According to KUOW, last week I refused Mayor Mike McGinn’s request to

According to KUOW, last week I refused Mayor Mike McGinn’s request to update the numbers in this story about underage sex trafficking. That’s half right. Here’s why it’s also half wrong.Last Tuesday, mayoral spokesperson Aaron Pickus e-mailed me to ask if we’d update the underage-prostitution arrest numbers we’d provided in this map that ran alongside the story–numbers that came directly from the Seattle Police Department.It was more than a little confusing to see the mayor’s office ask us to correct a mistake that originated with its police department. When I said as much, Pickus agreed and recused himself from the conversation, saying there were “too many cooks in the kitchen,” then asked me to set the record straight directly with SPD.I did that. Promptly. The change to the graphic was made by Wednesday night. And the result was an update (not a correction) of the arrest numbers, a satisfied police department, and a statement from SPD that made it clear where the confusion began. “Shame on us,” said SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb. “We should have given you the right numbers the first time.”Yet even after all of that–and even after a Friday-night phone conversation with Pickus, the first one he had granted in 48 hours, in which he assured me that his boss no longer had a beef with SPD’s bad numbers–McGinn continues to say that we’re “minimizing Seattle’s child-prostitution problem.”So let’s get this out of the way once and for all. Here’s what McGinn told KUOW he wants us to tell our readers: In 2010, Seattle police arrested 81 people for child prostitution, more than double the number from the year before. That’s true. But its exclusion from our updated map wasn’t born out of some sinister attempt to continue (in McGinn’s preferred term) low-balling the numbers. It didn’t make it into the update because we only listed data for 10 years, 2000-2009, because most police departments don’t yet have stats for last year and the graphic featured information from multiple cities (we surveyed 37 nationally).That’s not “minimizing” the problem. But this is McGinn doing the opposite.Follow The Daily Weekly on Facebook and Twitter.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Des Moines Police arrest murder suspect in Kent | Update

Medical examiner identifies body found June 20 in Duwamish River

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

At Dash Point on June 16, 2022. Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
All that the tides reveal: Puget Sound’s hidden intertidal world

Exploring King County beaches during the lowest tide in the last 13 years.

Most Read