The local administration of Seattle is paying a man who was convicted of being a pimp some years ago $150,000 in return for his advice on 'alternatives to policing.' The man in question, Andre Taylor was sentenced to five years in prison by a Los Angeles court in 2000 for indulging in commercial sex. He ended up spending merely one year behind the bars eventually.
What is even more shocking is the fact that, as per court reports in the case, some of the girls he pimped were underage. Yet, the Seattle administration felt he has the necessary knowledge to "provide recommendations to the City on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing."
This is not the first time Taylor is in the spotlight. In fact, he has been in the news a lot during his eventful life. Apart from his conviction in Los Angeles, he was also the focus of a documentary called 'American Pimp' which dealt with his time in the sex trade. An organization he created – Not This Time – was also paid a whopping $100,000 last year for participating in a series of talks called 'Conversations with the Streets.'
He was again under the spotlight this year in wake of protests following George Floyd's death. He not only led a rally against the killing but became one of the leaders of the protestors. Taylor was criticized for suggesting to those people who set up the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) encampment that they should not vacate the area without extracting $2 million from the government.
Working with government
However, his tune changed and he subsequently joined the mayor of Seattle in asking the protestors to dismantle CHOP. Interestingly, on the very same day he made this appeal, he was awarded that lucrative contract of $150,000 which is in focus now.
Defending the awarding of the contract, Taylor told a local news outlet that he is needed by the government as he can reach those sections of society which are otherwise beyond the pale of civil society. The reformed former convict says he can speak to "gang members, pimps and prostitutes." These people, he says, "won't sit down with anybody else."
"Not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory," Taylor was quoted by a newspaper.
The spokesperson of the city's mayor also defended the lucrative contract given to Taylor's organization by saying that it's "lived experience with the criminal legal system, and their history of successful advocacy and activism on issues of policing and dismantling systemic racism" would be very useful.