News Gleams: “Shark Tank” at The Beach, Police Still Looking for Witnesses in Shooting, Constantine Convenes Police Inquests Task Force

collected by Antonio Foster

Applications Open for Local “Shark Tank” Style Competition

Urban Impact, a South End based community empowerment organization, is taking applications for its 5th annual “Sharks at the Beach” program.

The program is a “Shark Tank” styled pitch competition providing local entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their ideas and win start-up capital for their business idea. Participants will be invited to Seattle Pacific University’s Social Venture Planning Classes, which begin January 10, 2018. 

Urban Impact’s Economic Development team will be working with four to six selected teams to develop and launch their businesses. The organization is asking that businesses target the communities of Rainier Valley, White Center, and the Central District. Additionally, a qualifying venture must address a social need. Teams will compete both in the SPU showcase and Sharks at the Beach event in April for opportunities to be awarded seed money towards their venture.

Application submissions are due to December 28, 2017 and can be found here. 


Police Still Looking for Witnesses in Shooting Near Columbia City

Detectives are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old male that took place near Columbia City last Friday afternoon. 

Shortly after 1:00 pm, officers responded to reports of shots fired near Rainier Avenue South and South Genesee Street.  As officers were responding, a separate call came in that an adult male with life-threatening gunshot wounds arrived in a vehicle at Harborview Medical Center.  

Officers quickly determined that the two incidents were related.  Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded to that incident, and SFD began life-saving measures on the victim.  Despite their efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives responded to both the Rainier Avenue scene and outside of Harborview.  Detectives are conducting interviews and processing both scenes.

At approximately 3:00 pm, officers observed a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description near Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but it took off at a high rate of speed.  Officers pursued, and the three occupants in the suspect vehicle abandoned the car and ran on foot near 47th and South Thistle.  Officers chased and caught two of the men, taking them into custody. 

A gun was recovered at the scene. The car was impounded and the suspects are being interviewed by detectives.

Detectives interviewed the suspects and determined that they were not connected to this homicide.

The suspect vehicle and suspect(s) remain unidentified and at large.

There were witnesses present at and around the crime scene who have not yet been identified or interviewed.

Police are encouraging any additional witnesses or anyone with information pertaining to this murder to call 911 or the Seattle Police homicide tip line at (206) 233-5000.

Constantine Convenes Task Force to Review Police Shooting Inquests

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the creation Tuesday of a 6-person King County Inquest Process Review Committee to review and re-examine the public fact-finding forum to investigate the circumstances surrounding law enforcement shooting deaths.

State law authorizes elected coroners or appointed medical examiners to investigate the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement in the performance of their duties. The King County Charter requires an inquest, and King County Code gives the Executive control over the inquest process.
An Executive Order lays out the sequence, which begins when the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommends the Executive convene an inquest. The Prosecutor recommends an inquest after every officer-involved shooting death.

Inquests are conducted in District Court before a six-member jury who listen to testimony and then answer questions to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case.

Executive Orders governing inquests have not been examined in any significant way since 2001.

“The taking of a life by law enforcement must be followed by a public fact-finding forum,” said Executive Constantine in a statement. “It is time now to examine how this process unfolds, who participates, and their roles in the proceedings. I have directed the members of the Review Committee to identify any potential changes to make inquests more transparent, fair, and meaningful for all those involved, and to provide greater confidence in our justice system to the entire community.”  


Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Accepting Applicants for “People’s Academy”

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is accepting applications to the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), its civic leadership development program. The winter quarter begins February 24 and runs through March 24.

During the five-week program, 25-30 emerging leaders (18 years and up) will learn hands-on strategies for community building, accessing government, and inclusive engagement from experts in the field. PACE has a strong focus on Seattle’s community and neighborhood organizations and the city of Seattle’s governmental structure and processes. 

Winter quarter will be held on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Topics include: Approaches to Leadership, Accessing City Government, Community Organizing, Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, and more.

Tuition for the five-week program is $100. Tuition assistance is available. To apply, visit Applications for all quarters are accepted on a rolling basis. The application deadline for the upcoming winter quarter is Monday, February 5 at 5:00 p.m.

Featured image courtesy of BJ Stewart