Black Lives Matter. The call to action from Martin Luther King, Jr. decades ago — that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere” — sadly rang true once again as we protested the wrongful killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
On Saturday, May 30, community members across Seattle came together to grieve, protest, and commit themselves to the cause of justice. Coming together is a constitutional right our nation has honored and cherished for centuries.
From the morning to the afternoon, individuals marched and gathered peacefully. They pledged that George Floyd will not have died in vain. They called upon police officers and policymakers to do more to advance police reforms and accountability here and throughout our fragile nation.
I participated on foot in the peaceful march and caravan in Northeast Seattle, organized that morning by students of Nathan Hale High School. As with the afternoon protesters downtown, we were building community with our collective concern and action, which is so necessary during these terrible times.
However, late Saturday afternoon, some demonstrations downtown swiftly turned violent with rogue protesters setting multiple fires and throwing objects not only harming first responders and local businesses already stretched and struggling during the pandemic, but also endangering peaceful protesters. The disturbing events also raised questions about whether all of our police officers reacted appropriately to quell the violence.
MAYOR’S EMERGENCY ORDERS AND REPORT TO COUNCIL:
Due to the dangerous circumstances downtown Saturday evening, I supported the announcement of our Mayor Jenny Durkan for a temporary curfew for public safety (Saturday and Sunday nights 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.). I also supported the call by our City Council President Lorena Gonzalez and Public Safety Committee Chair Lisa Herbold for City Council to receive a full report from the Mayor’s Office during a public Council meeting that we are scheduling for Wednesday, June 3.
Here is a link to the Mayor’s press releases, including details about the temporary curfew: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsroom
Here’s a link to the Mayor’s temporary curfew: https://durkan.seattle.gov/…/u…/sites/9/2020/05/0899_001.pdf
Here is a link to the Mayor’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency: https://durkan.seattle.gov/…/u…/sites/9/2020/05/0897_001.pdf
OTHER RESOURCES FOR INFO AND ACTION:
Link to updates from our Police Chief Carmen Best: https://spdblotter.seattle.gov/
Link to our Community Police Commission: https://www.seattle.gov/community-police-commission
Link to our Office of Police Accountability: https://www.seattle.gov/opa
Link to our Inspector General for police oversight: https://www.seattle.gov/oig
Link to the Seattle Times for coverage on the protests: https://www.seattletimes.com/tag/george-floyd-protests/
I believe in a wonderful future for Seattle and our nation and I am hopeful we can come together again as a compassionate and committed community, as we did before the protests turned violent, so we can press on to advance the gains we have made for police reform and accountability here in Seattle. There is much work to be done.