police

Sean Conner (left) speaks about his fear of a police encounter while driving.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Anger, fatigue, frustration, resolve.

Those were some emotions that surfaced at a community gathering Thursday with Seattle police. It was a meeting of SPD’s African American Advisory Council, on the heels of a string of tragedies and tension across the country. 


The circumstances of the video seem stark: In bright daylight, an unarmed black man lies next to a patient with autism whom he was trying to help, holding his hands up and telling police he is a therapist at a group home in an effort to assure officers that they aren't a threat.

But the police later shot and wounded that man, in a case that has renewed discussions of officers' use of force.

Dr. Daudi Abe, professor and historian, at the 'Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop' exhibit at MOHAI, Sept. 2015.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Washington state has one of the toughest laws for convicting police officers who kill civilians, but that wasn't always the case.

Seattle-based historian Dr. Daudi Abe shared the story of Berry Lawson, a 27-year-old African-American waiter who lived at the Mount Fuji Hotel, downtown, in 1938.


Former King County Executive Ron Sims speaks at a news conference where he announced that President Barack Obama would nominate him to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

I have been stopped eight times by the Seattle Police Department. I wasn't speeding nor did I have an issue with my car.

Four stops occurred in my neighborhood: two on Beacon Hill and one near the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Way. I was never ticketed but always asked, “Do you live in this neighborhood” or “Where are you going?”

In an open letter to the nation's law enforcement officers, President Obama mourns the recent killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., thanks officers for their service in the face of danger and calls for national unity.

The letter, dated Monday, is addressed to "the brave members of our Nation's law enforcement community." In it, Obama says he met with the families of the officers killed in Dallas, and called and spoke with the families of those killed in Baton Rouge.

"Each fallen officer is one too many," the president writes.

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush.

Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

A Baltimore judge has found Lt. Brian Rice, the fourth of six Baltimore police officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray last year, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That's the most serious charge Rice had faced; he was also cleared of lesser charges.

Three law enforcement officers were killed and three others were injured in Baton Rouge, La., when a suspect fired on officers outside a convenience store.

This comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire on police at a protest in Dallas, killing five officers.

S
Ryan Kailath

As a journalist, I’ve covered my share of protests and rallies, both peaceful and violent. To stay safe, I follow two rules: First, obey the law. Second, identify myself clearly as a journalist. That’s always been sufficient for getting close to the story without becoming a part of the story myself.

Until last Saturday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Jonathan Martin, Gyasi Ross, Bill Radke and Lorena Gonzalez made up our Week In Review panel today.
KUOW/Bond Huberman

This week, Ron Smith, the leader of Seattle’s Police Officers’ Guild, resigned. His resignation came after the fallout from a comment he posted to Facebook that read, “The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting … #Weshallovercome.”

However, according to Smith, his resignation has more to do with his approach to police reforms. So what does the city need to do next to keep police reform moving forward under new leadership?

The police force in Washington’s state capital is changing. Fourteen months ago a white police officer in Olympia shot two African-American brothers. The shooting triggered local protests, but not a national outcry -- the brothers survived, although one was paralyzed.

Rev. Starsky Wilson at Seattle Public Library
Courtesy of Naomi Ishisaka Photography

Reverend Starsky Wilson was co-chair of a commission created to study the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Wilson's charge was “to address the underlying root causes that led to the unrest in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and to publish an unflinching report with transformative policy recommendations for making the region stronger and a better place for everyone to live.”

Police in Fresno, Calif., have released video footage of the shooting of an unarmed man last month.

Dylan Noble, a white 19-year-old, was shot and killed by officers at a traffic stop in Fresno on June 25. Police said that they had pulled him over as they were investigating reports of a man walking around with a rifle. They said that Noble had told them he hated his life and reached for his waistband, at which point police shot him.

Seattle Police Department patch.
Facebook Photo/Seattle Police Officers Guild

Bill Radke speaks with The Stranger reporter Ansel Herz about the resignation of the Seattle Police Officers Guild president Ron Smith after a controversial Facebook post about the killing of five police officers in Dallas. 


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