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Summer Taylor remembered

Summer Taylor, right, dancing early Saturday morning on I-5 (Images: @nowah_j)

They died after dancing the Cupid Shuffle on I-5 in the middle of Seattle on a night of protest and energy with friends and loved ones.

Summer Taylor was 24.

The activist and Capitol Hill resident died Saturday as they marched and danced with the nightly Black Femme March for Black Lives Matter. As it had for weeks, the group entered the freeway and brought traffic to a stop to get their message out and make a stand.

Just after 1:30 AM, a driver in a white Jaguar sped toward the crowd, careening into Taylor and another activist, and trying to race away before being arrested after he was stopped by a car in place to protect the protestors.

Taylor died at Harborview later that day. They were remembered before a Sunday night vigil as “drawn to the protests because they believed that Black lives matter and that it was important to do everything in their power to support Black lives and fight for them,” the Seattle Times reports.

(Image: @nowah_j)

“They were always the first one to call people out for being sexist, racist — standing up for queer and trans people, basically anyone who needed to be stood up for, they were the ones there that were so vocal,” another friend told the New York Times.

Taylor worked at Urban Animal where people have been leaving flowers and messages outside the Capitol Hill location of the local chain of pet clinics. The clinic described Taylor’s “infectious joy and laughter” and posted video of them at play in a silly moment at work. In an Urban Animal biography, the clinic said Taylor was taking care of two rescued guinea pigs, Bubbles and Carrot.

Diaz Love, the second protester struck in the deadly incident, continues to recover at Harborview. “I’m alive and stable. In a lot of pain. I cannot believe Summer was murdered. If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong,” Love writes in a defiant update on Facebook. “My FB is filled with death threats, that and only being able to use one hand has me going slow. I deeply appreciate and feel all the love y’all are sending me.”

Friends and supporters have so far raised more than $60,000 to help the 32-year-old with medical expenses, living expenses, and recovery costs.

The 27-year-old driver was found to be sober as the Washington State Patrol took him into custody.

Monday afternoon, Dawit Kelete’s bail was set at $1.2 million and he remains jailed awaiting charges.

(Image: @nowah_j)


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8 thoughts on “Summer Taylor remembered

  1. My heart shreds a little more each time I think of those two young women. Summer sounds like someone I would have been honored to know. To their friends and family: Take very gentle care of yourselves.

      • I for one give thanks to live in a time where even a heartfelt condolence can lead to stepping on a language landmine.

      • CJ: please note, correcting someone who is trying to express genuine care and sorrow is pedantic and in very poor taste. There are other times to flex your wokeness, this isn’t one of them.

      • NOTCJ: It is always the right time to gently and kindly remind others that language/pronouns matter. If we are to truly share in mutual respect for all of the members of our community, it is always the right time to strive to be better fellow citizens and neighbors, most especially in times of grief, sympathy, and condolence.

        My heart is broken for Summer and their friends and family. As a fellow member of the veterinary community I cannot even imagine the grief felt at Urban Animal. My heart goes out to everyone who knew Summer on a professional or personal level. Though I did not know them personally; it seems like they were truly a wonderful and lovely human worth knowing.

  2. So far so good, but please no hateful comments like I have read elsewhere. One person is gone, and the other might never be physically or emotionally the same again. I can’t even imagine what their friends and family are going through at this moment. Hugs to all.

  3. They had a Battlestar Galactica tattoo! Oh my goodness! That’s so cool! They will be missed. They seem like they were a cool person, fun to be around. A real nerd, which is great in my book.

  4. Summer was an amazing human. This article set the perfect tone to what they were all about. I’ve lived in Seattle since I was a kid in the 70s, and it remains a small town to this day. Bums me out to conflict in this space. I too have slipped with the proper pronouns (with Summer). This is, and wasn’t about “woke” moments. I honestly don’t understand the pluralistic pro-noun, but just because I don’t understand something – who am I to disagree? Isn’t that the basis of all conflict? If someone chooses an a different, other, or non-gender identifier what’s the big deal? In the end, isn’t it about how we treat others, how we want to be treated, and rising to the challenge of being a better person. Summer, at only 24 years old – was a bright light in a dark world.

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