by Beverly Aarons
“Doug gave me a standard as a Black man,” said Merman Sallier, a music producer and digital instructor from Seattle who grew up in the Central District and attended Zion Preparatory Academy with the class of ’91. “Just the way he carried himself and the way he communicated with people — his cars, his relationship with his wife, his relationship with his children, just everything. He was someone that me and a lot of my friends looked up to as the standard. At the time, the only other Black men to emulate in his community were drug dealers and pimps.” But even “those guys looked up to Doug,” said Sallier.
Continue reading Transforming Lives: Doug Wheeler Carries On Family Legacy
by Anita Khandelwal
The only humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis in the county jail is to reduce the number of people incarcerated there.
On Jan. 6, a person who had already been jailed for more than two weeks on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle waited in a King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) cell for an arraignment hearing in Superior Court. Shortly before the scheduled hearing, the court cancelled his hearing. Why? Because he had been jailed in a unit that also had a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and was being held in quarantine.
Had his hearing occurred, he would have been told what crime he was alleged to have committed and been able to seek his release. Instead, he languished in jail for another four days before he had his hearing, where the court agreed to release him to house arrest. But jail policy and COVID-19 again blocked his exit: The jail would not arrange for house arrest because he might have been exposed to COVID-19, so he waited another nine days before being released.
Continue reading OPINION: King County Must Reduce Jail Population Immediately
by Agueda Pacheco Flores
Terrell Elmore remembers feeling terrorized. The youth football coach says gun shots that sounded like they were nearby interrupted a September game. As the shots popped off, everyone at Judkins Park began to flee and run for shelter.
“It was probably a block away,” Elmore says. “We didn’t know if they were shooting, we didn’t know the scenario or what was behind it, we didn’t know if they were coming, we just didn’t know; and come to find out after I … ran up to where I heard the shots … They had already fled the scene and some girl came down there and shot eight times in the air.”
Continue reading New Report Shows Uptick in Gun Violence Primarily Impacts Communities of Color
by Ashley Archibald
The first six months of 2021 saw an increase in reports of gun violence in King County compared to recent years — violence that was highly concentrated in BIPOC communities and has prompted calls for additional investments to alleviate the conditions that contribute to the shootings.
Continue reading Community Groups Urge Focus on Disease, Not Just Symptoms of Gun Violence