Seattle leaders should be doing more to address youth violence, says Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert L. Jamieson, Jr. Pierre “Pete” Lapoint, 16, was shot dead last week in what police believe was a gang-related attack. “Kids keep killing each other over nothing,” one teenage girl told Jamieson. ” “They don’t care where they shoot,” she said, “so long as someone winds up dead.”
Officials in other parts of the country may call for curfews. Or they may hold news conferences decrying gang violence. In Seattle, dying young is just business as usual, says Jamieson. While the overall violent- crime rate in Seattle is down sharply, growing gang activity and a spate of recent violence – not all of which was reported to police or made headlines – has the town on edge. Residents are waiting for Mayor Greg Nickels or City Council members to make a cameo. That’s what elected officials are supposed to do – show up and be accountable to all of their public, not just big-time condo developers or affluent neighborhoods, the columnist declares.