Seattle Police Department’s canine officer “Jedi” was put in a very dangerous situation when his handler dispatched him to stop a machete-wielding suspect. It resulted in a death that caused outrage among some in the community.
Police responded to a break-in at the residence of a South Seattle homeowner who reported an intruder who was wielding a machete. The panicked resident called 911 in the afternoon to report a man inside his home. During the call, you can hear someone else in the home yell at the intruder to “get out of here.”
“He’s got a knife,” the caller shrieked at the 911 operator. “He’s threatening us with it. He’s got a machete.” When police arrived, they spotted the alleged burglar identified only as a Hispanic male who was wearing a bath towel around his waist. He refused to comply with police orders. He was carrying a knife in addition to the machete, according to bodycam footage released by the Seattle Police Department.
“Dramatic bodycam footage released over the weekend shows the moment two officers begin chasing down the burglary suspect,” Daily Mail reported. “The officers yell at the man to stop and get on the ground multiple times before a third officer, Tim Jones, comes in to help as they release [canine officer] Jedi, who was slashed and stabbed by the suspect.”
The officers move in and the suspect cuts Jedi’s partner in the face. Officer Jones then opens fire seven times. Both the suspect and Jedi died at the scene. The other officer injured was taken to a nearby hospital. In the bodycam footage, a sergeant could be heard warning the man multiple times during the chase. “Stop. stop now. Get on the ground. Do it now. Get on the ground,” the officer yells after first brandishing his gun. The suspect ignores the officers, and when the suspect begins to run again, Jedi was let loose, leading to the deadly incident. It should be noted that Jedi continued to subdue the suspect, even after he was stabbed several times.
“This incident did not have to end this way,” Seattle radio host Jeff Rantz writes. “An officer wouldn’t have been hurt and a K-9 would not have been killed if these officers would have been able to use a weapon banned by Democrats in the state legislature.”
“HB 1054 banned the use of large-caliber firearms and ammunition,” Rantz adds. “Rushed through by Democrats to capitalize on the anti-police sentiment and egged on by activists, the bill made no exception for non-lethal versions like beanbag or 40mm sponge-tipped rounds.” Instead of utilizing proven methods like the beanbag or 40mm sponge-tipped rounds, officers had no choice but to dispatch Jedi to subdue the suspect. The officers’ only other alternative at that point, thanks to the loopholes in the new anti-police laws, would be shooting the suspect, outright.
A Seattle police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, blames the “Defund the Police” movement. He explained how a 40mm launcher could have prevented this. “I say this with 100% certainty, having years of experience in patrol and SWAT, and having worked beside K-9 more times than I can count. Had responding officers had 40mm launchers to deploy on that suspect, Jedi would almost certainly be alive today. The suspect might also be alive today, receiving treatment,” the officer tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
According to this officer, the non-lethal 40mm launcher would have allowed law enforcement on the scene to achieve compliance from combative and dangerous suspects from behind cover, and at a safer distance. “Officers should not be forced to put themselves, or their highly trained K-9s, into deadly encounters simply because feckless politicians stole their effective tools for safety,” the officer declared. “These deaths lie not at the feet of the brave SPD officers and Jedi, but at the feet of city and state politicians who put their politics above the need for public safety.”