NEWS GLEAMS: SPD — Armed Robbery Suspect Shot & Killed, Watching for COVID-19, & More

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Police cordon off an area in the 3600 block of South Findlay Street after fatal shooting Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Photo: Ari McKenna)

Suspect From Bellevue Armed Robbery Killed in Exchange of Gunfire With Police in Seattle

A suspect in an armed robbery of a Bellevue marijuana store was shot and killed Wednesday in an exchange of gunfire with police near the corner of South Findlay Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, according to a Seattle Police Department press release.

The press release said three people reportedly robbed the marijuana shop in Bellevue Wednesday morning, “leading Bellevue police to find them in Seattle around 11:30 a.m.”

Officers from Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Washington State Patrol, and King County Sheriff’s Office took two people into custody and were attempting to contact a third person in a shed behind a home in the 3600 block of South Findlay Street.

“That suspect then fired at officers,” the press release said. “Multiple officers returned fire, striking and killing the suspect.”

The SPD’s Force Investigation Team (FIT) are investigating the police shooting. Also responding to the scene were the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) and Office of Inspector General (OIG). Investigators were still trying to determine exactly which agencies and how many officers were involved in the shooting, the press release said.

A video of the incident will be released within 72 hours per department policy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to assist public health partners at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak and is still in operation. Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

Washington Health Officials Monitoring European COVID-19 Surge

State health officials said Wednesday, March 16, they “could not predict” whether a new surge in COVID-19 cases in half of European countries would eventually lead to a fifth surge in Washington.

Scott Lindquist, the state’s top epidemiologist, said, “We can’t predict whether that will happen here,” but he said he was confident that the state’s COVID-19 surveillance methods would alert officials immediately if or when the strain shows up. The State collects data on how many cases are reported, as well as doing further testing on some samples to identify the exact virus variant in them.

“We have the tools” to fight any surge, Lindquist said, referring to vaccination, boosting, masking, and public awareness. In national reporting on the European surge, some U.S. experts did predict the same rise in cases would hit the United States. 

One of the most important ways to protect people is through vaccination, including getting booster shots as immunity slowly wanes months after receiving an initial shot or shots. There are big differences across Washington State in who is boosted, with Black, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiʻian and Pacific Islander communities showing fewer than half of people have been boosted, according to the Washington State Department of Health data dashboard. For all other identified groups, more than half of the population is boosted.

Pfizer has asked federal regulators to consider a second booster for people over 65 years. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will review that request before it could be approved for the wider public.

Documentarian Yoruba Richen. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

The Green Book Exhibit Arriving at Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma

The Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma is featuring a Smithsonian exhibit on “The Green Book,” a guide that allowed African Americans to travel through segregated America in a way “that affirmed their humanity, their worth, their light …”

“Visitors will get an immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-century America, and how The Green Book served as an indispensable resource for the nation’s rising African American middle class,” the historical society’s website states.

The exhibit opens March 19 with an evening with documentarian Yoruba Richen screening her film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom.

“Richen’s documentary film … features historians, business owners, and individuals who experienced ‘traveling while Black’ in pre-civil rights America, and offers a deeper look into Victor H. Green’s travel guide, The Negro Motorist Green Book. Published annually from 1936-1967, ‘The Green Book’ allowed African Americans to safely tour the United States during a time of severe racism. Richen’s film explores the daily struggles, indignities, and dangers that African American people endured while on the road, as well as the opportunities, freedom, and triumphs along the way.”

Visit the Washington State Historical Society Exhibition & Events webpage for more information on the exhibit and how to RSVP to the documentary screening.

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