“As a Chinese person, seeing fake Chinese decor in a club that is not owned by Chinese people makes my heart sink,” Panda writes. “No one should have to see their own race caricatured in a venue that hosts so many great touring bands.” Continue reading →
SPD’s report on the July 2014 incident puts on a happier face: “SPD Commanders first became aware of the incident in October 2014 after receiving an inquiry from former Washington State Representative Dawn Mason in which she raised questions as to the necessity of the arrest and charges. The 69-year-old man had already accepted a plea offer in this case. Dawn Mason worked with Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Deputy Chief Carmen Best to broker an organized discussion between residents and police about this case specifically as well as the relationship between the department and the community in general.”
Tuesday, in advance of “a media outlet” reporting on video released “as a result of a public disclosure request,” SPD posted this update its Blotter blog with a line you don’t see every day in police announcements: “Deputy Chief Best personally met with the man, returned his golf club, and offered an apology for his arrest.”
Wednesday, The Stranger’s Ansel Herz reported on this video of Officer Cynthia Whitlach’s July 2014 arrest at 12th and Pike of William Wingate, a black, 70-year-old veteran who happens to take very long walks while carrying a golf club as a kind of multi-purpose walking stick:
On the video, Officer Whitlach can be heard insisting that the recording would show Wingate swinging his golf club at her and hitting a stop sign with it. According to the SPD, there exists no video to back up this claim. (SPD did not make Whitlach available for comment.)
“The allegation that he swung at the police car,” said city council member Bruce Harrell, who subsequently got involved in the case, “wasn’t corroborated by any other facts and was not caught on any video. What was caught on video was him minding his own business with the golf club at his side.”
Whitlach, standing behind her car, shouts at Wingate to drop his golf club 17 times, and claims that “it is a weapon.”
“You just swung that golf club at me,” Whitlach yells.
“No, I did not!” exclaims Wingate.
“Right back there,” Whitlach says back. “It was on audio and video tape.”
Wingate ended up in jail and charged with unlawful use of a weapon for the incident on the same block as East Precinct’s 12th and Pine headquarters. According to muni court records, he agreed to a conditional continuance. In September, a judge dismissed the case at the “satisfactory completion” of the agreement. Continue reading →
Inye Wokoma inside his mother’s former house (Image: Casey Jaywork)
On New Year’s Eve, Inye Wokoma joined three of his brothers to tour the gutted skeleton of a house on Marion. “This was our mother’s house,” he later told friends, “owned by our grandparents, and the center of our childhood and young adult lives.” Strapped for cash, the family recently decided to sell the house and reinvest the proceeds into adjacent rental properties.
The house’s story is a microcosm of the Central District, the historically black and increasingly white series of neighborhoods between downtown and Lake Washington. “The black vitality of the Central Area was mighty and strong” during the post-WWII decades, says longtime resident Vivian Phillips. From 1940 to 1960, the black population of Seattle grew by more than 600%. Phillips describes the CD of that time as a bastion of black business, black community, and black activism.
But in recent decades that outpost of what some call “the African diaspora” has been eroding. In 1990, the CD’s black residents outnumbered whites by nearly three-to-one, writesSeattle University’s Henry McGee, Jr. By the turn of the millennium, whites had become the majority. “You can call it displacement, you can call it an exodus,” says Wokoma. “The community I grew up with no longer exists… People basically dispersed and found places where they could afford to live.” Places, that is, outside Seattle. Continue reading →
Organizers say the “overwhelming response” to the event has prompted a move to a larger venue for Thursday’s Pecha Kucha Seattle vol. 58: #BlackLivesMatter.
The move is good one for Capitol Hill-area neighbors — Mount Zion at the corner of E Madison and Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney Ave will host Thursday night’s forum. Pecha Kucha events typically feature 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each in a format designed for concise and lively presentations.
Thursday night’s presentation will examine Seattle’s response to the issues of race and social justice raised by Ferguson and incidents like Eric Garner’s death. A wave of rallies and protests beginning in late November started on and crossed Capitol Hill and have continued into winter.
Monday marks the 29th anniversary of the first official observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the country.
“Bring your family, your friends, your co-workers to this historic venue in celebration of Martin Luther King’s lasting legacy,” the organizers ask, “and show Seattle that yes, #BlackLivesMatter_SEA”
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.”