SEATTLE - City Councilmember Kshama Sawant wrote a letter to officials claiming the Seattle Police Department (SPD) was "failing to investigate" several escalating threats made against her, including feces being thrown at her home repeatedly.
According to Sawant, bags of human feces have been thrown into her yard six times, most recently on Oct. 13. One of these instances was followed by a threatening email sent to Sawant's city council office, she says, calling her "the queen of s**t" and saying "you can sit on your throne of human excrement."
Sawant is a member of Socialist Alternative, and suspects the attacks are politically motivated.
She further claims Seattle Police closed the Oct. 13 investigation on Tuesday, just five days later, and have been dragging their feet investigating the incidents. Sawant says after another bag of excrement was thrown on their lawn on Oct. 8—the fourth instance—a police officer allegedly asked her husband "What do you expect us to do?" and did not open an investigation.
"There is obviously a glaring inconsistency between this approach and the way in which former Mayor Durkan, after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest was held a short distance from her mansion, was provided with a 24-hour stakeout for a full year," wrote Sawant to city officials. "As a socialist City Councilmember who has participated in Black Lives Matter protests, I am being told that my case of six threatening incidents involving human excrement doesn’t merit even a serious investigation, let alone protection."
SPD on Oct. 20 posted to its blotter asking for the public's help in identifying the man suspected of throwing feces at a councilmember's home. However, the article did not specifically identify Sawant as the Councilmember being targeted.
Police said, "Friends of the victim were watching the home when the suspect threw a plastic bag, containing several individual bags of suspected human feces, into the yard. The friends confronted the suspect and snapped multiple photos as he ran away. Witnesses described the suspect, pictured below, as an Asian man, approximately 5-foot 4-inches tall."
Surveillance images show the suspect. (Seattle Police Department)
Several conservative publications have reported these incidents, and Sawant says information "was apparently leaked to the right-wing media by Seattle Police."
"Needless to say, it is disturbing that right-wing media, including a police-run website named [Law Officer], portrays these attacks on my home as justified against an elected representative who has the temerity to criticize the police or attempt to hold them accountable. That is certainly a dangerous direction, especially if it is embraced by police and de facto supported by SPD leadership and the city’s Democratic Party establishment," wrote Sawant.
Sawant said she is filing a complaint with the Office of Police Accountability.
SPD said in a statement that it takes all incidents involving public officials seriously:
"The department takes incidents involving public officials seriously, and investigators have canvassed for evidence, gathered information from witnesses and reviewed everything collected thus far. At this time, the department has not found any evidence this case would meet the city or state standards for hate crime laws, but SPD will follow available leads should new information arise. The department encourages anyone with additional information about this case to contact police."
Anyone with information is asked to call the SPD Tip Line at 206-233-5000.