— Sumedha Majumdar (@RavzSumie) October 22, 2014
UPDATE 4:18 PM by Sumedha Majumdar: A group of about 30 protesters marched from Garfield with chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Being black is not a crime” before assembling in front of the East Precinct around 4 PM. “We the community will police the police,” one speaker said, addressing the crowd and the group of police officers assigned to the protest. Streets in the area were partially closed but the rally has been peaceful and there have been no arrests.
Original report: The heartiest of activist souls will take to the drenched streets of Seattle’s Central District and Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon and into the evening as part of protests against “police brutality and harassment of youth of color in Seattle.” The Garfield High School Black Student Union’s March for Ferguson begins at the 23rd Ave school at 3:30 PM. Organizers tell CHS the plan is to march to SPD’s East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine. Meanwhile, the annual October 22nd anti-police rally and march will again gather at Seattle Central starting at 5 PM and also is planned to include a march on the East Precinct.
In a statement sent to CHS by the group’s vice president, the Black Student Union organizers are asking participants to congregate “in front of SPD East Precinct to assert our rejection of the police force here and nationwide” —
Some are under the impression that Seattle is some sort of liberal Utopia where police brutality does not exist, despite the fact that the Seattle Police Department was under the investigation of the United States Department of Justice within the last three years for excessive force and concerns of discriminatory policing. The Department of Justice Findings Letter stated
“This perception is rooted in a number of factors, including negative street encounters, recent well-publicized videos of force being used against people of color, incidents of overt discrimination, and concerns that the pattern of excessive force disproportionately affects minorities.”
“We are using this march to call attention to the mass amounts of police brutality that happen in our country every day,” Black Student Union vice president Issa George said in a statement emailed to media.
The full BSU statement is below.