Caddy protesters will not face fines or citations, mayor and police chief say

According to the Federal Way mayor and police chief, residents behind the shopping cart protests in mid-June will not be subject to fines or citations.

Last month, dozens of shopping carts filled with trash and other items from homeless settlements in nearby woodlands lined busy Federal Way roads on three occasions.

One of those involved, who requested anonymity from the Mirror, fearing a backlash from city officials, said the protests were a way to “start a fire to clean it up,” the Mirror previously reported.

As of June 16, city officials were aware of three separate cart protests that cost taxpayers more than $ 20,000 to withdraw, according to the city.

The Mirror requested city bills for garbage disposal once available.

City officials have previously said responsible parties face fines of $ 5,000 for illegal dumping, jail time or trespassing charges. Now, the City of Federal Way and the Federal Way Police Department have said they will not cite or fine any residents.

A formal investigation into the protest demonstrations has not been conducted, and it is not known who is fully responsible for the incidents, Police Chief Andy Hwang said.

“In cases like this, the police department is always looking to voluntarily comply with our residents,” he said.

Since the controversy that unfolded last month, the city’s message has been clear “to whoever is responsible for stopping such acts to avoid additional workload on city staff and unnecessary expense”, did he declare.

The city and police have not seen other similar displays.

Mayor Jim Ferrell, who was quick to speak out against residents’ actions, said the protests were counterproductive.

“We were already in the process of [of cleaning the encampments]”Ferrell said.” This protest didn’t change anything other than letting us know they were frustrated. ”

While people most likely thought they were doing the right thing, Ferrell said, “Honestly, I don’t think the people who did this knew that putting it on the sidewalk would be some kind of offense… I don’t think so. not that their intention was to do that. ”

Homeless settlements and the city’s actions to address the sites are emotionally charged issues, he said. It’s getting strong reactions because the people who live in this city want and deserve a clean and safe city, Ferrell said.

To improve communication with residents on the city’s actions to clean up homeless settlements, Deputy Police Chief Steve Neal and Director of Community Development Brian Davis make a joint presentation at the city council meeting by Federal Way.

The presentation of the city’s works and future projects is at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday July 6. To view the meeting, watch on the city’s YouTube page Where join via Zoom.

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Peggy P. Gilmore

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