News & Politics

Seattle to Pay Ex-Pimp $150,000 to Come Up With 'Alternatives to Policing'

AP Photo/Aron Ranen

And you wonder why Seattle is in trouble?

Seattle will pay a former pimp who is referred to as a “street czar” $150,000 a year to come up with “alternatives to policing.” Andre Taylor, featured in a documentary called “American Pimp,” was one of the original occupiers of the police-free Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone. Now, he sees a golden opportunity to exploit the guilt-ridden liberal city council and finagle a lot of money out of them.

His organization, “Not This Time,” was paid $100,000 to sponsor a series of speakers called “Conversations with the Streets.” And he was caught on audio advising CHOP zone residents how to exploit money from the city.

New York Post:

“Don’t just leave. Leave with something,” he told activists in a meeting caught in a recording, telling them to demand $2 million to exit the site of much of the city’s worst violence this year, the report said. They ignored his advice, the paper said, with one saying the money grab felt “off.”

Some of those militants then accused him of betraying them, too, when he appeared at a press conference with the mayor to tell them to shut down CHOP — the same day he was given his six-figure contract, the paper said.

It’s not unusual to give thugs cash in exchange for keeping the streets quiet. But 150 grand might be excessive, don’t you think?

I guess it’s not excessive when a “genius” is at work.

The new street czar justified the contract to KOMO News as payment for his “particular genius in a particular area” — saying he can talk to “gang members, pimps and prostitutes” who “won’t sit down with anybody else.”

“Black people as a whole have not been in a place to be compensated for their genius or their work for a very, very long time,” he said.

“Not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory,” Taylor also told the Seattle Times.

His contract with the city of Seattle calls for him to “provide recommendations to the City on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing.” The mayor’s spokesperson said the contract was offered because of an “existing working partnership.”

Taylor’s group was chosen because of its “lived experience with the criminal legal system, and their history of successful advocacy and activism on issues of policing and dismantling systemic racism,” Nyland added, noting that the city is spending millions this year on similar contracts with various groups.

How do you measure “success” in “dismantling systemic racism”? What metrics are used to measure it? What goals were set and met? And what “alternatives” to normal policing has Taylor come up with in the past?

This money is tribute, nothing less. It’s the city paying a prominent activist who has influence and perhaps control of the mob. Taylor’s switching sides to support the city’s efforts to get rid of the CHOP zone has paid some handsome dividends for him. But it’s an expensive way for Seatte taxpayers to buy peace.

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