Last week in West Seattle Crime Watch, we published a short SPD “Significant Incident Report” summary about an alleged hate-crime incident that ultimately involved SWAT officers. Today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced that a felony charge is filed against the suspect in the case, 34-year-old Keeley A. Brown. Both Brown and the victim are described in court documents as residents of the microhousing building where it happened, near 35th/Avalon, the night of December 1st. The victim said Brown confronted her while she was cleaning up items in a common area and called her a “terrorist” as well as a racial slur, telling her “go back to your country” and adding that people like the victim are why gun rights are needed. Brown then allegedly hit the victim in the head with a crock-pot lid. Another resident told police that Brown had long been harassing other residents, sometimes with racial slurs, but that they believed nothing could be done because of the current eviction moratorium. Brown went into her apartment before police arrived and would not come out; a two-hour standoff ensued, ending with SWAT officers entering Brown’s apartment to arrest her. Court documents say Brown, released from jail the next day on personal recognizance, has no criminal record. She is charged with one count of what is now statutorily described as a “hate-crime offense.”
SIDE NOTE: This is another category of crime that’s been on the rise this year. The day before this incident, the KCPAO held a media briefing about hate crime, saying they had already filed charges in 51 cases this year, compared to 38 last year and 30 in 2018.