Conspire Final Essay

Submitted By kedeger
Words: 3486
Pages: 14

Kemal Deger
B CUSP 115 B
The Ave & Seattle’s Big Plan for Life as We Know it Nighttime can be scary and mysterious in a large metropolitan city if you’re in a questionable part of town. Living in the University District of Seattle fits this description pretty accurately—there’s an active bar scene most nights, it’s a popular destination for many of Seattle’s homeless population, crazy people can be seen (and heard) far and wide, people always try and sell you weed, the police report someone getting mugged fairly often, and sometimes turning your head down an alley as you walk by can mean seeing a crack pipe light up! Nevertheless, this colorful array of humanity is where I reside; thus I’ve always taken notice of how law enforcement reacts to such an environment. Occasionally, I see an officer speaking to/arresting someone, but primarily I just see officers driving around the neighborhood in their cars. Whether they’re just bad at their job, or they’ve simply decided that there’s too many criminals constantly lingering on The Ave to arrest and confront them all, but from an average citizen’s perspective, it is abundantly clear that countless crimes fail to encounter any form of law enforcement. When it’s dark around the University District, I sometimes walk to get food late, or am coming back from a social event. Since living here (since September) I’ve consistently noticed anywhere between one and four police cars parked on between 40th and 50th Street on University Way (The Ave). These cars appear to be unattended and to be serving no particular purpose, as they are just stationary. But why are they there? It is unlikely the police department would have their cars unattended in such a place where drug deals and incidents are known to happen without any ulterior motive. This has to have some method or purpose to it, and since it’s not normal to see any officers on foot in the neighborhood, does this mean they are somehow enforcing the law by just parking their cars there and leaving them unmanned? On The Ave its never difficult to locate someone wanting to sell drugs. Actually, it’s very much the opposite; from my own experience living on The Ave just north of 50th Street, every time I step out my front door and walk south just even two blocks, I’m offered an opportunity to purchase “dro,” or marijuana. Obviously this also means that I see a lot of these drug deals in process; it’s truly a large part of the area’s vibe and character as a whole. To further depict this anti-luxurious environment, I interviewed someone who works multiple late nights weekly, on The Ave. I interviewed Pagliacci Pizza employee Isaac Kent, who generously explained his account of the police cars and drug dealers: “I see so many people sell bud [marijuana] on The Ave every day, there are a few dealers I see who even sell it right in front of parked cop cars, sometimes even less than 10 feet away from the cop cars…they just turn to the side to hide it a little, it’s crazy!.” So maybe these cars are there to deter criminal acts by waiving a red flag to drug dealers and other criminals causing them to choose not to commit illegal activity in the proximity of these cars. It may not work for all, but it probably works for some which is most likely worth it. But still, why do some dealers feel it fine to deal weed so close to a cop car? Maybe it’s because they’re dealing weed for the police? This would explain why some dealers stay away from cop cars and some don’t, also a perfect way to drive away competition. If we were to accept this as true, we would have to assume that these cops are all just greedy and corrupt. Of course police officers have been known to do similar things in the past. For example, in 2010 three officers in Philadelphia were charged with robbing drug dealers and selling the drugs. Apparently they “plotted with drug dealers and staged a traffic stop and drug seizure in a scheme to steal $15,000 worth of heroin from a