Derek Chauvin found guilty, and what that means for Seattle, this week
Bill Radke reviews the week's news with Converge Media founder Omari Salisbury, KUOW reporter Esmy Jimenez and host of Seattle CityClub's Civic Cocktail, Joni Balter.
On Tuesday a jury found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. Chauvin’s actions sparked protests across the nation as people rallied against police brutality towards Black Americans. Many called for cities to defund their police departments - including the Seattle Police Department. What impact did Floyd's murder, and the subsequent trial and verdict, have on Seattle?
Speaking of protests, Republican lawmakers in nearly three dozen states have passed a raft of bills that effectively punish protesters, including legislation to protect drivers who hit and injure protesters on public streets. The laws are seen by some as a forceful rebuke of last summer's protests. Lawmakers, including the Florida Speaker of the House, cited Seattle and Portland when supporting anti-protesting legislation. What messages are Republicans sending when they use Seattle and Portland as cautionary examples for voters?
Plus, it’s official: On Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee said that Washington had entered its fourth wave in the pandemic with a surge in new cases fueled by the rapid spread of more deadly and infectious virus variants. What does this fourth wave mean for businesses?
The debate over drug decriminalization has reignited in the halls of Olympia following a state supreme court ruling in February that struck down Washington’s drug possession statute for being unconstitutional. A recently passed Senate bill would reimpose some criminal penalties, but also provide drug treatment programs to offenders. Will this bill pass into law?
Finally, on Monday the Auburn City Council voted that a person camping on public property could be charged with criminal trespassing. This isn’t the first nearby city to ban public camping - Mercer Island recently passed a similar ban, as did Everett. Tacoma just postponed their consideration of a camping ban, but will bring the proposal back to the table within the next 30 days. Where do these bans leave Seattle?