Burien Councilmember’s heated exchange with unhoused people caught on camera

A confrontation caught on camera shows a heated exchange between a newly elected Burien City Councilmember and unhoused people in front of the Burien Town Square Condominiums.

The videos were filmed by a homeless man who wishes to remain anonymous and passed along to FOX 13.

The footage shows Burien Councilmember Linda Akey and her husband confronting several homeless people camped in front of the condominiums where they live.

Akey admits she approached the people in the footage, but as a homeowner and not in her official role as a councilmember.

In the videos, Akey and her husband tell campers, sometimes raising her voice at them about the condo association's trespass order and reminding them of a city ordinance prohibiting camping on public property between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Some of the unhoused in the video are also heard taunting Akey and laughing at her.

At one point, Akey is seen trying to tell one unhoused woman to move, when the woman responding to at the councilmember,"Don't f****** touch me b****, don't touch me."

A tent obscures what happened between the two but Akey says she never placed her hands on that woman.


Unhoused Burien residents camp outside city hall after temporary shelter closes

Unhoused residents packed their bags and camped outside Burien's City Hall after "Sunnydale Village" shut its doors on Monday. The sanctioned encampment, located in the parking lot of Oasis Home Church, was forced to disband as it was only allowed to stay on church property for 90 days.

"Living 20 feet above a tent encampment is an experience in itself," said Akey.

She explained the exchange happened after nearly a week of seeing open drug use, drug deals and a fire lit next to the building. She even provided FOX 13 with videos of her claims.

"I have been calling the police pretty regularly for trespassing," said Akey. "I have been told a couple of times by the police to trespass them myself, which is what happened that night."

In a lengthy statement released to The B-Town Blog before her interview with FOX 13, Akey said "I recognize I may look angry, and I apologize for raising my voice."

When FOX 13 asked her if she had any regrets, Akey replied, "What happened, happened, and it is there."

Akey's team provided this statement to FOX 13:

"While I deeply empathize with the struggles faced by individuals experiencing homelessness, it's crucial to find solutions that balance compassion with upholding the safety and well-being of our entire community. We need a collaborative approach involving residents, social service providers, law enforcement, and community leaders to address the root causes of homelessness and addiction and find long-term


'We may be homeless…but we still have rights': Unhoused woman sues Burien on no camping law

Three unhoused people are suing the City of Burien over its no-camping ordinance, claiming it is unconstitutional. The ordinance prohibits sleeping or residing on public property between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. The complaint argues that this law effectively forces people out of the city and criminalizes their state of being unhoused.

Burien Mayor Kevin Schilling says he has since spoken to Akey about the videos.

"It could have been done better and [Akey] knows that," said Mayor Schilling. "We want councilmembers and public officials to be positive in their interactions."

Not only did Akey share her frustrations about the alleged activities happening in front of the Burien Town Square condos, but she also claims the unhoused were led there by former Burien City Councilmember Cydney Moore and former Burien Planning Commissioner Charles Schaefer.

When asked why she believed Moore and Schaefer allegedly directed the unhoused to the condos, Akey told FOX 13 to speak with them.

Moore stated that she did not direct the unhoused individuals to camp, insisting that they chose to camp there:

"I informed several unhoused people that there are spaces on the sidewalks in downtown Burien that would be wide enough to camp on. I do not know of any other areas in town with enough public land available to fit any number of tents on, as the city has chased people from each of those spaces or otherwise made them uninhabitable. So people are left with nothing but sidewalks to camp on, and I'm not aware of anywhere else where the sidewalks are wide enough to fit tents besides in downtown.

People chose to camp along 5th because it is directly adjacent to the library, and is set off the main thoroughfare of 152nd. Most people prefer privacy and some buffers from busy traffic when they can find it. The fact that Councilmember Akey lives along this street is a coincidence. Notably, the first encampment in Burien that was swept last year was right outside the library, and people having nowhere else to go have now returned to that same area - they are just on the other side of the street now, since they can't camp at the library anymore."

Despite the heated exchange, there are moments in the video where you do hear Akey tell the unhoused that she wants them to get the resources they need, and that she wants to help.

The videos show the unhoused responding to Akey's words of compassion with reminders of the complexities of homelessness that they experience.

"When? When have you guys been offered housing," one woman asks others in the video. Another man can be heard off-camera saying, "It's a circle where we don't get anywhere."