An Indian American lawmaker is calling out the Seattle Police Department for purportedly failing to investigate her report about an unidentified man who allegedly threw plastic bags filled with human excrement onto her property.
Kshama Sawant, a 49-year-old member of the Socialist Alternative party and the Seattle City Council since 2014, reported the incident after the suspect repeatedly threw the bags of feces in her yard starting this month – an attack she believes is potentially “politically motivated,” according to reports.
Sawant’s husband claimed to have reported the man to the police after the fourth incident on Oct. 8. Instead of launching an investigation, they reportedly told him, “What do you expect us to do?”
Citing a local TV station, The Siasat Daily reported that Seattle police also did not put a police detail outside Sawant’s home for protection.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“As a socialist City Council member who has participated in Black Lives Matter protests, I am being told that my case of six threatening incidents involving human excrement doesn’t merit even a serious investigation, let alone protection,” the City Council member, who is also an activist and an organizer, wrote to Mayor Bruce Harrell, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and the City Council.
The incident happened six times near the Leschi neighborhood, with the most recent incident on Oct. 13, according to reports. Although authorities opened an investigation on that day, Sawant told KIRO7 that the Seattle Police Department did not pursue the case further.
The police also reportedly told Sawant that the contents of the bags could not be sent to a laboratory for investigation.
“[That] seems quite odd considering that hospital labs do tests on human fecal matter all the time,” Sawant said. “Most concerning is the very high likelihood that this extreme and hostile behavior is politically motivated. And could turn into more serious and dangerous harassment.”
In addition to the bags of human excrement, Sawant said she received a “potentially threatening” email that called her “the queen of sh*t” and told her to “sit on your throne of human excrement.”
Sawant shared that she was “deeply concerned” after the details regarding the attacks were “apparently leaked” to the “right-wing media” by police. She added that recent articles published by right-wing media about her have motivated social media users to praise the suspect and urge for more attacks on the councilmember.
Sawant is reportedly blaming the city’s “Democratic Party establishment” for supporting the Seattle Police Department’s alleged apathy. She plans to file a complaint with the Office of Police Accountability.
In a statement to KIRO7, a spokesperson for Harrell’s office said that the reported attacks “go against our core values as a city,” adding that the Mayor’s Office was assured by the Seattle Police Department that it “will follow all standard protocols and practices regarding these incidents in the appropriate manner.”
On Thursday, the police department released new details regarding the attack on Sawant’s home, including a few pictures of the suspect whom they described as an Asian man standing at around 5 feet and 4 inches tall.
“The department takes incidents involving public officials seriously, and investigators have canvassed for evidence, gathered information from witnesses and reviewed everything collected thus far,” the Seattle Police Department wrote. “At this time, the department has not found any evidence this case would meet the city or state standards for hate crime laws, but SPD will follow available leads should new information arise.”
Those who may have information can contact the Seattle police tip line at 206-233-5000.