Crime

Gang tagging on the outside of Whatcom County Jail ‘just a statement of allegiance’

A look at Whatcom County Jail

Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Richey has said that bail reform is also a way to reduce incarceration rates, which would ease pressure on the aging Whatcom County Jail.
Up Next
Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Richey has said that bail reform is also a way to reduce incarceration rates, which would ease pressure on the aging Whatcom County Jail.

Police say a gang symbol was spray-painted on the outside a rollup door at the Whatcom County Jail early Thursday, Aug. 8.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:43 a.m. Thursday on a door on the north side of the building, according to the Bellingham Police Department’s incident log.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, closed-circuit television cameras showed the vandal walking up to the outer rollup door and tagging the door with spray paint.

Murphy said the spray-painted letters have gang overtones but did not release which gang the letters were associated with.

“There were no threats in the graffiti,” Murphy said, “just a statement of allegiance.”

The tagging was removed from the door by Friday.

Murphy said police only have a vague description of a male with dark clothing.

Though police identify kids and adults they believe are associated with gang activity through an official process, Murphy said it is difficult to estimate the number of gang members currently in Bellingham.

Murphy added that so far in 2019 there have been at least 73 reports in which officers indicated in the report that there was a gang association with at least one person involved.

“Now, some of those reports are information reports documenting the affiliation or observations made by the officer,” Murphy said. “Just over 50 of those had some kind of criminal aspect to them, but the primary reason for the crime may not have been gang motivated.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
  Comments