First day of Seattle’s new drug law brings push by police, arrests

Hours after Seattle’s new law against public drug use and drug possession took effect Friday, police officers swept through two neighborhoods and made about two dozen arrests, police Chief Adrian Diaz said.

Police handed out flyers Friday morning in an effort to educate people about the controversial new law, then returned Friday afternoon to enforce the gross misdemeanor offenses, Diaz said in a news conference at the Seattle Police Department headquarters.

The operations targeted the vicinity of 12th Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the Chinatown International District’s Little Saigon neighborhood and Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown. Both areas have seen prominent public drug use for years.

Ten people were put into jail, mostly on outstanding felony warrants for offenses that included rape, domestic violence and assault, Diaz said. Two of the 10 were jailed on new offenses, including possession of drugs with intent to deliver and possession of a stolen firearm, the chief said. Police “might not have come into contact” with the suspects if not for the new drug law, he said.

Full story: First day of Seattle’s new drug law brings push by police, arrests

One Reply to “First day of Seattle’s new drug law brings push by police, arrests”

  1. Seattle had in place a drug law that decriminalized drugs as well as public drug use. This law was changed on Friday afternoon. I know the line needs to be drawn somewhere, but is it fair to immediately start arresting people who might not have known of the new law in effect? These drug users thought it was completely legal, and I am not fighting for drug use, but for fairness. This is also going to increase the population in the jails. Then we will have to deal with overcrowding. Is this the best decision for Seattle to make or could they have done something in between allowing drug use and over-policing it?

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