Amazon Moves Seattle Employees After Violent Crime Surge - Critic Points to 'Woke Consequences'
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Retail giant Amazon says it's leaving its downtown Seattle, Washington, office building and temporarily relocating 1,800 employees due to the surge of violent crime in the downtown area.
Most of its workers from the 300 Pine Street area are still working remotely, the company said in a statement to KOMO News.
"Given recent incidents near 3rd (Ave) and Pine (St), we're providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere," an Amazon spokesman told KOMO-TV. "We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so."
The outlet noted a slew of recent violent crimes in the Emerald City. During this month alone, a 15-year-old male was shot and killed, a homeless man was stabbed in his sleep, and Seattle police also shot and killed a suspect after he rammed his car into a federal building and fired a rifle.
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In a statement to the television station, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell's office said the mayor was "working every day to make downtown a safe and thriving neighborhood for residents, workers, and businesses."
"While it will take time to reverse longstanding safety issues, Mayor Harrell's early efforts are critical first steps to address crime and improve safety through dedicated SPD officers, a mobile SPD precinct, and additional environmental changes," the statement continued. "Mayor Harrell will continue to develop a comprehensive approach to public safety in collaboration with police and safety advocates, community members, service providers, and businesses, including Amazon, to activate, revitalize, and restore downtown for all."
CBN News reached out to Amazon for comment and in an email to CBN News, an Amazon spokesperson provided the following statement.
“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere. We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so,” the spokesperson said.
Jarrett Stepman, writing for The Daily Signal, a publication of The Heritage Foundation, noted the retail giant "has been only too eager to hop aboard woke causes, but the company seems a little less enthusiastic about woke consequences."
Stepman also pointed out Seattle is just one of many big cities in the U.S. which have been hit with a rising crime wave almost two years after the violent riots and "defund the police" movement that formed after George Floyd's death while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.
Before the current rising crime wave, Seattle had been a safe city, he wrote.
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported the last two years were the city's "worst years for homicides since the 1990s."
"Long one of America's safest cities, Seattle had 612 shootings and shots-fired incidents last year, nearly double its average before the pandemic," according to the newspaper. "The city has just experienced its two worst years for homicides since the 1990s when murder rates were at all-time highs."
Stepman also reminded his readers that "Seattle was one of many cities that foolishly decided to defund the police."
"No surprise, the police force in the city became undermanned and demoralized. Police officers left en masse. That exodus continues as the city now finds it difficult to hire qualified police officers," he wrote.
"Amazon and other big companies may have the resources to bail out of now crime-ridden communities, but that is little consolation to the people left behind who now must suffer the consequences," Stepman continued.
"How many lives must be lost as a direct result of violent crime or indirectly derailed because entire communities have become dangerous?" he asked. "Perhaps the violent crime trend will, in time, be reversed. Let's not forget the lessons of this moment, nor the ideology that led to this disaster."
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