Community Post

CD Scanner – 5/30

The month of June is just a bit more than a day away. Here’s what’s happening on this Friday:

0 thoughts on “CD Scanner – 5/30

  1. I doubt the necessity of reporting on every “Family Disturbance” (5/30, 10:25am) and “man seen walking northbound, appear[ing] to be casing houses. Black male, 18, 5’8″, BAGGY CLOTHING!!!!!” But, more importantly, what is the use of a scanner of “criminal” activity in the CD when it covers incidents on Westlake Ave, Bellevue Ave, and 20th and E Prospect.

    If you want to accurately portray “crime” in the CD, this seems, diplomatically speaking, an improper methodology…

  2. Re: 10:44AM – 20th & E. Prospect – Suspicious Circumstance – Man seen walking northbound, appears to be casing houses. Black male, 18, 5’8″, baggy clothing.

    What?!?!? Seriously!?!?!? Why is it assumed that this man is casing houses? Probably not because he’s walking northbound so I’m guessing it’s because of the assumptions whoever reported him has about his appearance and race. Let me be clear: not BECAUSE of his appearance-because there is nothing wrong with his appearance, but because of the ASSUMPTIONS whoever reported him has about people who share his appearance.

    If there was a white man walking around the neighborhood looking at houses would you call the police!?!?!? No, you’d probably think “oh look, someone is looking to move into the neighborhood,” or, “someone is trying to find their friend’s address, maybe I should help them out,” or “someone is taking a stroll through the neighborhood admiring the architecture.”

    Given the fact that cops disproportionately target and profile people of color, whoever called the police on this PERSON who may well have been out for a walk in HIS neighborhood, put him at serious risk. The reporter profiled him and then called upon state authority placing him at risk of becoming another victim of state profiling which has serious consequences. Not only that, it also puts at risk at anyone who might share his appearance and be mistaken by the police for him.

    That this kind of stuff gets called into the police makes me nervous to walk around the neighborhood for fear that someone will call the police on me. It also makes me hesitant to invite my friends of color over for the same reason. This is frustrating and disheartening. Come on people.

  3. We listen to the radio for the east precinct and record the things we hear, even if they’re not in the CD itself. This is mostly because they’re interesting, and it would be difficult to draw a hard line of what might or might not have an impact on residents of the CD based strictly on geography.

    We also try to record all events, even minor ones such as the “Family Disturbance” ones. One reason is that we don’t want to be a filter. We’ll put everything and people can disregard the ones they’re not interested in. And another reason is that things that are small for the overall neighborhood can still be very important for people in the immediate area of an event.

  4. Dispatchers don’t read out the entire content of their conversations with 911 callers, so there may be some important additional context to the person’s behavior that led the caller to believe they were casing houses in the neighborhood. And I do know that most 911 operators will challenge callers to back up their claims so that they don’t end up sending scarce police resources after bogus events.

    And there’s definitely still a chance that the caller was racial profiling and had no good reason to conclude that the man was casing. But we don’t have enough information to say one way or the other for certain.

  5. Scott, your response makes no sense. I understand that YOU didn’t call and can therefore claim that the caller was racial profiling not CDNews. But the problem here, and what is within the purview of CD News, is what you choose to report. What is the point of a CD Scanner? You state that “we don’t have enough information to say one way or the other for certain.” So what is the point of posting naked dispatcher reports when we don’t have info to say one way or the other? On a whole, your CD Scanner, not backed up by who is arrested or convicted, only supports a specific bias of what people feel necessary to report, who people THINK are doing drugs, who people THINK are casing houses, etc. And, after analyzing your previous scanners, these biases are clearly racial. Whether it be the result of the dispatcher or the caller, your “CD Scanner” seems to have no use but to support the fears and biases of a certain sector of our population.

  6. The concept of the scanner reports isn’t all that new. Community newspapers have included “Police Beat” type of features for a long long time. But traditional newspapers are space-constrained, forcing them to pick and choose which police reports make it into the paper. We’ve got unlimited space on, thus letting us include a wider range of events.

    We don’t feel like it’s our job to censor or filter this information, with the exception of cases where we’d be giving out too many personal details of a victim or suspect (e.g. names, home addresses, etc). Our goal is to publish everything we know and let all of our smart, capable readers draw their own conclusions.

  7. I’m not going to wade too deep into the debate here, but I just wanted to toss in my two cents. I like the idea of the CD News as a community resource, but I often find myself skipping over it because of its focus on crime. Honestly, I’d rather cut the whole “CD Scanner” section, and focus more on the interesting/substantive things that happen every day in our neighborhood (new head of the NWAAM, etc).
    I don’t know if any other readers caught this, but the Capitol Hill Seattle blog actually called the CD News out on the crime-focusedness not too long ago. Rather than have their own crime-report-centric map, they introduced a this-good-thing-happened-to-me map. It’s amusing, fun, and frankly speaks to a higher level of regard for the community they live in.
    Community news is a good thing, but there’s no reason to focus only on the negative and become just another local tv news outlet. Dare I say the times call for fair and balanced coverage? Urg.

    Cap Hill good news map:,-122.311907&spn=0.024237,0.058365&z=14&msid=107810158923350994841.00044d33c97a4d64fd8bd

    Cap Hill article: Having trouble tracking it down, but the blog is

  8. Very likely, many readers regularly peruse the scanner reports as would citizens in many neighborhoods. Therefore, eliminating it doesn’t seem a viable idea.

    Since it appears daily as it reports some of daily activity of the police it tends to be prominently and repeatedly diplayed on the home page, resulting in a negative and rather unempowering image of the neighborhood.

    Perhaps the scanner report could ge given its own home on one of tabs or on one of the lines to “click” on to the right or left side of the page. A place easily found and accessible, but not as prominent as the stories featured on the home page.
    Joanna Cullen

  9. I love the scanner. It’s the best way to stay informed about the re-occurring problems/issues in the neighborhood. Reading about the recent increase in burglaries made me more aware about securing our house when we’re out. And I’ve abandoned all plans to ever shoplift at the local GoodWill.

    I like the whole collection of items reported on this site and read daily: scanner, development plans, upcoming events, etc.

  10. I second Joanna’s suggestion of a separate tab for the criminologist among us – will you take that into account?