Tag Archives: King County

Port of Seattle Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign Results in Higher Call Volumes to National Human Trafficking Hotline

by Ronnie Estoque

On Thursday, the Port of Seattle hosted a virtual media briefing to update the community about their efforts in support of a regional public awareness campaign around human trafficking prevention. The event was timely as Human Trafficking Prevention Month is in January, and the campaign has led to higher call volumes to the National Trafficking Hotline from Washington State.

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A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic

by Ashley Archibald


In a video posted to YouTube, a woman in a blue surgical mask stands in the corner of a walled-off yard, a puffy, slate gray jacket zipped against the cold. To her right is a table draped with a white cloth holding 19 votive candle holders. Slowly, deliberately, the woman reads a list of names.

“Azhane Mitchell.”

“Charles Lingenfelter.”

“Christopher Mann.”

In the silence following each name, a man lights a candle.

Continue reading A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic

Taxpayers Partially on Hook for County’s, Deputy Sheriff’s, and Their Lawyers’ Delay Tactics in Le Case

by Carolyn Bick


Even for a seasoned lawyer like Phil Talmadge, the fine the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has leveled against King County, the King County Sheriff’s Office deputy who shot Tommy Le, and — in what Talmadge says is also an unusual move — their lawyers, is a surprisingly hefty one: $56,752.60.

“The federal appellate courts, like Washington State appellate courts … are reluctant to award sanctions for a frivolous appeal. It doesn’t happen commonly,” Talmadge said. “There really [has] to be … a pretty flagrantly frivolous appeal before a court imposes the kind sanctions the Ninth Circuit [Court of Appeals] imposed. … There has to be no legalistic basis for the appeal. And that’s essentially what the Ninth Circuit said.”

The sanctions are one of the latest legal moves in the ongoing civil rights case the Le family and their civil case lawyers have brought against the officer, then-Deputy Cesar Molina — now Deputy Sheriff Cesar Molina — and King County. Talmadge worked as the appeals lawyer with the Le family and their civil case lawyers in a motion for sanctions (a penalty); in this case, the more than $56,000 fine leveled against the defendants and their lawyers. The fine is the total amount of money the court found that the Le family has spent specifically to fight an appeal filed by Molina, King County, and their lawyers just prior to the commencement of their trial, an appeal the plaintiffs argued was a frivolous delay tactic.  

Continue reading Taxpayers Partially on Hook for County’s, Deputy Sheriff’s, and Their Lawyers’ Delay Tactics in Le Case

BREAKING: Four New COVID Cases Detected at King County Jail

by Carolyn Bick


Four new cases of COVID-19 have been detected at the King County Jail in downtown Seattle, according to an internal email shared with the Emerald on Jan. 4.

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Prosecutor’s Office May Face Conflict of Interest in Tommy Le Case

by Carolyn Bick


The only thing that appears to be standing in the way of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General or the United States Department of Justice bringing criminal charges against the King County Sheriff’s Office for its handling of the 2017 shooting death of Tommy Le is a phone call from either King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg or Gov. Jay Inslee.

But it is a phone call that, as of this writing, will likely not be placed any time soon. 

While the Le family attorneys also object to Inslee’s silence on the matter, this story will examine their contention that there exists a major problem within the King County Prosecutor’s Office (KCPO) — specifically, that the KCPO faces a conflict of interest in its decision to reserve the right to bring criminal charges against the deputy who shot Le — criminal charges that could negatively impact King County, the very client KCPO is defending in the ongoing federal civil rights suit regarding Le’s death.

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WEEKEND READS: How Nonprofits Are Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s “Weekend Reads” include a big, important breakthrough on protein folding, a look at how Washington nonprofits are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and King County’s analysis of where people are being exposed to COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Cases Surging in King County, With South End Continuing to Be Hardest Hit

by Andrew Engelson


In an online press briefing on Friday, Nov. 20, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) reported that cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations across the county have spiked in the past two weeks. In response, the County’s top health official made an urgent plea to residents to strictly limit social gatherings in advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

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Was a Robbery in Federal Way the First Hate Crime of the 2020 Election Season?

by Jack Russillo

Content Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of racist violence.  


Hate crimes are known to peak in election years, especially in the weeks preceding and following the election. In the United States in 2016, the five days with the highest number of reported hate crimes all occurred within a week after the election, according to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino.

In Seattle, one-seventh of all hate crimes in 2016 took place in November, more than double the amount from the same month in the previous year, a non-election year. Across the country, the final months of that year saw the highest number of hate crimes since 2008. In the two weeks after Donald Trump’s presidential election, the daily average of hate crimes nearly doubled. No hard figures are available yet for the 2020 election, but the immigrant rights organization America’s Voice tracks documented hate incidents that have occurred since Trump’s election in an online map

“I think that we’re dealing with a number of things, historically, but even more highlighted under the Trump administration,” said Anita Whitfield, King County’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “Fear of difference, fear of law, fear of perceived position. I think that there is probably a lot more bias-based activity than anybody knows about … in the current environment, it really feels as if there has been an official okay, openly letting people know that they are unwelcome, minimized, or disliked.”

Continue reading Was a Robbery in Federal Way the First Hate Crime of the 2020 Election Season?

New Campaign From King County and Partners Encourages Residents to Return to Local Tourism

by Alexa Peters


Though a comprehensive report detailing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Seattle economy has yet to be published, preliminary data shows that 2020 has been nothing short of horrific for the local travel and tourism industry.

According to a Visit Seattle Annual Report from February, the tourism industry generated $11.7 billion in total economic impact and 80,317 jobs in 2019. But this year, practically every event that usually brought tourists into the area was cancelled — and cancellations at the Washington State Convention Center alone account for a $379 million loss to the local economy.

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Washington State’s Second HUD EnVision Center Opens In Skyway

by Elizabeth Turnbull 

On Friday, Oct. 16, members of the Skyway community and government officials gathered to celebrate the designation of the second U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) EnVision Center in Washington State, which is set to provide resources for residents in Skyway. 

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