A Seattle councilman has come out against an effort to hose sidewalks to wash excrement off outside local courthouse, claiming it’s racist.
The area around the local Seattle courthouse, King County Superior Court, is known to include a shelter for homeless people and other social-services for the underprivileged people in the town.
But it also contributed towards creating an “unsanitary and potentially frightening” neighborhood “that reeks of urine and excrement”, The Seattle Times reported.
“When they come to this courthouse they’re afraid to come in,” said the county’s Sheriff John Urquhart after two jurors were assaulted near the courthouse. “They’re afraid to walk down Third Avenue because what they see.”
“There is public urination, defecation. That’s a crime,” he added when testifying on the courthouse safety on Tuesday. “There is smoking marijuana in public. That’s a crime.”
Two of the court’s judges are urging the local government to fix the environment in the area, asking the city to provide power-wash the excrement-covered sidewalks.
But one councilman objected to the proposal, suggesting washing sidewalks with water is a form of microaggression.
Councilmember Larry Gossett objected to the idea of power-washing the sidewalks in the troubled area because it brings back the images of police using hoses against civil-rights activists.