A year ago, in Seattle, a man living in a city-funded homeless encampment raped a woman in the bathroom of a Volkswagen dealership in the city’s Ballard neighborhood. Christopher Teel had arrived from Texas as a transient and was evading multiple warrants, but the city-sanctioned encampment welcomed him without conducting a criminal-background check.
The story caused a sensation, with wide media coverage and public demands for increased security measures, but the crime victim remained silent and her identity was kept secret. Nearly a year later, the victim, Lindsey, contacted me. After being raped, she had approached city leaders and met with the sitting councilman for nearly an hour but was received, she says, with dismissiveness. Teel’s crime against her did not fit the preferred narrative of compassion for the homeless, so the political class downplayed it. By the time Lindsey reached out to me, she was ready to speak out.
Lindsey asked me to create a short documentary so that she could tell her story in her own words. I’ve worked for more than a decade as a documentary filmmaker, but my interview with Lindsey was one of the most wrenching I’ve ever done. She walked me through the details of the attack and her deep frustrations with the political leadership that created the conditions for the crime to occur and then resisted making changes even after her story broke.Continue Reading at