SAVANAH HERNANDEZ REPORTS: Seattle suffers brutal overdose crisis after defunding police, decriminalizing drugs

From a defunded police department that has left Seattle with a 24 percent uptick in homicides, to the decriminalization of hard drugs that sent overdose rates up 40 percent, the progressive city has taken a turn for the worst.

Savanah Hernandez Texas, US

Seattle, once known as the Emerald City for its scenic forests and mountains, has plunged into darkness as drug overdoses, exposed needles, human feces and crime overtake the streets and suburbs of this once thriving city. 

From a defunded police department that has left the city with a 24 percent uptick in homicides to the decriminalization of hard drugs that sent overdose rates up 40 percent, the progressive city has taken a turn for the worst, with headlines now reading that fentanyl deaths are getting so bad that Seattle morgues are running out of room for dead bodies

Back in February 2021 the state of Washington decriminalized hard drugs, making possession of cocaine, meth, heroin or fentanyl no longer a felony. 

Since the overturn, overdose rates have risen 40 percent from 2021 to 2022, with Seattle’s Fire Department sharing that for 2022, “SFD has responded to more than 5,200 patients with suspected overdoses, compared to 3,600 incidents the year prior”. 

Walking the streets of Seattle also paints a dystopian picture of how bad the addiction crisis has gotten. “There’s people overdosing like crazy out there,” one drug user began, “I’ve been using for 15 years now and I’ve never seen it like this, I’ve probably lost about 10 friends just in the last year”.

During a quick walk through downtown it’s not uncommon to see human feces, exposed needles, open drug deals and black markets full of stolen goods on the streets. “We’re gonna walk just one block away and you’re going to see an open air black market of stolen merchandise,” local reporter Jonathan Choe began, “these addicts…they walk into walmart and target come out with items they’ll sell it on the corner for pennies on the dollar to buy meth, heroin, fentanyl,” he explained. 

Within just an hour of being downtown Choe also pointed out a young man digging through piles of trash in a search for leftover drugs. We ended up speaking to the gentleman who found a piece of foil with either fentanyl or crack inside. A group of school children had just walked past the area minutes prior. 

Open needles in the streets, open defecation and open crime are a common scene, and sadly these issues extend well past downtown. Another area of concern in Seattle’s suburbs is a Burger King located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. 

After becoming vacant, the building began attracting the homeless who began frequenting the building. Locals in the area shared that they began lighting fires inside and back in November of 2022 the entire building caught fire. The building smelled of burnt wood, plastic and urine, and dead animals can be found on the surrounding sidewalks. 

A block away from two schools, the city still had no timeline as to when they will be demolishing the building and two businesses have closed near the area due to the high amount of vandalism, break-ins and crime the building is attracting. After enough pushback, the city tore down the building.

The high crime rates in the city are a direct result of Seattle’s push to defund their police department and back in 2021 the city council voted to defund the department by $35.6 million

Seattle is now dealing with their lowest police staffing in 30 years and there has been a 24% rise in homicides in the city as a direct result. 

Per the Seattle Times, 2022, “saw the highest violent crime rate in 15 years, with an increase of 729 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2021”. Looking at the homicide rates, they have, “increased by 24% and aggravated assault totals continue to be the highest reported in the last 10 years”. 

The city’s lack of action in response to homelessness, drug use and crime has left locals struggling to keep their businesses open and keep their streets clean, with one Seattle resident taking it upon herself to push for change by starting her own organization to clean trash-filled streets. 

Andrea, founder of “We Heart Seattle'' began her organization after watching city parks, streets and neighborhoods become overrun with trash and open needles. She began “We Heart Seattle” back in 2020 and with volunteer work alone, has picked up over 400 tons of trash and over 20,000 needles. 

She shares that it’s been up to citizens like her to clean up city streets as public officials have stated that they won’t clean up the trash because it could be property of the homeless.

Democrat-run cities across the US have employed these same progressive policies in the name of equity. The results, however, are that the cities are left to criminals, homeless and drug addicts, while the tax-paying population suffers. Needles litter the streets, children walk to school through open air drug markets, addicts die in greater numbers, and residents and business owners are unable to protect themselves or to keep their businesses functioning amid massive crime increases. Equity was the goal, but instead cities are being poisoned by poor policies, fentanyl, and crime.


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