The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Tuesday, October 20
Today on the Morning Update Show:
Black Voices Matter – SABJ Event; Chief Best lands new role at KING 5; Durkan to cut $30M Equity Fund; People’s Budget vs. Solidarity Budget; Diddy launches new political party; and Stimulus Watch.
We asked two community members to weigh in on Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announcing her retirement from SPD. Their two viewpoints follow.
by George Griffin III
Carmen Best is a friend. Good people. Classy, strong. She deserved better.
After everyone gets through scapegoating the Seattle City Council and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests for her resignation, maybe we should take a good hard look at Seattle’s years of inactivity when People of Color and other people said the department needed some serious reform and restructuring. This lack of attention to the concerns of People of Color and allies contributed to the Seattle Police Department ultimately being placed under the current consent decree after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012. Do we need to be reminded how, when Best was interim chief in 2018, she was disrespected and passed over by the current mayor in the initial interview process and how she only got the job after communities of color and allies spoke up? Many prominent people were quiet at that time because they didn’t want to criticize their friend, the new mayor.
“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Klu Klux Klanner [sic], but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels that he can set the time-table for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
—Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail
As a longtime Jewish activist for racial justice I was appalled, embarrassed, and saddened by Rabbi Daniel Weiner’s op-ed in the Seattle Times, which, echoing the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., reeks of devotion to order over justice. Supported by other local religious leaders, the op-ed misuses the legacy of John Lewis to attack and chastise brave local activists in the Movement for Black Lives here in Seattle.
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)
Advocates for an immediate 50% cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget may have walked away unsatisfied Monday evening, when the City Council passed a midyear budget package that lopped just 7% off SPD’s remaining 2020 budget. But the Council majority left no question that they consider the short-term cuts a down payment on a more substantive proposal next year — one that, importantly, has a shot of making it through labor negotiations with the powerful police officers’ union.
In a surprising turn, Seattle’s Police Chief Carmen Best will announce her retirement on Tuesday in the wake of the Council’s decision. This was confirmed with multiple sources including the mayor’s office. The C is for Crank was also able to obtain a copy of Chief Best’s letter to SPD announcing her departure on September 2.
Joined by several community leaders, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addressed two weekendshootings that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Black teen and wounded two others in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).
In the June 22 press conference, Durkan and Best committed to working with different Black-led community organizations, including Community Passageways and Not This Time. Durkan said that she will be introducing a 2020 budget rebalancing plan that will make a point to invest in the Black community, in order to enhance public safety. In the name of both equity and public safety, Durkan also committed $5 million for mentoring and summer learning for Black youth.
She also said that police officers responded to almost 17,000 emergency calls within the last nine months, and that her budget process will examine the police budget. She said that police only respond “because the other systems in society have failed,” and that what the city needs is for certain services, like mental health workers or community-based workers, to be available to respond to some emergency calls.
A young woman was reported to have almost lost her life in last night’s protests on Capitol Hill after Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers allegedly threw several flash bangs into the volunteer medic tent in which she was being treated for a chest injury from “a police projectile” — delaying treatment by attendant volunteer medics, according to one of the street medics who said they had been attending her.
The Emerald and other media organizations received a letter signed by more than 20 different local representatives calling on both Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan to “take urgent and sustained action to de-escalate the police tactics used in daily protests.”
The Emerald was able to verify the authenticity of this letter, as it came from Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43rd). The letter is reprinted in its entirety below.
UPDATE: According to an Instagram post by The Stranger, the Seattle Police Department told The Seattle Times’ Lewis Kamb that it did not use tear gas against protestors Saturday night. SPD said that its officers used pepper spray, or OC gas. The Emerald has created a new story with an accordingly updated headline.
However, according to a Timesstory published June 5, health experts still worry that use-of-force tools like pepper spray that act as respiratory irritants can contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus, because they could cause people to spit or cough, releasing virus-containing droplets.
In a press conference addressing an update to crowd control tactics, particularly the use of tear gas, both Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best said in a response to a question from the Emerald about on-the-ground reports of officers removing badges on the evening of June 4 that they had not heard of this happening.