a law banning magazines with a carrying capacity greater than 10 rounds.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

He and Washington’s politicians refuse to recognize the problem is crime, not those who lawfully own firearms. Limiting their ability to protect themselves doesn’t reduce crime.

A Permanent Move?

Amazon’s move to a safer, friendlier neighborhood could be a permanent one if the city isn’t able to put an end to the crime surge downtown. When asked by media about the employee relocation, Amazon didn’t respond.

Amazon isn’t alone in their growing frustration of violence, crime, and relying on a police force that has been reduced by anti-gun city councils and mayors.

In the last two years, Washingtonians have run more National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications than they did in the two years before the violence spiked. NSSF’s Adjusted NICS totals representing background checks for firearm transfers in 2018 and 2019 were 448,911 and 432,221 respectively, compared to 2020 and 2021, when 597,342 and 526, 284 were processed.

Washingtonians are taking responsibility for their own safety, even as anti-gun politicians sold them out. Amazon’s move out of Seattle’s increasingly dangerous downtown neighborhood could be seen as a correction to their investment. The politicians – and policies – Amazon embraced are clearly bad for business.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. These woke corporations should be forced to stay put and endure the results of policies they forced on everyone else.

    Jerks

    • Obviously the clueless wine and cheese crowd at Amazon did not know Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in racism and genocide so they fell through the outhouse hole and landed in deep dodo.

      And it’s not difficult to understand the source for Amazon incompetence. Especially when a Republican congressman asks the nominee for the USSC only about about the Second Amendment and in doing so provided cover for her Gun Control intentions. Never mind the 2A the congressman should first ask the nominee if she can define Gun Control by its history and see what she says. If she fails to do so then ask the nominee if she could support an agenda that a whole lot of history has confirmed is rooted in racism and genocide?

      Another missed opportunity for another dumbazz Republican to turn the tables on Gun Control…happens almost everyday.

    • A textbook example of being careful in what you want because you might get more of it than you imagined. More of a cautionary tale.

      Get woke. Go broke.

  2. Oddly enough, Amazon rakes in millions from sales of firearms accessories, optics, parts, and firearms focused ‘gun smiting’ tools.

    • I find it to be more direct and just as easy to buy Aero Precision parts off of the Aero website. There isn’t much point in dealing with Amazon when there is Midway, Brownells, and a ton of manufactures direct websites.

      Honestly, I can’t even fill one hand hand with the number of times I have ever ordered anything at all through Amazon. I ordered an ice maker last year for the fridge and that was only because I couldn’t find it in stock anywhere.

    • When I worked at Amazon for a while, my cubicle was next to a vendor manager whose product lines included scopes, including night vision scopes. She literally couldn’t imagine any other use for them than murdering people at night. Another woman’s vendors included folding knives, and I overheard a conversation where she was talking with a coworker (I think her manager) about her deep discomfort about selling such evil devices.

      I was in a completely different area of the business, so I couldn’t do anything about it, but I sometimes wish I could have taken over for them. Those vendors would have been better served by someone who actually believed their products have a legitimate and useful place in society, and not people who grudgingly allow them on the platform because it’s not policy to ban them, for now.

  3. This is a new twist on the transient destruction brought about by locusts.
    Set up shop, create a bunch of jobs, fund the towns destruction then pull up stakes and leave.
    Everyone involved from the politicians who romanced them to town to the company executives who push this broken ideology should be strung up.

      • They’re already here but they never integrated into Denver in a way they could pull this exact sorta thing.

        But at least we’re not New Mexico where the governor is a complete nutjob and giving Whitmer a run for the top-spot on the podium of destructive autocratic governors.

        Not that it’s going to matter in anything other than the shortest of terms.

      • What do you mean; “may already be on the decline”??? We ARE on the decline. Red flag law. Magazine capacity limits. A law passed last year that puts a gun owner on a registry list if their gun gets stolen. Bloomberg lives here now, and has made it clear his ultimate goal is to make the entire state of Colorado a gun free zone. The “wide open spaces” that Colorado used to be famous for, are no longer wide open. Denver is officially a sanctuary city, and sleeping, peeing, and defecating in the city streets is now not only legal, but common place. Denver, (and the outlying suburbs), are also incredibly congested now, and the cost of living there has gone through the roof. And the list goes on. I’m 5th generation Colorado native, so I remember what Colorado was like before the liberals started moving here by the boat load, and eventually took over. I wish I had a time machine so I could travel back in time to better days, (and I’m not the only one), because liberals continue to move here en masse’, so it’s only going to get worse. They’re turning Colorado into a clone of California/Washington/Oregon/New York/etc/etc/etc. Rush Limbaugh nailed it when he said: “They’re too stupid to know how stupid they are.” They move here to “get away from the B.S. in California”, et al, but they bring their mentality with them. They haven’t learned a damn thing. So they’re creating the same problems here that they tried to get away from when they left their previous home. Hence, Rush Limbaugh’s comment. And true, honest-to-God, Colorado natives are leaving in huge numbers because of all of this. As much as it hurts me to say this, from what I can see, Colorado is already lost.

    • Or, if you still insist on using Amazon, at least use smile.amazon instead and set your charity to whatever suits your fancy, maybe the Second Amendment Foundation or the like. Amazon donates .5% of your purchase cost to your selected charity.

  4. The article is pure propaganda and pro-thug cop. The defund the police movement was to deny them the funding to buy military weapons like flame throwers, tanks and killer remote controlled robots to be used against the cities own residents. Defund the police movement actually recommended NOT laying off police but RETRAING them and weeding out and prosecuting mad dog thug cops who murder at will.

    • The defund the police movement was to deny them the funding to buy military weapons like flame throwers, tanks and killer remote controlled robots…

      🤣🤣🤣 This has got to be the fake Dacian!

    • dacian the stupid,

      Haven’t you become tired of being a partisan, tendentious POS, yet?? Obviously not.

      Let me put you some knowledge – MOST TTAG readers have issues with LEOs, and how law is enforced. But we all have our heads far enough out of rectal defilade to realize that law enforcement is necessary, and that cops perform a necessary, and quite sh***y, job. We appreciate the one who do it well, we condemn the ones that abuse their positions, and we have very specific ideas about how to reform the system (eliminating “qualified immunity” being #1). Your idiot slogans may sound good, when you are chanting them at your TV, watching your Antifa “heroes” being @$$holes, but they are of no practical value in the real world. If you had an ounce of sense, you would realize that “defunding the police” would be your death warrant, because little, ineffectual soibois like you would be the first victims. But “self-awareness” is not a concept you recognize.

      Just a question, dacian the stupid: Describe to me your “ideal” system for law enforcement. Don’t be shy, let your freak flag fly – how would King dacian the stupid I, ruler of Alternate Earth, enforce the law?? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Bravo, LampOfDiogenes!!!!!! Bravo!!!!! Seriously. No joke. Not kidding. I applaud you, sir. Couldn’t have said it any better, myself. I love the, ahem, “royal title” that you gave him. Again, I quote Rush Limbaugh: “They’re too stupid to know how stupid they are.”

  5. Since Seattle took its name from an Indian chief, I demand that the city cease it’s cultural appropriation and change it’s name!

    Filth City would be appropriate, unless San Francisco has already claimed it.

  6. You forgot to include drug legalization. Along with sexual liberation. And the “grooming of children”. And all of it and the tech companies are all [email protected] Progressive in their political orientation. They give you technology and then take away your civil liberties. They take away your way of life.

    These multi-billion-dollar private tech companies are the “bubonic plague” of the 21st Century.They kill just like the black death. They prevent you from being able to communicate. They terminate your Private business financial transactions. They willingly pass on information to the government about their customers. Without a warrant. And they work to prevent a free and fair election system.

  7. Being retired, I have a part time job transporting specialized cargo from Eastern Washington to Seattle about twice a week. Seattle, 20 years ago was a nice place to visit. Today it is a steaming cesspool. Garbage and graffiti everywhere. Beggers and bums on almost every street corner. Tents set up on city sidewalks. Traffic is the worst in the nation. I never stay longer then I have to, drop off and if I am hungry, I drive miles outside of Seattle and then stop for a snack. Seattle / Tacoma area has become like a third world country. So why did this happen? Liberal leftists voting for democrats. So you want failing schools, high crime rates, political corruption, huge taxes and wasteful spending, be just like Seattle and keep voting democrat. Thank god I don’t live there.

    • You are correct. I am a lifelong Seattleite and a retired toolmaker. This place has gone to hell. Do not go downtown at night unless you are armed to the teeth. The downtown area is a large drug den and the City Council does nothing about it. They are all a bunch of Socialist idiots who do not have a clue. I could not believe that Sawant was not thrown out of office. It just proves that some brain-dead, drug-addicted folks should not be allowed to vote.

  8. Been 35 years since I was last in Seattle. At present I have no need or desire to visit the cesspool that once was a very nice city. What little I buy on Amazon are things I can’t find locally or don’t know the manufacturer or distributer’s website. Things like refractory tile, or fire brick. Could order through 1 of the big box stores and go pick it up next week or order it at a 20% lower cost and get it delivered in under a week right to the door.
    Anything firearms related, or available in local businesses, I would rather support local businesses even if it does cost a little more.
    Honestly, I’ve likely spent less than $200.00 in the last 5 years with Amazon.com.
    As for the need for the company to move their employees out of harms way. Well at least they are doing something to protect their workers. Even if the suits running the company helped cause and support the politicians and policies that created the need to move the offices.

  9. In and of itself I don’t much care about Amazon or Seattle but I’d note that this is a small part of a bigger theme where everyone to “the right” of the hard Left has dropped the ball by not paying attention to what’s really being weaponized here.

    The Left’s long been inside everyone’s OODA loop because they’ve weaponized uncertainty even within the Left itself. I’d suggest that Amazon’s behavior here is a, pardon the pun, Prime example of this.

    It seems to me that one of the reason’s the Left is socially and culturally powerful is because they’re not just vicious but also entirely unpredictable. Elon Musk’s tweet of “I support the Current Thing” speaks to this rather well, actually.

    The Left constantly shifts the “current thing” in a manner that shuts people down in a forward looking manner. Many people don’t want to speak now because they fear what might be weaponized in the future and are aware of the fact that “cancel culture” looks backwards and that the Left has no problem “working corruption of blood”. This is unsurprising given our species aversion to very novel things or hyper novelty (novelty that comes at you very fast where things are just constantly in flux).

    Which is to say that you can say something today that becomes the officially heterodox position of tomorrow, get canceled for saying whatever you said when it was an orthodox position and then not just have your life ruined but that of your family and friend’s too. It’s essentially a private social-credit score. And if that doesn’t work the Left has no problem with a recourse to actual violence against you either.

    The end result is that people tend to go into a protective mode and keep their heads down, nod and go along to get along and just hope it stops. When it doesn’t, they flee if able.

    And the reality is that for the time being there is no actual counter-punch to this. It seems like people like the folks over at the Daily Wire are trying to create one but, honestly, I think that’s about a decade too late. This weapon has been turned against and corrupted systems that have a serious lag time to repair (things like schools, for example) and the time where corrective action would actual repair the system before it only became a matter of time before things came apart at the seems is now in the past. That window was actually pretty small and it was, IMHO, missed.

    One of the nastier outcomes of this is that it also produces a secondary effect of infighting within the target group. Most people are unsure of what’s going on and the main source of fear is uncertainty so they prefer to fight with people who have a level of certainty to them in regards to behavior. It’s easier to fight with a person whom you 1. have some idea of how they’ll react in terms of the argument (as opposed to the Left who might just veer off into God-knows-what) and 2. probably won’t resort to burning down your house or working behind the scenes to destroy your career.

    And this is one of the reasons I’m not “long” on the US at this point. I don’t see people figuring this out and the fundamental decency of most people means they won’t actually fight the Left in a way that the Left fears/respects. Hard Lefties spent a lot of time figuring out what works and jettisoning that which doesn’t. They’re ruthless, intelligent and driven. They believe that the only thing that matters is power and they aim to get it.

    Until everyone else reckons with this reality, the Left will continue to win. Eventually, they’ll control everything completely like the old USSR. And honestly, I don’t think anyone’s going to even really try to stop them in a serious manner because no one’s even really that interested in telling the truth about the basic nature of what’s going on. To do so means admitting things that are too frightening to speak of for 99% of people because it means pulling back that veneer of civilization and having a look under the hood in a serious way.

    Mix this with the fact that most people don’t know much about anything and spend most of their life distracted and… well, it’s just easier to attack that anyone who points out uncomfortable facts about, say, what Nietzsche really said, than it is to go after the real monsters because going after the real monsters means that Nietzsche might just have had some valid points and it’s unacceptable to say that someone you’ve been told your entire life was a mean ol’ nihilist, might just have told you how your enemy thinks in exquisite detail.

    • Going by my observations of both society, just in general, as well as those people I know, I think you nailed it. You appear to have covered all the bases, and scored a home run. As I have been saying to my circle of people: “The USA is in some VERY deep s**t.” But, again going by my observations, no one seems interested in even trying to do anything about it. I can’t even get people to write a letter to their elected representative to voice their concerns. I’ve even tried to lead by example, and have written a couple of letters of my own, and then copied the letters to them saying: “See? I put my money where my mouth is.” ………None of it does any good, as far as I can tell. One person I know even quit talking to me when I tried to inspire him. So, again, I think you nailed it.

  10. Amazon (and many of its employees) supported literally every stupid, brain-dead Leftist/fascist “cause” that same along. Now they are being forced out of Seattle by the INEVITABLE outcome of the policies they championed. Hmm.

    “Play stupid games; win stupid prizes.” Unfortunately, they helped destroy a once-beautiful city. Any city THINKING about rolling out the welcome mat for Amazon might want to think again.

    Although I despise her skanky @$$, perhaps AOC was right this ONE time, when she chased Amazon out of her district . . . nah, most of the idiots in her district support the same nonsense. After all, they voted for her, didn’t they?

  11. It looks like I am coming in a few days late and due to inflation a lot more than a dollar short. In a way it is good to see the libs having to buy guns so they can protect themselves because they basically fired the police. Although the libs will never wise up and realize that their votes are what is causing the problems. The idiots would rather cut off their nose to spite their face and will never be smart enough to realize it. LETS GO BRANDON!

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