Small Seattle Police Unit Makes Many “Obstruction” Arrests


The six officers of Seattle’s West Precinct Anti-Crime Team (ACT), make more arrests for the crime of obstructing a public officer, per cop, than any other unit in the Seattle Police Department, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Officials say that’s not surprising. Capt. Steve Brown, West Precinct commander, noted that because of the concentration of nightclubs and alcohol-fueled incidents in the precinct’s area, there are typically more police-civilian interactions and proactive work from officers. It’s a “very unique” part of the city, he said, where police are challenged to “maintain control.”

Sometimes donning street-clothes, other times decked out in all-black “battle dress uniforms,” the squad of highly trained, aggressive officers is the Seattle Police Department’s strike force. Their mission: to disrupt and remove the worst of the city’s criminal street element. “One of the most dangerous and thankless jobs in the department,” said Zsolt Dornay Jr., a longtime ACT member. Public defender Sunil Abraham sees the anti-crime team differently. “When these officers are rolling around town in the ACT team, they are supposed to be stopping crime before it occurs,” said Abraham, who has defended many low-income blacks from obstruction charges. “My theory is they are creating crime.”


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