Monday, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced all police shooting inquests are paused while the Review Committee considers reforms and submits recommendations expected in March.
Long ago, a group roamed Capitol Hill’s streets at night to protect their community alongside police. Now, a new Q Patrol takes shape, readying its members to de-escalate and assist those facing discrimination, violence, and hate crimes — without the Seattle Police Department.
“A core focus is empowering other queers and other marginalized groups of people,” said Emma, a Q Patrol member. For this story, CHS agreed to not use the full names of members for their safety and security. “We think police are the problem. We’re not trying to antagonize them per se.”
Supporters hope Initiative 940 will change Washington state policy so fatal police shootings happen less often and so there’s more accountability when they occur. Gathering on a few Seattle City Hall steps Friday, a crowd representing 33 different families impacted by police killings gathered in support of I-940 in the hopes of preventing future deaths.
The Puget Sound region witnessed a slew of police killings in the past year: Renee Davis Oct. 21, 2016, Jacqueline Salyers on Jan. 28, Daniel Covarrubias in April, Tommy Le June 13, Charleena Lyles June 18, Giovonn Joseph-McDade June 24. All of them were people of color. Salyers, Davis and Lyles were all pregnant when killed.
“What else did we think would come with this when the police are investigating themselves,” asked Katrina Johnson, Lyles’ cousin. “They keep killing people and getting away with it.”
While the Seattle Police Department has kept track of biased crime cases for decades — it has to be reported to the feds — a unit dedicated to investigating the reports is only a few years old. It sits underneath the homicide and assault units. The person in charge? Detective Beth Wareing.
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant faces a defamation lawsuit from the Seattle Police Department officers who shot Che Taylor last year. Sawant filed for a motion to dismiss last week. The officers, Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding, claim she used the fatal shooting while naming the officers to further her own administrative agenda and political platform.
In the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday, protesters gathered at Denny Park and marched to Westlake in Downtown Seattle yesterday to confront a right wing group called Patriot Prayer. On their way, however, protesters encountered human barricades of police, canisters of pepper spray, and flashbangs.