According to the letter obtained exclusively by The Post Millennial, the firefighters stated, “Chief Scoggins - while on duty, and in uniform, actively supported the perpetrators of the civil unrest and provided support, acting in the capacity as a city official. He ordered the removal of front-line emergency equipment from Fire Department vehicles and gave it to the people inside the 'autonomous zone', this bypasses set protocols and directly puts patients in way of harm by removing trained personnel and placing undue burden on civilians to administer aid. Chief Scoggins also openly stated that he facilitated the movement of cement blockades into the street of the protest zone, this reckless act made it impossible for the Fire Department to come to the aid of those inside the zone.”
One of the firefighters stated in their letter that Scoggins’ actions “made us feel completely disempowered. We forcibly abandoned the citizens on the other side of those blockades. It delayed our ability to do our jobs and cost people their lives as a result.”
The purpose of that letter, they wrote, “is to express our concern regarding Seattle Fire Chief, Harold Scoggins. Our concern is based on presumed criminal activity and engagement, failure to uphold his sworn oath, failure to adhere to required Seattle City Official expectations, and involvement in conspiracy to commit spoilation. We believe that the included actions of Chief Scoggins have damaged the reputation of the Seattle Fire Department, diminished morale among its members (which has contributed to the staffing shortage across the City and has resulted in loss of life and property caused by longer response times) and marred the trust that the community holds in the Department. The damage that the City and the Fire Department have withstood directly from Chief Scoggins’ actions may take decades to restore.”
The letter cited a District Court of Western Washington ruling last month in which Scoggins was found to have deleted communications, including thousands of texts, regarding the "autonomous zone" from his city-issued cell phone, which was ordered to be preserved.
According to the letter: “Though the investigation was opened on June 24, 2020, and a Litigation Holds order was placed on the information contained in text messages on Chief Scoggins’ device on July 22, 2020, on October 8, 2020 (77 days later), Chief Scoggins took his device to an Apple Store and had a factory reset preformed, deleting all text messages held on the device.”
As a result of Scoggins and other city officials including former Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan and former police Chief Carmen Best deleting the communications, federal Judge Thomas Zilly sanctioned the city. Shortly thereafter, the city of Seattle settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with business owners who were victims of the armed occupiers of the zone.
The firefighters wrote in the letter, “Content notwithstanding, the simple act of erasing or destroying of said messages constitutes a class-C Felony,” citing RCW 40.16.010, “Every person who shall willfully and unlawfully remove, alter, mutilate, destroy, conceal, or obliterate a record, map, book, paper, document, or other thing filed or deposited in a public office, or with any public officer, by authority of law, is guilty of a class C felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both.”
The King County prosecutor's office told The Post Millennial, "It’s important to note that prosecutors are not investigators - they can act on investigations that are referred to our office. On the missing text messages, last year Dan Satterberg (former King County Prosecutor) asked the King County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, though ultimately it’s still the call of the Sheriff’s Office. That investigation is ongoing and has not been referred to our office. Charges can be brought if there is evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard."
"When the Sheriff’s Office sends their investigation to the Prosecutor's Office, we’ll review for a charging decision and be transparent with that decision.
The letter from the firefighters also cited previous reporting by The Post Millennial that revealed Scoggins had been coordinating with Raz Simone, the so called “Warlord” of the autonomous zone who is now facing allegations of sex trafficking and abuse. According to the letter, “Chief Scoggins later openly spoke about his support and communication with the occupants of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protests (CHOP), including Raz Simone, even after a video surfaced on YouTube showing Raz Simone distributing assault rifles to protestors.”
“For simply knowing that there were guns inside the protest zone, the Fire Chief and Chief of Police should have coordinated effective planning for the removal of shooting victims, or any patients suffering an emergency inside the zone. The lack of a well-constructed plan under standard operating guidelines resulted in loss of life.”
Firefighters previously told The Post Millennial that Scoggins had ordered that they turn over valuable equipment to the occupiers of the autonomous zone who identified as medics.
Deputy Chief Ron Mondragon wrote in an email to Chief Barrington informing him and others in the SFD command staff including Scoggins on July 11, 2020, after the breakup of the zone, that the two “Charlie Horse” Wheeled Stokes Stretchers "loaned to CHOP Medics have been returned to Station 25, per my request to our CHOP contacts. Before I could ensure required decontamination and return to Rescue 80 at Station 14 and the MMST Trailer at Station 28, they were routed to the Commissary. Please be advised of the equipment return, the need for decontamination and the return locations to complete inventories."
Other equipment is also noted as having been given to the medics in the thread and that the reason the department attempted to get the gear back was due to a discussion about using department funds to buy replacements.
A powerpoint discussing the department's response to the deadly occupation included a picture of the occupiers with the equipment.
The Post Millennial has also obtained emails via a public disclosure request discussing how Scoggins had coordinated barrier placement and other aspects of the zone with the occupiers. According to the emails, firefighters and medics were prevented from entering the zone and as a result were unable to treat victims of the violence.
The firefighters wrote in their letter, “The title of Firefighter, in any city across America, is a recognized position of honor. We are entrusted to uphold the oaths of the Fire Department, to operate with the primary motive of being in service to others, and are held in high regard by the citizens we protect, often to the detriment of our own health and safety. In the same way, we hold each other accountable to these standards ensuring a high level of trust that is not betrayed. No one is held to a higher standard in these convictions than the Fire Chief.”
“The people of the City of Seattle; whether they are involved in a protest demonstrating their freedom of speech, are business owners investing our community, or any other member of the community wishing to live and work in our great city, they all rely on the Fire Department, namely the Fire Chief, to ensure their safety and the safety of their families. Chief Harold Scoggins neglected his sworn duties in a time of uncertainty, when the public needed and deserved the direction of a decisive Chief who would put his oath of office first and maintain his focus on the safety of the community, the members of the Fire Department, and of the protesters in the City of Seattle.”
“His responsibility was to communicate with City Officials to direct focus and attention on the ability of fire suppression, rescue, and EMS to function as effectively as possible within the City and not have their access to the public limited. The failure to put those efforts first, resulted in the loss of lives and of many crimes taking place during the Capitol Hill Occupied Protests. The preservation of property and life is the cornerstone of the Fire Department and should be in the forefront of every decision the Fire Chief makes.”
“In recent years, several Seattle Firefighters have been sanctioned and investigated after performing good-natured acts or exercising their rights to Freedom of Speech, for this reason, we have chosen to remain anonymous, but we could not remain silent. Harold Scoggins has committed blatant and deliberate criminal acts and still holds the position of Seattle Fire Chief. There is a clear discrimination between the standards that City employees are held to, compared to City Officials.”
The firefighters called for a full investigation into Scoggins’ actions and demanded that he “be held accountable to the same standards that the City of Seattle requires of all employees, and to the law of Washington State, to reinstate the trust bestowed to the office he currently holds.”
According to the Seattle Police Department, rapes robberies and murders went up 250 percent during the three week occupation of six blocks of the Emerald City. Six shootings resulted in 4 injured and 2 killed.
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