The Chinatown-International District (ID) is back on track by summarily rejecting electronic camera surveillance. Not only were these cameras in place for eight years while the public was largely unaware, but the proponents wanted updated electronic surveillance capability all without ensuring the public—including visitors and non-residents—would know and agree.
There were rightfully no ‘takers’ willing to assume the financial and legal responsibilities for such a questionable project. No willing accomplices in a misguided, distinctly un-American, unconstitutional spying project that would have continued to have spied silently and secretly on the general public for the questionable benefit of a few.
There are better ways to ensure public safety and security for businesses than public cameras—lazy policing. And shame on the project proponents for recruiting the Seattle Police Department’s complicity and duplicity, thereby letting SPD and the city off the hook for responsibility for a badly needed greater presence and action in the ID.
The community is right to reject a tactic reminiscent of undemocratic authoritarian countries, a tactic that compromises our American constitutional right to privacy and innocence until proven guilty — secret electronic surveillance of the majority by a few. Truly detestable and misguided.
Such a camera project should never have been placed in our unique community and hopefully it will never occur again.
We live in the United s of America and we cherish our freedoms. Let’s keep our community safe in more constitutionally acceptable ways.