Downtown Seattle guitar shop owners frustrated with crime and drug use outside the building

ByShannon J. Cortes

Aug 10, 2022

Video captured by store employees appears to show drug use in plain sight for everyone outside the business.

SEATTLE – Behind a steel door and through a locked door, you can safely lose yourself in the music.

“We grew something here. We love inside those doors, we create our own world,” said Trevor Boone, co-owner of Emerald City Guitars.

It’s what happens outside that keeps the Boone family awake at night. They showed us video after video captured by store employees that appears to show drug use in plain sight. Needles sometimes in a pile and a situation they say is out of control.

“I’ve got a full staff here and for the umpteenth time in all the years we’ve been here, especially in the last ten years, we’ve got some crazy, violent stuff here,” said founding owner Jay Boone. . .

Tuesday’s incident kicked everything up a notch. Trevor Boone says he asked the occupants of a green tent to move down the block and was met with, “A hand came out of the tent and showed ‘we have balls'”, he said.

“I didn’t see a gun, I mean I don’t want to see a gun, bullets are enough,” continued Trevor Boone.

Police responded but no one was cited. That green tent is still there, moved a few feet to the sidewalk. A situation that crowns years of dangerous racing and which they say shows no signs of stopping.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association, 500 businesses have moved or closed since March 2020. Emerald City Guitars says it doesn’t want to go that route.

Whereas to them, there seems to be no help how the owners of Emerald City Guitars make it clear that they don’t want to leave – at least not yet.

“We want to fight, we want to fight for our right to run a business in downtown Seattle and to run a business without employees coming to work with their lives in danger every day,” Jay Boone said.

In a statement from the office of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, a spokesperson said the mayor agrees that Pioneer Square and all downtown neighborhoods “should be safe and welcoming places for residents and visitors.”

A spokesperson pointed to initiatives the mayor has implemented to try to reduce downtown crime, such as increasing Seattle’s police presence and expanding programs to put small businesses and exhibits art in vacant showcases.

Issues created over the years cannot be resolved overnight, but we will continue to work with residents and businesses to develop a comprehensive approach to public safety and drive lasting progress,” a spokesperson said. “This includes efforts to diversify public safety responses, ensuring the most effective and appropriate approach depending on the problem. Additionally, the mayor outlined his plan to increase SPD staffing and recruitment so that we can improve response times.”