The King County Council unanimously passed a proposal Monday ensuring public defenders are made available to the families of people killed in officer-involved shootings during the inquest process.
Photo by DJ Martinez
The Court of Appeals handed prison abolitionist groups Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) and #NoNewYouthJail (NNYJ) a substantial and calculated victory Tuesday morning that could potentially close the money spigot for the youth dentition center they’ve been opposing.
After the death of Charleena Lyles, a black pregnant mother shot and killed by two Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant requested a public hearing at the UW’s Kane Hall between the Lyles family and SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole.
The chief, however, declined to participate. O’Toole’s response stated Sawant’s request via email had “a disappointing level of ignorance of SPD policies and clear disdain for the investigatory process and review that SPD is court mandated to follow.” SPD has, however, done such public hearings before. The department held a heated public discussion last year with family after Che Taylor, a black man, died at the hands of SPD. O’Toole went on to write that had Sawant “expressed any interest in our work over the past three years…we would have gladly welcomed the invitation to engage.”
Seattle’s jagged mountains were shaded blue the morning Charleena Lyles was fatally shot by Steven McNew and Jason Anderson of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), matching that of the community’s reaction to such police violence: tragic and somewhat jaded, topped with anger as sharp as the rocky skyline.
Lyles’ death tacks on yet another name to the list of people killed by police since 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot in 2014, when the nation decided it had enough and finally started taking note. Lyles was a mother of four, and was reportedly pregnant.
The planning was set over the course of a week, organized by three core members. This year’s Pride Parade would feature a surprise altar for Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant mother of four killed by Seattle Police Department officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson on June 18.
Over the summer, Seattle’s #NoNewYouthJail movement’s future steps seemed unclear. After more than five years of protests, demonstrations, teach-ins and community outreach, it appeared the “youth jail” people had been fighting vehemently against would soon be constructed on 12th and Alder in the Squire Park neighborhood.
However, a hearing Tuesday evening showed the fight against King County’s $210 million “Children and Family Justice Center” — which, along with courthouses and youth program space, will house a 92,000 square foot juvenile detention center, replacing the current one — is far from finished.
A slew of unpublicized errors made by Seattle City and King County Councils was that evening’s focus.
While hundreds turned out Saturday for a months in the making Black Lives Matter March 2.0 , another event sprouted up nearly two weeks ago among activist’s Facebook feeds: A “Displacement Stops Here” rally and block party. The latter gathered local Black organizers, local artists, and resources all in one place Saturday afternoon at 23rd and Union, a historically Black neighborhood.
The Seattle Black Book Club, a central group to many of the city’s black liberation movements, expressed concerns over issues between the organizer of the BLM march, “Mohawk” or Miles Partman, and Black organizers, specifically women. In a Facebook post, the group said that he was not the leader of any BLM movement.