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Seattle police blame K9 officer’s death on ‘less lethal weapons ban’

Last week, the Seattle Police Department suffered the loss of one of their own when K9 Officer Jedi was stabbed to death while trying to apprehend a burglary suspect.

Officers have claimed that Jedi’s death could have been prevented if police were not banned from using certain types of less lethal weapons. 

Seattle Police have said that controversial police reform legislation that took effect in July of 2020 meant the responding officers could not apprehend the suspect using less lethal projectile launchers as they are currently classified as “weapons of war.”

Speaking to The Post Millennial, an SPD officer spoke about the legislation: “What would have prevented all of this is a 40mm, which, thanks to the idiots in Olympia, is classified as a weapon of war due to its size.” 

Under Washington HB 1054, police are banned from obtaining any military hardware, which includes 40mm foam-bullet launchers. Experts have said those launchers are the most effective of less lethal weapons police could utilize in their arsenal.

“A 40mm would have definitely given officers another option before lethal force was applied, or even a dog for that matter,” the SPD officer, who requested to remain anonymous, continued. “The option to use [less lethal force] would’ve been before the use of the dog in an effort to incapacitate him but because of the current law we can’t use our 40mms,” an officer explained.

But Officer Jedi was not the only fatality that happened during the Wednesday incident; the suspect, who had burglarized two homes while armed with a machete, was also shot and killed by police within moments of stabbing Jedi. Jedi’s handler was stabbed in the face by the suspect not long after the attack on Jedi, but luckily, he survived.

“Jedi and his partner were an incredible police canine team and were an asset for our officers and our community. For the past five years, they’ve apprehended countless violent criminals, protected our officers and the public from harm and were lauded as one of the best Seattle Police K9 teams in SPD’s history,” said Mike Solan, the President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: YAKIMA HERALD

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