Lynnwood City Councilmembers at their Monday, July 18, business meeting made public statements regarding the recent uptick in crimes, specifically homicides, that have been happening in the City of Lynnwood.
“People are out of their minds about this,” Councilmember Shannon Sessions said. “If you look at any social networking on any of these things that have happened, people are on the same page. When it comes to the safety of their children and themselves … they can’t go to Spruce Park without this.”
Sessions said that Lynnwood should focus on prosecuting criminals to the furthest extent of the law. When the city was extremely proactive, she said, criminals didn’t feel like committing crimes in the community was worth the consequences they could face.
But now, Sessions said ,the city has become softer regarding criminal prosecution, and the recent uptick in crime is proving that.
“I don’t think this is really a surprise, though, of why this is happening,” she said. “While we can’t pinpoint [the exact reason that] all these different things have happened … the pendulum in the nation and in our state has been pretty extreme. It’s predictable to know these things would happen. We need to be holding criminals [to a] higher accountability. And I don’t understand it but being hard on crime and tough on criminals has somehow been some sort of a politically incorrect thing to say. It doesn’t matter what color of skin or where these people came from. These criminals are criminals. They come in all different shapes and sizes. I don’t care where they came from, they need to be held accountable.”
Councilmember Patrick Decker urged the community to not let these recent heinous crimes scare them into letting criminals “take over” the city.
“Divisiveness in a community leads to misunderstandings, hate and violence,” Decker said. “Abraham Lincoln, referencing the Bible, famously said, ‘A house divided cannot stand.’ … Let the unity in the community remain intact. When we know our neighbors, when we understand those around us, when we love those who are similar and dissimilar in so many ways, we can effectively fight against the forces of evil that are quite literally besieging our community. We cannot let these tragedies, these acts of violence, cause us to give up our streets and parks to those forces. We as a united community need to protect our parks and our streets from those who would do us harm. And we do that by reaching out in love and understanding to all those in our community around us, learning who those people are, learning who we live with and loving those people as we love our own.”
Council President George Hurst thanked community members for raising their voices and speaking out about how horrible gun violence is. He said a group of Lynnwood residents recently sat outside the Lynnwood Convention Center to shine a light on ending gun violence.
“I found that 44 years ago, [one of the ladies’] brothers was a victim of gun violence,” Hurst said. “The murders in Spruce Park just brought it to a point where she had to say something because one of her best friends lives behind Spruce Park, has always been going to Spruce Park and now is afraid to go to Spruce Park. I just appreciate residents like [her] who will do it and go out there and just make a statement.”
Councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby said her thoughts are with the families of the children whose lives were lost.
“My heart is with the families that lost their children,” Altamirano-Crosby said. “It’s so hard to see this [tragedy] happen. And unfortunately, one of them was Latino.”
In a written statement issued to the public, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said:
“The Spruce Park tragedy, compounded with the shooting death of a community member several months ago at Daleway Park, and too many reports of shootings and other acts of violence across our state and nation are unbearable. Our community deserves better.
“The City of Lynnwood is committed to being a safe and welcoming community for all people. We are taking actions to address increasing crime, we are offering programming and activating our parks and open spaces by inviting community members to join us at events, we are reaching out to our partner organizations to have critical conversations on how to move forward, together, to heal as a community.”
Councilmember Sessions thanked Frizzell for her efforts to protect the city and hold criminals accountable for these crimes.
“With the tragedies that have occurred, not just recently, but a lot of different brazen things that have happened in and around Lynnwood … particularly in the last months, thank you to the mayor for her genuine support of our police department and collaborating with different proactive groups in our area, and just the genuine concern for our community,” Sessions said.
— By Lauren Reichenbach