(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement)
24 days after clearing the building and evacuating the area following weeks of anti-police protests, the Seattle Police Department swept into the area around the East Precinct early Wednesday and cleared the protest zone that has formed in this core neighborhood of Capitol Hill under an executive order from Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The 30-minute operation created a wide perimeter around the 12th and Pine building with streets cleared of campers and protesters and police reported taking some into custody but meeting little resistance. The Seattle Police Department says it arrested 31 people “for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault.”
There were no significant injuries reported. Around 6:30 AM, SPD said that a woman was reported going into labor on the east side of Cal Anderson Park.
Police said officers “enforcing today’s order” were wearing “a higher-level of protective gear.”
“Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated w/the CHOP are known to be armed and dangerous/may be associated with shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults & other violent crimes,” the update read.
SPD was also investigating reports of vehicles circling the area with officers reporting individuals “with firearms/armor” inside. The vehicles also did not have visible license plates, SPD reported.
Continue reading Under Durkan’s Executive Order, Seattle Police Sweep in to Retake East Precinct and Clear Capitol Hill Protest Zone
by Josh Merchant
Seattle University is facing demands from students, faculty and staff to cut ties with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) amid ongoing protests over police violence, White supremacy, and the criminal justice system. The university currently has a relationship through its Department of Public Safety and its Criminal Justice program.
On May 30, a letter signed by over 100 faculty and staff in Seattle University’s College of Arts & Sciences questioned the relationship between Public Safety and SPD. Some Seattle University (also “Seattle U” or “SU”) community members have also spoken up on Twitter and on Instagram — one Tweet calling for the university to end this relationship has received dozens of retweets and over 100 likes.
Continue reading Seattle University Faces Demands to End Relationship With SPD
by Brandon K. Hersey
Each year, for the past three years, the Seattle Public School system has adopted a resolution supporting the Black Lives Matter at School movement. Each statement unanimously declared that we would work to undo an institutionally racist system that has marginalized Black students for decades and has left them behind as the city’s crippling opportunity gap continues to widen. The Black Lives Matter at School movement has four simple demands: end zero-tolerance policies, mandate Black history and ethnic studies, hire more Black teachers, and fund counselors, not cops. Continue reading OPINION: Keep Your Tanks Away From Our Schools
by Kamna Shastri
(This article was originally published by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission)
Rainier Beach High School student Angelina Riley walked out of virtual school at noon on Wednesday, June 3, waving a sign outside the street of her home to protest police presence in schools. At least 100 other youth did the same. Riley said that youth wanted a way to get involved in the activism and momentum around challenging police brutality. “Somewhere people have forgotten about is schools,” she said. Continue reading The Student Activism That Led to Seattle Schools Temporarily Cutting Ties With SPD
by Chetanya Robinson
Seattle police officers are now required to turn on body cameras while working during demonstrations, following an executive order from Mayor Jenny Durkan issued June 10, and a temporary department policy change, effective immediately, ordered by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.
“Activating officers’ body-worn camera video during demonstrations is an important way to provide additional accountability and help restore public confidence,” said Mayor Durkan in a statement. Continue reading Under New Policy, Seattle Police at Demonstrations Must Turn on Body Cameras
by Carolyn Bick
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.
Around midnight that same evening, according to SPD’s own Twitter feed, as well as multiple tweets showing empty tear gas canisters, officers also used tear gas against protestors on Capitol Hill.
Continue reading Police Use Tear Gas on Capitol Hill Protestors, Allegedly Misuse Explosive Crowd Control Devices in Medic Tent
by Carolyn Bick
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 Times story 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.
Continue reading Update: SPD Said It Did Not Use Tear Gas Against Protestors Saturday Night
by Ruth Bayang
(This article was previously published on Northwest Asian Weekly and has been reprinted with permission.)
Insignificant. Unseen. Ignored.
That’s how Kert Lin, 35, of Seattle felt, as he heard someone yell “Chink, open your eyes, go back to China!” when he pulled into the parking lot of Home Depot on 2701 Utah Avenue South, just outside the International District (ID) on May 12.
Lin, a Chinese American, snapped a photo of the white man driving a company truck belonging to a local landscape company. The same man goaded Lin into getting out of his car while Lin called 911, all the while saying that calling the police would do no good, intimating that he couldn’t get fired because he was the owner of the landscape company, and that nothing would be done.
Lin said this happened in plain view of store security officers outside Home Depot.
Continue reading Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive
by Matt Chan
What happened to Seattle elementary school teacher, Kert Lin, this past week at the Lander Home Depot should never happen to anyone. Kert was the target of an unprovoked racist verbal attack … an attack by someone who is so steeped in his own racial privilege that intimidating someone based on their race was just a mean joke.
I am 67 years old and know a few things about racism. The one truth is that being on the receiving end of a racist attack is one of the loneliest places in the world. It’s primal and frightening. You’re alone facing a person or a gang of people who hate you because of the color of your skin. You are forced to make split second decisions that can mean life or death for yourself or those you love. When confronting a toxic mix of rage, ignorance, and entitlement, there are no good choices other than survival. The one thing that is certain — a victim of racism never views life the same, and each incident in your life holds its own unique horror.
Continue reading City Says Racial Bias, Hate Will Not Be Tolerated; Response to Hate Crime at SoDo Home Depot Says Otherwise
by Susan Fried
The 3rd Annual Chess Rumble between Detective Cookie’s Urban Youth Chess Club and Seattle Police Department officers went down on June 18th at Van Asselt Elementary School. Just like the previous two shess battles the kids crushed the competition. The kids won 30 games and the cops won 9.
Continue reading Kids Take Home the Win at Chess Competition Against Seattle Police