Pimp turned activist is paid $150,000 by Seattle to work as a ‘street czar’

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A pimp turned activist who once vowed to ‘go to war’ with Seattle is being paid $150,000 by the city to work as a ‘street czar’ and come up with ‘alternatives to policing’ because he said he can talk to ‘gang members, pimps and prostitutes who won’t sit down with anybody else’.

Andrè Taylor, who set up nonprofit Not This Time after his brother Che Taylor was shot dead by Seattle cops in 2016, signed a deal with the city on July 27 to work as its community liaison, according to the contract published by PubliCola last week. 

As part of the $12,500 a month deal, Taylor will provide recommendations to the city on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan aims to improve relations between law enforcement and community members in the wake of multiple cop killings of black men and women across America. 

Taylor, who was convicted of being a pimp back in 2000, has a mixed past with City Hall, promising to wage ‘war’ after his brother’s death before emerging as an ally and vocal critic of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone this year. 

He publicly sided with Mayor Durkan in calls to dismantle the zone after two people were shot dead but was then exposed in a secret recording urging occupiers to ‘leave with something’ and offering to negotiate a million-dollar financial package with the city on their behalf. 

Pimp turned activist Andrè Taylor (pictured in 2017 at a protest over the cop killing of a pregnant mother in Seattle) who once vowed to 'go to war' with Seattle is being paid $150,000 by the city to work as a 'street czar' and come up with 'alternatives to policing'

Pimp turned activist Andrè Taylor (pictured in 2017 at a protest over the cop killing of a pregnant mother in Seattle) who once vowed to ‘go to war’ with Seattle is being paid $150,000 by the city to work as a ‘street czar’ and come up with ‘alternatives to policing’

Taylor’s $12,500 a month contract, which includes an office in Seattle’s Municipal Tower, and his new title as the city’s ‘street czar’ was his idea, reported Seattle Times

He told the news outlet he is the man for the job because ‘not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory.’ 

Taylor said he has ‘particular genius in a particular area’ and can talk to ‘gang members, pimps and prostitutes’ who ‘won’t sit down with anybody else,’ reported KOMO News.

‘Black people as a whole have not been in a place to be compensated for their genius or their work for a very, very long time,’ he said.  

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment but told the Seattle Times the partnership would ‘help de-escalate the ongoing situation’ by allowing the city to tap into Taylor’s ‘lived experience with the criminal legal system’.

Taylor (pictured in 2017) signed a deal with the city on July 27 to work as its community liaison, according to the contract published by PubliCola last week

Taylor (pictured in 2017) signed a deal with the city on July 27 to work as its community liaison, according to the contract published by PubliCola last week 

Taylor, who set up nonprofit Not This Time after his brother Che Taylor was shot dead by Seattle cops in 2016, aid he can talk to 'gang members, pimps and prostitutes who won't sit down with anybody else'

Taylor, who set up nonprofit Not This Time after his brother Che Taylor was shot dead by Seattle cops in 2016, aid he can talk to ‘gang members, pimps and prostitutes who won’t sit down with anybody else’

‘The City’s Department of Neighborhoods entered into a contract with Not This Time so that the organization could help de-escalate the ongoing situation in and around Cal Anderson Park,’ spokesperson Kelsey Nyland said in the statement.

‘The City sought a contract with Not This Time because of our existing working partnership… but also because of the organization’s lived experience with the criminal legal system, and their history of successful advocacy and activism on issues of policing and dismantling systemic racism.’ 

The mayor’s office said the city has also entered into similar contracts with other community groups. 

Not This Time is also developing a program to support the mental health of black people leaving prison as they reintegrate into the community. 

The nonprofit also worked with the city in 2019 on a $100,000 contract to host a speaker series called ‘Conversation with the Streets’. 

The latest partnership comes after Taylor spoke out publicly this year against the controversial CHOP zone, which started as a peaceful occupation of a police precinct before turning into the site of two deadly shootings.  

Protesters occupied several blocks around a park and the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct after officers abandoned the building on June 8 following clashes with demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s ‘murder’ in Minneapolis. 

As part of the $12,500 a month deal, Taylor will provide recommendations to the city on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (pictured) aims to improve relations between cops and community members

As part of the $12,500 a month deal, Taylor will provide recommendations to the city on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (pictured) aims to improve relations between cops and community members

Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was shot dead in the zone on June 20 and Antonio Mays Jr., 16, was killed on June 29 and cops cleared the area and reclaimed the precinct days later.   

Taylor, who led one of the first protests in the city over Floyd’s Memorial Day ‘murder’, condemned the zone for its violence. 

He joined forces with Durkan at a press conference on June 22 after Anderson’s death and as the city grappled to take back control of the area, telling reporters: ‘I feel like I cannot help the situation now because of the violence that will probably continue.’

Taylor was criticized by some protesters who accused him of siding with the mayor.  

Despite his public stance in support of the mayor, the community activist was then caught on a secret recording encouraging demonstrators to meet with the mayor and demand millions for the community in return for leaving CHOP.  

Taylor has a mixed past with City Hall, promising 'war' after his brother's death before emerging as an ally and vocal critic of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone this year. Pictured the CHOP zone

Taylor has a mixed past with City Hall, promising ‘war’ after his brother’s death before emerging as an ally and vocal critic of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone this year. Pictured the CHOP zone

CHOP zone being dismantled. Taylor  publicly sided with Mayor Durkan in calls to dismantle the zone but was exposed on a secret recording urging occupiers to 'leave with something' and offering to negotiate a financial package with the city on their behalf

CHOP zone being dismantled. Taylor  publicly sided with Mayor Durkan in calls to dismantle the zone but was exposed on a secret recording urging occupiers to ‘leave with something’ and offering to negotiate a financial package with the city on their behalf

‘I’m advising you to leave,’ Taylor told CHOP activists during the conversation at a South Seattle restaurant. 

‘Let me go before you to the mayor. Leave with resources, money for the community. Then you win.’

He proposed that he could go to Durkan and negotiate money on their behalf.

”Listen, I went down and talked [to the CHOP activists]… They’re so serious about this space, they’re willing to die. But we have an out. They’re more concerned about being able to have some money for communities that are devastated right now, and if we can move that, they’ll be willing to leave’,’ he said he could put to Durkan.  

‘So don’t just leave. Leave with something.’  

He added: ‘You gotta get something. Let me make that happen for you, and then I can bring that back to you. I don’t know, we’ll ask for $2 million. They might give us $1 million, but let’s ask for it. 

‘Because the reason why we’re holding that space is not only for George Floyd but for the millions of George Floyds.’  

Taylor has since defended his comments and insisted the mayor knew nothing of his proposals to the CHOP occupants.   

‘They wanted to defund [the police] and to redistribute funds. I told them they could go to the mayor and ask her for a certain amount,’ he told Seattle Times. 

Taylor said of his deal that 'not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory'. Not This Time worked with the city in 2019 on a $100,000 contract to host a speaker series called 'Conversation with the Streets'

Taylor said of his deal that ‘not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory’. Not This Time worked with the city in 2019 on a $100,000 contract to host a speaker series called ‘Conversation with the Streets’

‘I was concerned about the protesters leaving that space without having some type of win. They were concerned about the safety of being there. I agreed with them about that. But at the same time, I was telling them, ‘Don’t leave without a win.”

He said he wanted to help ‘get some real action for the community’ and that he ‘would do it again’. 

CHOP activist Javi Cordero who was at the meeting with Taylor said the group felt his suggestions were ‘off’. 

‘After the meeting, I thought ‘this feels off,’ talked about it with some other activists, and we never followed up with Andrè,’ Cordero told Seattle Times.   

Taylor founded Not This Time after his brother Che was shot dead by cops on February 21 2016 in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle. 

Police were carrying out an undercover drug operation and said Che had reached for a gun and refused to comply with their commands when they opened fire.

At an inquest, jurors unanimously agreed Che complied with officers’ orders to show his hands and had moved his body position down toward the floor after officers ordered him to get on the ground.

No charges were filed against the cops involved in the case.   

Taylor arrived in the city after his brother’s death and vowed to go to war over his killing.

He then founded Not This Time, which champions statewide police reforms, holds police accountable and connects relatives of people killed by police with local leaders to push for reforms.  

Taylor's escapades as the pimp 'Gorgeous Dre' were featured in the documentary 'American Pimp' (pictured)

Taylor’s escapades as the pimp ‘Gorgeous Dre’ were featured in the documentary ‘American Pimp’ (pictured) 

Taylor pictured in the documentary. In 2000, he was convicted of seven prostitution-related counts and sentenced to five and a half years in prison

Taylor pictured in the documentary. In 2000, he was convicted of seven prostitution-related counts and sentenced to five and a half years in prison 

In 2000, Taylor, whose own father was a pimp and his mother a prostitute, was convicted of seven prostitution-related counts and sentenced to five and a half years in prison. 

The Las Vegas pimp was proven guilty of traveling across several state lines with an underage prostitute, who was 16 at the time. 

Taylor allegedly lived in a $300,000 house and wore $4,000 Versace suits and a $90,000 Rolex while pimping out the girl and other adult women.

His escapades as ‘Gorgeous Dre’ were featured in the documentary ‘American Pimp’. 

‘I was born from the streets; I come out of the deep darkness,’ he said in a YouTube video about his former career earlier this year. 

‘We knew you considered us the waste of the world from the beginning. We didn’t care what you thought about us … just like I don’t care what you think about me now.’  

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