A Seattle City Councilwoman called the police to her home Friday to report a crime she is effectively trying to legalize, according to media reports.
Lisa Herbold phoned authorities on Friday after a man reportedly threw a rock through her living room window, My Northwest reported. The councilwoman said “she was on the west side of the living room near the kitchen when she heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot and dove into the kitchen for cover,” according to a redacted police report obtained by the publication.
A neighbor told police that a person who is “unathletic and a bad runner” was seen leaving the area.
The witness told officers that he would recognize the suspect if he saw him again, but declined an officer’s business card to contact him for follow up.
The irony is that under a proposal introduced by Herbold, the suspect could avoid criminal charges if caught. Under the legislation, charges against most misdemeanor suspects could be dismissed if they can show symptoms of mental illness or addiction or if they can prove the crime provided for a need to survive, a so-called “poverty defense,” the paper reported.
Herbold said she would like a jury to hear a defendant’s reason for committing the crime.
“It’s giving people an opportunity to tell their stories and giving judges and juries the opportunity to hear those stories and make a decision based on the values of our city,” Herbold told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Committee on Tuesday.
In a statement to Fox News, Herbold said local news reports of her trying to legalize crimes are incorrect.
“There are no crimes that I am ‘effectively pushing to make legal,’” she said.
The proposal has its supporters.
“In a situation where you took that sandwich because you were hungry and you were trying to meet your basic need of satisfying your hunger; we as the community will know that we should not punish that. That conduct is excused,” Anita Khandelwal, the King County’s director of the Department of Public Defense, said according to KOMO-TV.
Detractors say it will only embolden criminals.
“It’s a green light for crime,” said Scott Lindsay, a former mayoral Public Safety Advisor, the news station reported. “If you are engaged in 100 different misdemeanors that are in our criminal justice system code, you are not going to be held liable. You are not going to be held accountable.”
Crime in Seattle has steadily increased since this summer’s Capitol Hill Occupied Zone protests, which saw a 525% spike, according to Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The spike comes as the Seattle Police Department is seeing an exodus of officers and a shortage of funding.