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Police search for information after wave of Central District anti-black attack reports

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:

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

This account was sent to us Wednesday morning. We have been working to find out more about it through the day.

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.

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25 thoughts on “Police search for information after wave of Central District anti-black attack reports

  1. People – call 911 for things like this. Spreading uncorroborated stories like this does nothing to help solve the problem and could cause some people to go out and seek retribution.

    • You may need to review the history of how POC have been treated by police. It’s not ideal for law enforcement, but it makes sense that victims of these types of crimes might warn the community by word of mouth instead of getting the authorities involved.

    • Well, then I guess it’ll just keep happening – warning about something that allegedly happened doesn’t really do much to prevent future occurrences. Hopefully there won’t be retribution or vigilante style ‘justice’ as violence just begets violence.

    • atherton&beaver – Having grown up in the CD and raised my kids in the CD, I understand what you mean. How likely are you to call the cops when you feel hunted by them? It’s a sad state of affairs.

    • Perhaps it was 23rd & Yesler. I was born and raise in Seattle, life was so beautiful. It saddens Me to hear this disturbing SHIT!

    • 23rd and Yesler is a very busy intersection as well, especially in the early evening. Of course, that is assuming they were wrong about both the avenue and the street. No pictures or any other accounts? Brian is right, this seems fishy…

  2. 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. [HOWEVER]
    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.

    Something fishy about this.

    • Police state they were never contacted, there’s no scanner traffic of the police responding to such an incident, there’s no reports from metro of such an incident and the corner of 33rd & Jackson doesn’t even exist – seems very fishy indeed….

    • Even allowing for a typo (23rd and Jackson instead of 33rd) it seems unlikely, as that is a hugely busy intersection that has a wide variety of businesses and customers. Even if we were to accept the premise that all black people are afraid to call the cops, we would still have to embrace the idea that all white people would choose not to call the cops if they were to observe something.

      Violence against black people is real and commonplace, but this is just storytelling.

    • Fishy, indeed. If some black people are reporting fictional crimes…and it does seem that this is the case here….then that must stop. It increases racial tension and distracts from real violence which is happening to black people.

    • You won’t find that Metro driver, because as several people have pointed out, that “intersection” doesn’t exist. If it did, it would be in the middle of the greenbelt that connects that area down to Lake Washington at Leschi. The intersection of 23rd and Jackson contains the Midtown Promenade, Pep Boys auto parts, Starbucks, and at least a dozen other stores. VERY hard to believe any beating happened at that intersection without witnesses or bystander involvement. Certainly not by any group of 9 guys.

  3. There has been an epidemic of mob attacks on Capitol Hill and the CD for many years. They all should generate outrage. My friend was attacked by a mob on the hill and was almost beaten into a coma. Unlike in this case there was 100% proof it happened. Where were these activists then?

  4. We’re they wearing white shoes too? I just wana make sure in case I encounter this imaginary gang in my dreams….

    • We don’t find many problems that are solved by ignoring them. Of course, not everything can make the page on CHS but this situation generated a great deal of concern with people who live in the communities we cover. Imagine being a black person living in the Central District and hearing about the attacks via Facebook *and* not seeing anybody address it in your community’s media or police force.

      SPD (here) and The Stranger (here) agreed it warranted attention.

    • And apologies in advance for sloppy construction in the comment to anybody who doesn’t need to imagine being concerned about this — black or white

  5. If this is another of those fake reports as have been reported in other parts of the country, this blog is doing a great disservice to the community as a whole by publishing such information.

  6. I expect CHS, The Stranger, and other media reporting on this do diligently follow it through to the end. It is infuriating when these rumors are loudly publicized but when they turn out to be untrue there is no reporting on that or consequences for those who perpetuated it.