Last month, Demarius Butts, 19, and his 17-year-old sister decided to steal some beer and doughnuts from a 7-11 in Seattle. After brandishing a gun at the store’s clerk, Butts and his sister ran away, then stopped for a smoke. Officers responding to a report of the armed robbery at the 7-11 quickly caught up to them. A shoot out ensued, with Butts ending up being killed, but only after he himself had shot three Seattle police officers.
But don’t call Demarius Butts a suspect in this case because that’d be politically incorrect. Now, instead, they must call suspects like Mr. Butts “community members.” Many cops are not happy about the change.
“I think this is all in an effort to make sure our report writing sounds politically correct,” Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Kevin Stuckey told KIRO 7.
“I don’t think you should have a broad stroke like that and call everybody the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling someone who is a victim a victim, or calling someone who’s a suspect a suspect.”
The change in terminology comes after the Washington Department of Corrections stopped using the term “offender” to describe inmates, instead choosing to call them “students.”
“The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo, obtained by KIRO 7.
“Times change, and so does our language.”
So, now, convicted killers, rapists and felons are “students.” And wannabe killers, rapists and felons are “community members.”
Stay loony, Seattle.