Snohomish mayor’s defense of vigilantes inexcusable

As a retired deputy sheriff and long-time Snohomish-area resident I have always held our elected officials in high esteem. But what happened recently — numerous armed and intoxicated men supposedly “protecting” Snohomish from perceived threats that never materialized, waving Confederate flags and assaulting teenagers — is a pathetic absence of leadership from those we expect to step up.

Specifically Mayor John Kartak who seemingly welcomed them and continues to defend their actions. Assuming there was a real threat it is up to commissioned police officers, not vigilantes consuming alcohol and carrying firearms, to protect Snohomish citizens. Moreover, law enforcement exists to protect the peoples’ rights, like the first amendment. Mayor Kartak, these men were clearly intimidating peaceful protesters (and assaulting at least one of them), instead of partying with the vigilantes. Shouldn’t you have been directing your officers to protect the right of peaceful assembly? We are a community, and the fabric of that community is held together by our rights as Americans, including the right to bear arms, but those rights need to be defended and upheld by law enforcement officers, not a band of white nationalists yelling at kids from Snohomish High that they “don’t belong here” because of the color of their skin.

As far as I know even the NRA does not condone the mix of alcohol and guns, so why should Mayor Kartak?

For Mayor Kartak to do nothing while armed vigilantes overran his town is an absolute disgrace. The fact he did not resign immediately just shows how tone-deaf and out of touch he is.

K. Crowder


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