Capitol Hill’s NWFF hosts ‘community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford’

The “Hands up, don’t shoot” protest over police violence and the slaying of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has spread across the nation, around the world, and onto Capitol Hill. Thursday night, an incident that echoes with the themes of violence in the name of public safety, race, and the power and the role of media in protest will be the subject of a forum at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

Earlier this month, Seattle freelance photographer and frequent CHS contributor Alex Garland captured pictures and video of a disturbing incident outside the Westlake mall in which private security targeted a black man with pepper spray after a fracas broke out at a protest against violence in Gaza.

Garland will be on hand along with a panel for Thursday’s forum described as “a community discussion about what happened at Westlake, and what we can do as a community beyond recognizing events like these as unjust.”

More details on Thursday night’s free event are below.

Capturing Violence: a community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford at Westlake
Thursday at 7:00pm
Northwest Film Forum 1515 12th Ave
On Saturday, August 9, 2014, Raymond Wilford was maced by a Westlake Center security guard while walking to the mall. The guard had been called in to address a shirtless white man who was harassing a group of pro-Palestine demonstrators.


Photographer Alex Garland captured the event with his camera and shared his photos and video online. A few days later, the story was picked up by local media before getting the attention of national press.

Garland’s video is a new entry in the canon of citizen reporting on racial violence ignored or skewed by mainstream media. It arrives alongside live streams from Ferguson, Missouri, and resonates with the on the ground struggles in Gaza that the demonstrators at Westlake were supporting when the security guard maced Wilford.

Join us for a community discussion about what happened at Westlake, and what we can do as a community beyond recognizing events like these as unjust. Led by Charles Mudede, Christa Bell, Ijeoma Oluo, and moderated by Reverend Harriet G. Walden.

Alex Garland will be present to speak about his experience documenting the event.

12 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s NWFF hosts ‘community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford’

  1. Good God Seattle….grow up. A guy got pepper sprayed by a mall security guard. You can see in the pictures that the poor sap has his arm out like he’s telling him to back off. In all reality…boohoo….don’t act like an asshole…the mall security guard won’t squirt you.

    • “You can see in the pictures that the poor sap has his arm out like he’s telling him to back off.” Well, that’s your interpretation of a series of rather ambiguous photos with no audio or background information of the entire incident. I’m not saying you’re wrong, nor am I saying I know what happened. What I’m saying is that you’re looking at very incomplete evidence where you can’t draw any conclusions. Maybe the guy provoked the guard. Maybe the guard was being overly aggressive. We can’t know without a good video or at least corroborating eyewitness accounts. Take it from a guy who has jumped to conclusions way too many times in his life. Hold off on your judgment until you have all the facts.

      • Evidence of what? A guy getting squirted with pepper spray? Yeah..it happened…so what? A guy got pepper sprayed by a mall security guard. Grow up Seattle. This is the ‘injustice’ that people will focus on? Nevermind violence in our own hood, nevermind the string of homicides in the central district, nevermind rents are sky high…let’s all get our progressive panties in a bunch about a mall security guard squirting a dude with pepper spray.

        • “Yeah..it happened…so what?”

          I’ve never heard such adult language!

          (And clearly the person in need of growing up here is the one who refers to the neighborhood as “cap hill.”)

          • Been here with my husband for 27 years. I went to high school and college all within the hood. I’ll call it cap hill…again…so what.

    • White heckler, black passer-by, the two are engaging, security is called in to deal with the white heckler, and security decides the black passer-by is at fault. The crowd yelled out, “You pepper sprayed the wrong guy!” Yet he was sprayed and detained, and nothing happened to the heckler. Split-second judgments are affected by racism.

    • “Good God Seattle….grow up.”

      Amen. That’s the one thing about this city I can’t stand other than the techies jacking up my housing costs. Too many people jumping on the latest “protest du jour” bandwagon with no actual dog in the fight or any kind relation to it. This area of Seattle at Westlake always has a bunch of loser drugged out kids, homeless, people who protest for the sake of protesting and other trash and overall is an eyesore for Seattle considering it’s touristy location.

      It will be found that the security guard was probably in the wrong, he will lose his job and his WA state guard card because his company won’t back him, won’t be able to pay his rent, will be out on his ass or couch surfing with relatives and any shot that he had at becoming a real cop will be gone and he will possibly be sued. This is one incident of someone with little to no training messing up (no surprise). Don’t make it into a “this happens all the time issue.”

      And to that girl that keeps yapping like an ankle biter dog in the video…. STFU !!!! What an annoying voice and you sound like an idiot.

  2. I’m not sure I understand what the guard is trying to accomplish. There were some guys arguing outside due to a protest. They weren’t fighting.

    Why is anyone getting pepper sprayed?

    Where are they even taking that guy?

    He can’t arrest him since he’s not a cop, so why is he trying to hand cuff him?

    Is this just some poorly trained security guard getting over excited?

  3. Schmoot and Caphillover:

    How incredibly narrowminded and racist you two sound!

    Go get maced without any wrongdoing and come back to us. You do not know how disgusting your “so what” crap comes off, especially when it’s a blatant race issue that you seem to disregard.

  4. If you weren’t there you have no business making a comment. I was there and saw what happened. I saw the white male who instigated the entire incident by fighting with peaceful demonstrators. I saw this man step in and try to protect and help de-escalate the situation. I saw the racist mall wanna be rent a cop assault an innocent man by spraying him in the face with mace. The video shows the rest.

    BOYCOTT WESTLAKE MALL! Nobody needs the crap they are employing and selling.

  5. Pingback: On the List | Hopscotch CD, Ferguson solidarity, community council, Linda’s Fest, pop-up Vignettes | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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