(This article is reprinted with permission from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Front Porch project. Read more works by Seattle poets and community members in the series “Reimagining Seattle,” at the official website.)
Content Warning: This article mentions some details about the killing of George Floyd.
Reading books to my son before bedtime taught me to cry well. For the first few years of my son’s life, I cried a lot. I mean really cried.
Those first few years I learned to cry without using all the muscles of my face. I’d get all pink-faced over his bedtime story and silently, silently, ever so silently take a single deep head-nodding sob in between words. I felt like this big-ass bald-headed Quasimoto hunching beside his crib hissing, “Don’t look at me!” And it’s not because I don’t want him to see me cry. Quite the contrary — “I’m gonna teach that boy to cry if it’s the last thing I do! Muahahahaha!” No. That’s just a joke. It’s because watching your dad work out existential issues can be trying, and I believe in trying to reduce the amount of PTSD I dole out just before bedtime as much as I can.
(This article was previously published byKNKX and has been reprinted with permission.)
Three Tacoma police officers have been charged with felonies in the March, 2020, killing of Manuel Ellis, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday — after multiple investigations into a case that has set off protests and resulted in changes in statewide police accountability laws.
Ferguson charged Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins with second-degree murder and Officer Timothy Rankine with first-degree manslaughter.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. As we take time to reflect on the multitude of events that took place in the aftermath, it is important to remember — Floyd did not make a sacrifice. He did not choose to give his life in hopes that his death would lead to a national racial reckoning that would catapult our nation, and a large part of the world, into a summer of protest. George Floyd wanted to live. He literally pleaded for his life. He is not a martyr. He is a victim.
In reflecting on Floyd’s death at the hands of Derek Chauvin, and the resulting protests and supposed U.S. “racial awakening,” it is hard for me to find a bright spot for this column. Police continue to kill citizens at the same rate they did before Floyd’s murder. In fact, since George Floyd was killed last year, 1,068 more people have been killed by police in the United States. According to data collected by the Washington Post, police have consistently shot and killed about 1,000 people per year since 2015. In 2021, we are currently on track to continue that fatal trend. And despite the nationwide movement in the wake of Floyd’s death calling to defund the police, many major municipalities, some of which vowed to defund, have failed to do so or defunded at miniscule rates.
Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
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 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, May 25
I Just Want to Live… | Murder of George Floyd One Year Later | What Has Changed And What Has Not? | How Should Seattle Commemorate the Seattle Protests | LIVE — Shakiah Danielson – ELEVATE | LIVE — ProofNThePlay | LIVE — Mark Anthony
South King County community members protested against police violence this past Saturday, April 24. Flanked by a car brigade and bike patrol, dozens of demonstrators marched in the rain along South Grady Way from Southcenter Mall in Tukwila to Renton City Hall, where they held a rally.
I can’t describe the wave of emotion I experienced hearing the reading of the verdict. Guilty on all counts. I had spent so much energy refusing to believe justice would be served that I never allowed myself to even consider the idea that Chauvin would be found guilty of all charges. Now that it has happened, I’m in shock.
After about 10 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial found Chauvin, the officer who was filmed with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, guilty on charges of third-degree murder, second-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict was followed by both cheers and tears from those awaiting the decision outside the courthouse in Minneapolis.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis officers responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 bill, and instead of first inspecting and collecting the bill in question, officers approached the car of the man accused. In the process of the arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white officer, kneeled on the man’s neck for around 8 minutes while the man being arrested begged for his life.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” “Mama. Mama. Mama.” “Mom, I love you. I love you.” “Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”
The man being arrested became unresponsive and had no pulse so a paramedic was called. A full minute and 20 seconds after the paramedic arrived, Officer Chauvin kept his knee on the neck of the man. Fortunately, someone nearby recorded the last moments of this man’s life, or we may never have known his name: George Floyd.