On Wednesday February 10, 2010 three Seattle City Security Guards at the Seattle Bus Tunnel Terminal watch as a 15 year old girl was viciously beaten.

Everyone asks,"Why did they not get involved and stop the fight?" The answer according to Seattle and King County Metro Transit Officials was, "They were following orders not to get involved."

But then these same Seattle and King County Metro Transit Officials say that "we are very disappointed in what we see on the video." It was absolutely unacceptable." No kidding!

But is this not a contradiction. Are not the Metro and County officials trying to have it both ways? On the one hand they are appalled at what they see on the video, three grown men watching a young girl that each out weigh by almost 100 pounds or more, viciously beat another girl even kicking her in the head while she is defenseless on the ground. But on the other hand, they were just following orders.

Tell me, who in their right min gives orders to a security guard (who by definition is there to make the area secure), that would make it OK to watch someone else be beaten like that?

In other words, if what happened was unacceptable, then the policy and orders not to get involved were also unacceptable.

To make it even worse, the King County Sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said the guards were right to follow their training.

"If you're a bank teller and you do something other than give them the money, you're going to get fired," Urquhart said. "We don't expect civilians to take police action. In this case, it was a violent fight, and they were outnumbered by this pack of people 3-to-1."

But this is a false analogy. A bank teller is behind the counter facing someone who wants what she has so she is really defenseless. While the three guards out number the assailant three to one, out weigh her by over 300 pounds, they are trained (or should be trained) to subdue persons who get out of control. So the analogy is not only weak, it just plain stupid.

So where does this type of policy some from. Very simple. Insurance companies. Yes, it is insurance companies that are the real criminals in this situation.

Let me give you a first hand account of why this is true.

Our middle son, Nathan's favorite sport is soccer. When he was in high school he was playing in an 18 & Under indoor soccer league at local indoor soccer facility in Overland Park, Kansas called "Just for Kicks" This company also had another indoor soccer facility called "In Door Sports" in Lenexa, Kansas.

My wife an I arrived to watch our son's game and as a coach I notice the other team is in disarray. When the game starts, there are no players on the bench and no coach. The coach arrives ten minutes after the game starts. We later discover that their goalie is the assistant coach. He is playing because they do not have enough players. We also discover that is is almost 21.

As the last two minutes of the game approaches, my son's team is ahead 1 to 0. So the opposing team pushes their defenders up in an attempt to get a goal to tie the game. But our son steals the ball, puts a move on an opposing player who falls down. The only person between him and another goal that will cinch the game is the goalie. As our son approaches goal from the left side, he turns to move almost perpendicular to the goal. The goalie starts to slide with him staying just out in front of him to the right to protect a shot on goal from the right foot. As our son gets half way across the top of the goalie box he stops the ball as if he is going to wind up and take a shot on goal with everything he has. But he steps past the ball and taps it with the heal of his right foot sending it backwards towards the left side of the goal. In an attempt to stop and get to the ball that is slowly rolling into the goal, the goalie falls down and helplessly watches as it goes into the goal.

For some reason this offended the goalie. So he immediately gets up and runs at our son and starts chest bumping him. Our coach does not see it because he is busy attending to one of our players who is injured. The other coach sees it but does nothing. The referee, he sees it but turns and walks away as the altercation continues.

It is at that moment that my coaching instincts took over. Before I knew it I was over the top of the eight foot glass wall and on the field standing between my son and the goalie. I never touched either of them. As soon as the goalie sees me, and hears me shout stop, he backs up. The incident is over. By this time our coach was headed out and I let him take over.

As I walked off the field I passed by the referee and told him, "That is your job to stop that type of action." He responded, "I don't stop fights." As a coach I was shocked and infuriated to hear him say that.

I immediately walked to the front desk and asked for a manager. He explained to me that the referee was following orders and company policy. The policy was, "We don't break up fights, we call the police." He gave me the company CEO's business card.

The next day I made an appointment to meet the CEO of the company that ran these indoor soccer facilities. The CEO told be the same thing, "Our policy is our staff does not get involved and break up fights. We observe and call the police and fill out a police report."

Now that there is stupid. You run a business that involves a sport where physical contact is inevitable and you know that there will be altercations. But you set up a policy where your staff will not get involved. They just observe and they call the police. How much damage will be done while the police on in route?. They don't seem to care or they would not have that policy.

When I told him that made no sense and it actually violated the guidelines for officials (in all sports the officials, umpires, referees, etc. are always charged with making sure the rules are followed so that there is an even playing field and that all participants are kept safe) he finally justified it by with the following. They could only get insurance if they had a policy of non-involvement. In other words, the insurance company forced this policy in order to protect themselves, the insurance company, from any litigation. Even though this policy is certain to allow a fight to continue where someone will be seriously injured.

It is obvious, even to the casual layman, that it is more about money, than it is about the safety of the players.

If someone does some research I am sure they will find the same kind of insurance connection in the Seattle situation.

It sad when those in charge of our safety agree to policies that place those they are sworn to protect in greater danger.

That said, this does not relieve the individual guards of responsibility. Both the officials that created and complied with the policy, and the guards who agreed to follow it should all be fired.

Where is Donald Trump when you need him.

© 2010, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.


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