by Paul Kiefer
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Late at night on September 11, during the worst of the past summer’s wildfire smoke, a driver pulled over in a Bothell parking lot. Less than an hour earlier, the driver — who asked to remain anonymous because of pending felony charges — had been a part of the Car Brigade, a group of drivers who use their cars to protect protesters from attacks.
That night, the group had formed a protective perimeter around a relatively small and subdued protest march in Seattle. Driving at a walking speed, the motley crew of luxury cars, nondescript sedans, and massive SUVs maneuvered to keep other drivers from entering alleyways, parking lot exits, and intersections.
After months of practice, angry honking from inconvenienced drivers doesn’t phase the Car Brigade. The protest ended with no police in sight, so the drivers went their separate ways, expecting to make it home without issue. But when he reached Bothell, the driver saw police lights in his rear-view mirror. “There was never a siren,” he said. “It seemed like they had just silently followed me all the way to Bothell.”
Continue reading Despite Months of Arrests and Impoundments, the Car Brigade Is Still Protecting Seattle Protesters
by Carolyn Bick
King County Undersheriff Patti Cole-Tindall will be recommending to Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht that King County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Brown be fired, according to an internal email shared with the Emerald.
Continue reading KCSO Undersheriff to Recommend Detective Who Posted “All Lives Splatter” Be Fired
by Mark Van Streefkerk
On September 25, two law firms representing protesters who participated in local Black Lives Matter marches and family members of Summer Taylor filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle and state of Washington for wrongful death, personal injuries, and civil rights violations. Cedar Law PLLC and Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore (SKKM) represent Taylor’s family and 10 protesters, as well as an additional 30–40 protesters once the 60–day waiting period for their claims is up. The suit, more than 100 pages long, alleges the City and State used unconstitutional excessive force, wrongful imprisonment, negligence, and discriminated against citizens based on race and political ideology among other violations.
“It should go without saying, you can’t shoot members of the media in the back,” said SKKM attorney Andrew Ackley. “You cannot choke peaceful protesters. You cannot use blast balls and explosives on people trying to disperse … People who came to protest excessive force were met with excessive force.”
Continue reading 50 BLM Protesters Bring Personal Injury And Civil Rights Lawsuit Against City Of Seattle And State Of Washington
by Sarah Stuteville
I did not know Summer Taylor. And Seattle is a small town at its heart, so I knew them the way I sort of know everyone here through a few degrees of separation — a housemate who worked with them at a doggy daycare, a shared neighborhood, the unconfirmed possibility they helped my flea-bitten cat a few months ago.
I did not know Summer Taylor. And the internet is a strange hall of mirrors where we reflect each other in tricky ways that can feel like “knowing.” Summer jokes about parkour in a grainy video, smiles gleefully up to the left corner of our phone screens and dances the Cupid Shuffle on I-5 free of the terrible knowledge we viewers hold — that there is a car speeding toward them just a few minutes out of frame.
Continue reading I Did Not Know Summer Taylor, But I Know Their Power