A couple of weeks ago a video of a fifteen-year-old girl being beaten in a metro transit tunnel while security "guards" looked on was released. When I first saw this I was, of course, horrified that the "guards" did nothing to protect this young girl. Their job description is to "observe and report events to the police, but not to get involved." Following the release of this video, we here in the Emerald City were inundated with claims from possible tourists throughout the country claiming that they would not visit Seattle because of the random violence and lack of protection. This story goes on and on. There were police at the downtown store where this girl had been prior to her stroll through the metro transit tunnel. The girl and the young people who beat her had been engaged in verbal argument in the store and had been asked to leave by the police. The girl said that she told the police she was scared and they apparently told her to "take the bus and go home." Now, what a fifteen-year-old girl was doing alone in a city shopping area rather late on a week night is beyond the scope of this current post, but I have my own suspicions as I am sure that most people do. I would also like to clarify for those who are fearful in our fair city, this was not a random assault. This girl had engaged in argument with the perpetrators before. She had in fact engaged with them minutes prior to her assault and this made her fearful of them, yet she chose to walk alone in a metro bus tunnel late at night.
I also want to clarify that I don't condone the behavior of the security guards. Job description be damned, it is morally wrong to simply "watch" someone being beaten. I am willing to bet that if those guards had become even remotely helpful, other bystanders would have jumped in to assist also thereby activating the Good Samaritan Law.
Fast forward to this morning. My husband and I were reading the paper and what is on the front page but the beating victim. Guess what? She is wanted for robbing and assaulting another young woman in the Edmonds area. Not that she deserves to be beaten, but it seems like Seattle's little anti-tourism poster child is indeed running with the wrong crowd. It seems in fact that she may even be leading it. So before you decide not to take a visit to the Emerald City because of safety concerns, look a bit deeper and keep in mind that this is an extra low precipitation year, it has even been sunny the last several days.