NEWS GLEAMS | Impacts of Police Killing of Tyre Nichols Continue; State Bills to Increase Police Accountability; Free Tax Help at Library

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

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Photo depicting a group of protestors holding up a banner that reads, "Henry Green, Ty're King, Julius Tate Jr., Casey Goodson Jr., Andre Hill, Ma'Khia Bryant, Donovan Lewis, Sinzae Reed, Tyre Nichols, Not One More Name."
Tyre Nichols protest at the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio. Photo is attributed to Becker1999 (under a Creative Commons, CC BY 2.0 license).

Impacts From the Police Killing of Tyre Nichols Continue to Be Felt Nationally

A 29-year-old Black man, Tyre Nichols, died in the hospital on Jan. 10, days after five police officers fatally attacked him in Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 7. The incident happened across two locations — the first, where Nichols was pulled over, and the second, where he was beaten was within 100 yards of his mother’s house. Nichols has since been celebrated as a loving son, father of a 4-year-old, avid skateboarder, and budding photographer. His photography work can be seen on his website.

Memphis Police released four graphic videos on their Vimeo of the incident. Three show footage from police-worn body cam footage across the two different locations. The last one is an overhead view from a pole camera with no audio.

The videos do not include footage of Nichols being pulled over. While police officers initially stated that he was pulled over for “reckless driving,” the Memphis police chief shared that no evidence has been found substantiating the claim after the department reviewed all video footage. Footage also revealed that medics were slow to treat him at the scene.

Five Black officers were fired immediately following the incident and faced charges of “second-degree murder, official misconduct, aggravated kidnapping, official oppression and aggravated assault.” As of Jan. 30, a sixth officer, who is white, has been suspended pending the investigation. He was present at the initial scene and had deployed his taser but was not charged.

The officers were part of a special unit called SCORPION, known as “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.” The unit was a 50-person team focused on lowering crime in particular areas; it has since been permanently deactivated by the Memphis Police Department.

Across the nation, protests in response to Nichols’ killing have been mostly peaceful, perhaps in part due to his mother’s early message to the public. She said, “I want each and every one of you to protest in peace. I don’t want us burning up our city, tearing up the streets because that is not what my son stood for.”

Crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters calling for police accountability and defunding the Seattle Police Department
Black Lives Matter protesters calling for police accountability and defunding the Seattle Police Department on June 2, 2020. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Two Washington State Bills Proposed for Increased Police Accountability

Last Wednesday, in Olympia, the Washington State House of Representatives Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee heard two bills that are centered around accountability for police misconduct. 

HB 1025 is sponsored by Rep. My-Linh Thai (41st Legislative District), and establishes a private cause of action for victims and their families to sue for police violations of the state constitution or state law, in a way where police are not protected under the court-created law of “qualified immunity.” The NAACP Legal Defense Fund states that qualified immunity “allows state and local officials to avoid personal consequences related to their professional interactions unless they violate ‘clearly established law,’” which is based on previous precedents set around “similar” cases.

According to a press release from Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, “if a victim of police misconduct or their family wins the lawsuit, under HB 1025 they may get attorney fees, which has been another barrier for families trying to access courts. Individual officers are not subject to any monetary damages because they are indemnified by their departments.”

Following the 2020 racial uprisings, there has been a national movement to end qualified immunity, including a proposed Congressional bill in 2021, which was merely introduced. Similar legislation has been enacted in Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Nevada.

HB 1445, sponsored by Rep. Drew Hansen, (23rd Legislative District) and chair of the Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, “increases the authority of the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) to investigate misconduct at law enforcement agencies and jails … to increase responsiveness.” Part of its functionality “includes a process to bring a local department’s policies, trainings, discipline, and conduct into compliance with the statewide legal requirements … and directs the AGO to develop model policies for departmental accountability systems such as filing complaints, doing investigations, imposing discipline, and handling appeals.”

The videos of the hearing can be watched on TVW, Washington’s Public Affairs website, with transcription. Readers can also sign up for email updates or learn more about HB 1025 and HB 1445 on their website.

Photo depicting the exterior of the Seattle Central Library.
Seattle Central Library in Seattle, Washington. June 11, 2022. Photo is attributed to Dietmar Rabich (under a Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 license).

Seattle Public Library Offers Free Tax Help Through April 2023

The Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County, and AARP are offering in-person tax preparation services at eight library locations through April 18, on a drop-in and appointment basis. Free virtual tax help is also available through United Way and AARP.

Volunteers will help prepare personal tax returns; assistance for business tax returns is not available. A list of eligibility requirements and documents one must bring in order to receive tax help can be seen at

Details about tax help are as follows:

Central Library (1000 4th Ave., Level 5)

No appointment is necessary at the Central Library. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The last client will be taken 30–45 minutes before the end of Tax Help hours.

  • Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Starting Monday, Jan. 23, through Tuesday, April 18
Tax Help at Neighborhood Branches

The following locations accept drop-in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis, or via appointments arranged in advance.

Ballard Branch (5614 22nd Ave. N.W.)

  • Drop-in assistance.
  • Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Starting Tuesday, Feb. 7, through Tuesday, April 11

Broadview Branch (12755 Greenwood Ave. N.)

  • Drop-in assistance
  • Mondays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Starting Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Monday, April 17 

Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.)

  • Drop-in assistance
  • Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Starting Thursday, Feb. 23, through Thursday, April 13 

Northeast Branch (6801 35th Ave. N.E.)

  • Appointment-based assistance. Visit to make an appointment.
  • Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Starting Saturday, Feb. 4, through Saturday, April 15     

Queen Anne Branch (400 W. Garfield St.)

  • Drop-in assistance
  • Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Starting Saturday, Feb. 4, to Saturday, April 15  

 South Park Branch (8604 Eighth Ave. S.)

  • Drop-in assistance
  • Mondays from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Starting Monday, Jan. 30, through Monday, April 17

Southwest Branch (9010 35th Ave. S.W.)

  • Appointment-based assistance. Visit to make an appointment.
  • Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  •  Starting Wednesday, Feb. 1, to Wednesday, April 12

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