In Seattle, if you commit a politically-motivated crime, the charges against you depend on who you targeted. If you’re a Muslim who shoots Jews, you’ll get life in prison. But if you’re alt-right white and you shoot an anti-fascist, you’ll only be charged with assault. Presumably because if you’re alt-right white, you’re all right. And if you’re a leftist revolutionary, you’ve got it coming to you. That’s what’s happening right now here.
Last week, the Seattle Times decided it was finally safe to name Marc Hokoana as the shooter (I named him a month ago) who critically wounded UW staff member and antifa activist, Josh Dukes, at the anti-Milo protest outside Kane Hall. Their excuse for maintaining radio silence for a month? The Times doesn’t publicly name suspects until they’re charged with a crime. Interestingly, Hokoana still hasn’t been charged with a crime. But the police did release a report on the shooting which was enough to get them off their asses to name him.
Ironically, the Times did name the victim without his permission only days after he was nearly killed. He wasn’t charged with a crime at all. I’m not sure how they square that one with company policy.
The report indicates that the UW Police and King County prosecutor are considering charging Hokoana with first-degree assault. Which seems outrageous considering that he nearly killed an unarmed man on campus. Also, the police reveal that just after Hokoana shot Dukes and before he reported to the police station, the shooter completely erased his cell phone. I’m not enough of a tech expert to know whether erased data can be retrieved in any format. But at the very least such an act appears to be a tacit admission of guilt.
When Hokoana turned himself in to UW Police he claimed he shot in self-defense. But it’s quite clear in videos shot during the incident that Hokoana is the only one with a gun. He’s also overheard shouting in other videos that “they [the antifa] must be the ones to start it.” In other words, Hokoana wanted violence and expected it. He intended to engage in violent acts. But he also was aware that he needed a plausible defense/excuse based on the claim that he was provoked.
Hokoana had an accomplice in his crime. His wife, Elizabeth or “Lilly” accompanied him the night of the crime and is seen in numerous photos. There is no reference to whether she will be charged. Local activists have discovered that she works as a financial advisor for JP Morgan in Magnolia.
The Seattle Times reports that Hokoana is an “ex-student.” But until recently the UW student directory listed him as a senior graduating this year and majoring in biology and physiology. I have not yet been able to clarify his status and the UW vice president for student life has refused to return my call asking about this.
The official response of UW administrators is also mystifying. The University president, Ana Marie Cauce, whose brother was murdered in a similar shooting assault by the KKK in Greenboro, NC in 1979, approaches this crime as if it involved little more than disturbing the peace. In messages to faculty she reassures them that the campus is safe (but of course she can’t explain why that is so). She says more about she can’t say than about what she can. In other words, she remains virtually mute. But she does manage to add a jaunty witticism (which falls flat) about offering the campus community more information on the crime before “the violent revolution:”
I would love to provide you with more information on the shooter. I can assure you, we don’t know anywhere near as much as people think we do…Although it is true that no charges have been made, this was done in consultation with the prosecutor’s office, where the case will ultimately end up if charges are made. I can also point out that it’s been reported, although I cannot vouch for the accuracy, that the man injured has not, and does not wish, to press charges. That does not mean charges can’t be brought, but, if true, it complicates the matter. I recognize it is not satisfactory to many given the rumors flying around. But we have taken decisive action on this, but cannot share more. I will share more as possible. An active investigation is ongoing.
While we can argue about whether ALL the demonstrators were non-violen, I can assure you that the police and authorities very much care about shootings of any kind, whether the demonstrators were peaceful or not, whether the shooter was a White nationalist or Anti-fascist or anarchist [italics added, ed.], whether student, past student (as also reported in the Seattle Times) or [missing]
Their [sic] are policies and regulations in place to protect people’s privacy. This is an important protection, but there is little more frustrating than not being able to share what we know, but in all honesty, it’s less than people think we know. I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we can say more — certainly in plenty of time before a violent revolution takes place — at least on our account.
There is a troubling moral equivalence established in this statement by Cauce. She sets up a false hypothetical, positing a scenario in which the “anti-fascist or anarchist” might’ve shot the alt-right protesters. There were no armed antifa activists at the rally. There can be no equivalence between shooting someone and engaging in civil protest, as the antifa did.
I don’t understand why anyone would accept the UW president’s assurances. It seems to me that Cauce is being led by lawyers rather than herself leading as the UW’s chief. She tells everyone she can’t tell them anything, but that they should feel confident everything is being done for the best. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to trust a prosecutor and police department that didn’t even arrest the suspect. That hasn’t charged him a month after he nearly killed someone. And that proposes to charge him only with first-degree assault rather than attempted murder. And that won’t even tell the public anything about its investigation. The UW Daily has expressed dissatisfaction with this approach.
Recently, a Dave Roberts from South Carolina, posted that he regretted that Josh Dukes will recover and that he wished Hokoana had aimed for a “head shot” rather than a “gut shot.” He published those comments the same day that Benjamin McDowell (also from South Carolina) was arrested by the FBI in a plot to massacre Jews at a local synagogue. There are reports that the alt-right is trying to doxx donors to Josh Dukes medical fund (donate), which has raised $60,000 to cover his medical care. These are some of the reasons why I find the official response to Hokoana’s crime to be tremendously underwhelming.
In an unrelated matter, today an Israeli posted a comment in my blog warning me to “be careful, you are now in the gunsight.” His IP address, 184.108.40.206, is based in Tel Aviv. The e-mail address he used was fake, of course. But unlike other commenters who write such trash, he didn’t seem to use a IP proxy to post this. Either too stupid not to know how to use one or someone bold enough not to care to hide his tracks. I published a suitably salty rejoinder to him on Facebook.
I moved to Seattle from New York in 1998. While there are many things I like about Seattle. There is a diffidence, an unwillingness to rock the boat which I do not like. We have one of the worst police departments, one that is under federal supervision because it has a tendency to kill mentally ill people and Native Americans. But hardly anyone complains.
We have a U.S. Senator who sold her vote on opening the U.S. drug market to Canadian mail order drugs for $330,000 in campaign donations from Big Pharma. Yet no one raised their voice on that one either. In the 1990s we had a Green River serial killer who murdered scores of women over many years with our police unable to solve the crime (eventually they did). The Sheriff who failed to catch the killer for years was rewarded for finally apprehending him with election to Congress. There Dave Reichert has managed an underwhelming do-nothing career as a GOP loyalist for whoever is in power.
People need to raise their voices here. To tell their elected officials, prosecutors, university administrators, etc. that they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Let’s stop being cautious and nice and start raising hell.