Seattle Police are asking for help gathering information after multiple reports of hate crimes around the Central District spread Wednesday.
UPDATE 7/14/16 4:10 PM: SPD says it has made contact with the victim and a hate crime investigation has been opened. The Stranger has the basic details of the report:
A black woman was physically attacked by a group of white men at the intersection of 31st Street and Jackson Street along Frink Park around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. She had just gotten off a bus with her six-year-old son.
“Social media made it seem like there was a roving group of people who had committed multiple crimes. As far as we know, this is the only report,” an SPD spokesperson told the paper. CHS confirmed with SPD Thursday afternoon that police are now in contact with the victim.
Original report: In the reports, a group of white males is said to have attacked black people at different locations around the Central District. SPD turned to Twitter to ask people to come forward with any information that could assist investigations:
Unable to confirm reports of a hate crime in the Central District. Anyone with info, PLEASE call 911 or DM us. pic.twitter.com/YeLbVt6KR5
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 13, 2016
In one account sent to us, a woman said her friend and another person were attacked and beaten Tuesday around 6 PM near E Yesler and that the incident was reported to police.
SPD public information representatives said they can’t find any details of an attack at that time and location and publicly available dispatch records don’t show anything similar in the neighborhood.
In addition, our review of radio traffic in the East Precinct around the hours the attack was reported don’t include any assaults nearby.
The reports come at a time of heightened tensions over policing and the black community following more deadly shootings of black men by police and the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas. Seattle, meanwhile, is in the midst of ongoing attempts to reform its police force as a new labor contract with the department’s Seattle Police Office Guild’s 1,250 members is being finalized.
UPDATE: Stranger reporter Ana Sofia Knauf has posted a series of Tweets about the situation. “Central District community members met at Powell Barnett Park to discuss safety measures after a resident was attack by group of white males,” she posted.
According to one organizer, news cameras tried to film the rally, but those present refused to be recorded. Understandable while grieving
— Ana Sofia Knauf (@asknauf) July 14, 2016