The NAACP Seattle King County President, Carolyn Riley-Payne, read the below Statement on Motion to End Consent Decree to the Seattle City Council today, May 11, 2020
The Seattle King County NAACP opposes the City of Seattle and Department of Justice motion to release the police from remaining Consent Decree oversight. The NAACP-SKC will work in collaboration with the office of Councilmember Kshama Sawant and other community organizations to respond in opposition to the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan’s collaboration with the Trump Justice Department. The SPD should not be released from oversight while its police union contract rejects accountability measures.
Accountability failings in the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract mean court mandated oversight is still necessary. The SPOG contract appeals’ process evidenced by the case of SPD Officer Adley Shepherd, highlight the accountability failings that are still on-going. Recall that in 2014, while the SPD was under the oversight of the Consent Decree, Officer Shepherd punched a handcuffed and defenseless woman in the back seat of his patrol car. He was rightfully terminated for use of excessive force, but his job was later reinstated through a convoluted arbitration appeal process. The City has yet to address mechanisms in the police union contract that allow for officers like Shepherd to have seemingly more rights than the citizens they are sworn to protect.
The NAACP-SKC condemns the premature motion to end the Consent Decree and its police accountability oversight.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2020
CONTACT: Carolyn Riley-Payne, President, NAACP Seattle King County via
NAACP Executive Committee members KL Shannon and Police Accountability Chair Teri Rogers Kemp
PHONE: Teri Rogers Kemp 206-518-7088
KL Shannon 206-890-4422
The NAACP Seattle King County sends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Shaun Fuhr, the victim of the homicide death by the Seattle Police Department, committed on April 29, 2020. The NAACP-SKC demands a thorough independent criminal homicide investigation of Mr. Fuhr’s death.
Homicide is defined in Title 9A, Washington Criminal Code, of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), at 9A.32.010; as “the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another, death occurring at any time, and is either (1) murder, (2) homicide by abuse, (3) manslaughter, (4) excusable homicide, or (5) justifiable homicide.” Each of those types of homicides are defined in the RCW. Homicide is a crime.
From the video the Seattle Police Department (SPD) provided, it appears Mr. Fuhr was being chased by police officers running after him down a narrow resident’s walkway in between the side of a building and a six-foot or taller fence, while carrying his one-year old toddler girl, when suddenly he drops, apparently shot in the head.
“Homicide or the use of deadly force is justifiable …when necessarily used by a police officer meeting the good faith standard of this section …to arrest or apprehend a person who the police officer reasonably believes has committed or is attempting to commit a felony.” In considering whether to use deadly force under such circumstances, “the officer must have probable cause to believe that if the person is not apprehended, he poses a threat of serious physical harm to the officer… or to others.” See RCW 9A.16.040.
Among the circumstances that may be considered by police officers as a “threat of serious physical harm” are the following: “the person threatens a police officer with a weapon or displays a weapon, in a manner that could reasonably be construed as threatening, or, there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed any crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm. Under these circumstances, deadly force may also be used if necessary to prevent escape from the officer, where, if feasible, some warning is given, provided the officer meets the good faith standard of this section.”
From the SPD video it does not appear that the deadly force used by the officer was necessary. From the video it appears that at no time did Mr. Fuhr display a weapon at the police or any other person as he was being chased and no talk of a weapon by the officers is heard on the video audio while they are chasing him down. SPD Chief Carmen Best has stated that the officers “engaged” Mr. Fuhr; however, the video shows that the police chased the victim and shot him, without apparent warning. From the video it is apparent that Mr. Fuhr did not see or hear the shot coming.
The NAACP-SKC decries the shooting and killing of this young man while his baby was in his arms. According to the Chief the child’s safety was the priority: “they were very concerned about the welfare of the baby”. That shot by the police officer belies those statements. The officer who killed Mr. Fuhr shot at him while he was holding his little girl, and while he was running. It is absolutely unacceptable that the officer demonstrated such utter disregard for the life and safety of the child.
Some homicide crimes may be excused or justified: “A police officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force in good faith, where ‘good faith’ is an objective standard which shall consider all the facts, circumstances, and information known to the officer at the time to determine whether a similarly situated reasonable officer would have believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious physical harm to the officer or another individual.” RCW 9A.16.040.
The NAACP recognizes that SPD officers were responding to a 911 call where information was given by an apparently distraught caller who thought that the victim had a firearm, that he had taken their child and left, and that the caller was concerned for the child’s well-being. Nevertheless, it appears that the officer who fired the shot unnecessarily used deadly force in an extreme, reckless manner that posed a threat of serious physical harm to the child in the victim’s arms and that besides his life; the victim’s civil rights too, may have been violated.
Shaun Fuhr was a 24-year-old man who was a son, a brother, a father, and a friend. No doubt, his family and friends will dearly miss him. His death is a tragedy. The NAACP-SKC demands a thorough, professional, complete, independent criminal investigation of the homicide death of Shaun Fuhr, whether or not ultimately the crime is determined to be justified or excused.
President, NAACP Seattle King County
PRESS RELEASE: NAACP National Board of Directors' Hearing and Findings of former President Sadiqa Sakin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2020
CONTACT: Carolyn Riley-Payne, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
On April 21, 2020, the NAACP National Board of Directors effectively removed former NAACP Seattle/King County President Sadiqa Sakin from our local Branch as officer and member. After a thorough investigation and hearings by the National Office and Committees, the National Board of Directors reached its conclusion and findings for Ms. Sakin by stating in part, ” In accordance with Article X, Section 4, of the Bylaws for Units, the President and CEO suspended you from office as President of the NAACP Seattle King Co. Branch on November 04, 2019, after it was determined that your activities, behavior, and conduct were detrimental and inimical to the NAACP.”
The National Board of Directors also voted to suspend Ms. Sakin’s membership for a period of five years, commencing from the original suspension date of November 04, 2019. Once the suspension time is complete, Ms. Sakin may apply to the National Board of Directors for reinstatement of her membership.”
Per NAACP Constitution and Bylaws for the Units, Article X, Sec 2.” The Board of Directors, upon satisfactory evidence that a member of the Association is guilty of conduct not in accord with the principles, aims and purposes of the Association, as set forth in this Constitution,… or is guilty of conduct inimical to the best interests of the Association, may order suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary action against such member, after a hearing in accordance with the provisions of this Article.”
Effective immediately, Carolyn Riley-Payne is the President of the local Seattle/King County NAACP Branch #1136.
We thank you, our community members, for staying with us as we continue to sort out the matter and fight for social justice in Seattle/King County. Now more than ever, we need your help and membership to further ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2020
SpokesPerson: Carolyn Riley-Payne, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
EMAIL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seattle-King County NAACP, under leadership of President Carolyn Riley-Payne, is extremely concerned about the profound effect that COVID-19 is having on the Black community in Seattle and King County, and the country. Black people are an overall disproportionately affected community in the number of cases and deaths of COVID-19. This will not be tolerated.
The Seattle-King County NAACP is working with and reaching out to State and local officials on the improper safety and protection to our community during this time. Our community lacks the proper universal measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 by employers: proper Social Distancing called for by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), personal protective equipment, and regular cleaning and sanitizing of work spaces and its equipment. This is in part due to Black Americans being more likely to be employed in jobs that are considered essential—grocery clerks, fast-food workers, transit, postal and delivery workers. Just this past week in Seattle, King County, Washington, 59-year-old Samina Hameed, a King County Metro bus driver, died after contracting the virus.
Our NAACP branch is asking our community for its stories. Did you get furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19? Were you promised restoration pay while you're laid off? Were you retaliated against for demanding a safe work environment during this global pandemic? Contact us with your story at email@example.com
The Seattle-King County NAACP recognizes that the disproportionately negative effect of COVID-19 on the Black community is an indication of ongoing structural and institutional racism in the United States Healthcare system; the response by our State and local leaders, and our community employers, is an opportunity to save Black lives and correct the systemic problems in our healthcare systems.
An update from our NAACP Health Chair, Phyllis D. Gearring-Anderson, on this current global pandemic:
Governor Inslee is reviewing the shelter in place (Stay Home/Stay Healthy) restrictions, but does not expect to make any changes before May 4, 2020.
New cases of the coronavirus (Covid -19) seem to be slowing, however with increased testing availability, it is expected to see increased cases. In King County, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, Hispanic or Latinos, and African Americans are disproportionately impacted in this order.
Current Positive Cases:
Positive Cases Deaths
US 852, 47,750
WA 12,494 692
King 5449 379
Ethnicity and Race/100,000 (4/10/2020)
Hispanic or Latino 159.2
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 185.5
Native Indian or Alaskan 103.5
We all should continue to:
- Shelter in place
- Frequently hand wash
- Don't touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
- Social distance and limit gatherings to no more than 10
- Avoid sick people and don't leave your home if you are sick!
The NAACP stands with the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs in reinforcing the reality that viruses are not ethnic-specific. The CAPAA and the NAACP reject race and location-specific labels to describe COVID-19.
Today, in Washington and nationwide, reports of hate crimes targeting Asian people are on the rise. In their best practices for naming diseases, the World Health Organization explicitly warns against naming diseases after locations, cognizant of the bigotry that could provoke. Viruses are not ethnic-specific, and people of Asian descent are no more likely than anyone else to carry or spread COVID-19. In times of uncertainty and heightened fear, all people, especially leadership, must be vigilant to not perpetuate negative stereotypes, nor promote prejudicial attitudes based upon race. For more information, please click below:
Your Seattle King County NAACP is working to keep you informed on ways/tips to combat the spread of the COVID 19 in our neighborhoods. As the weeks pass, we will continue to offer tips as well as interpretations of the policy and procedures, and how that may impact our community.
By President Trump declaring a State of Emergency for the United States, he has used his power to free up funds for free testing, paid emergency leaves, and measures to contain the Virus. Things are moving at a fast pace, and the NAACP is keeping informed on what resources are being proposed and implemented, and will be sharing them with you, our community.
Governor Inslee has mandated that all statewide schools K-12 remain closed to at least April 24, 2020. And now, they are restricting to groups of 50 people by order of the CDC and President Trump. Seattle and King County has experienced 37 deaths and 420 cases of the coronas virus. Due to these measures, and for the health of our community, the NAACP Seattle King County will suspend in-person meetings through this time period, but please keep watch of our website and online calendar, as well as follow our social media @SeattleKingCountyNAACP on Instagram, facebook, and twitter.
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Seattle King County NAACP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2019
SpokesPerson: President, Seattle/King County NAACP
The Seattle-King County NAACP, wishes to make a statement about the displacement of women business owners in SeaTac.
This is a gross injustice. The Seatac Center Mall was a deteriorating former Casino, and it was through the will and determination of immigrants, chiefly African Muslim, Latino, and Indian immigrant families to make Bokaro Mall as it’s known in the community today: the Heart of Seatac’s International District. The Seatac City Center Coalition has fought for two years to be heard by their representatives, only to be told that they don’t belong here because of their faith and the color of their skin. This is the same kind of bigotry and racism that the NAACP fought against in the Mississippi Delta in 1963, and with voter suppression in Georgia in 2018.
The Seattle-King County NAACP calls on the City of Seatac and Inland Development to do the right thing, and we formally condemn the City of Seatac for their blatant indifference and racism. This must be said: Seatac is our Selma today. Just as former Alabama Governor George Wallace stood against the activists who wanted to march for freedom, Mayor Erin Sitterley and her allies on city council have time and time again stated, demonstrated, and pronounced that these Black and Brown lives do not matter to them.
This is unacceptable. The only just resolution to this is for the City to come to a moral revival and acknowledge their responsibility to respect and appreciate their citizens here. Our citizens and proud business-owners must be protected and celebrated, not gentrified. No matter where they come from, the color of their skin, or the god that they pray to, they are Seatac, and here is where they deserve to stay.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2019
SpokesPerson: Seattle/King County NAACP
On 7/29/19 the Seattle-King County NAACP has decided to withdraw from a Memorandum of Understanding with Alchemy Real Estate. The NAACP has taken this action in the interest of and solidarity with the community.
After weeks of negotiations with the developer and advocacy on behalf of Saba Restaurant, the Seattle-King County NAACP was unable to secure a written agreement and compromise with the owner of the restaurant, Workie Wubushet. The NAACP is withdrawing from the agreement in order to truly live our values and to reinforce our commitment to the community.
The values of the Seattle-King County NAACP are incompatible with business practices that exacerbate displacement and the increasing racial wealth gap in Seattle and King County. In King County, specifically the City of Seattle, the Black community is disproportionately affected by displacement and economic disenfranchisement. In the outset of this agreement, we worked in good faith to create office space for not just the NAACP but four businesses from the community that would help to anchor people to their communities. This was our vision and a reflection of our values.
For the last weeks, our NAACP President, and Housing Chair, Cliff Cawthon, have been working with community activists and Councilmember Sawant, as well as the developers. The numerous parties have not been able to come to an accord in the interest of our community.
We will continue to work to advocate for under-represented and under-served communities throughout King County and the City of Seattle. We firmly stand with the community and we will not settle for perpetuating the cycle of displacement and disenfranchisement that disproportionately impacts People of Color.
Seattle King County NAACP Praises the Victory of Skyway Tenants' Fight Against Eviction, Calls on King County Council to Pass Just-Cause Eviction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2019
Spokes Person: President, Seattle/King County NAACP
The Seattle King County NAACP wants to congratulate and uplift the victory of the Byrn Mawr tenants in Skyway, WA, against a racist attempt to evict multiple families from their housing complex. This is an example of the strength of people-powered advocacy. According to Byrn Mawr Plaza leader, Mergitu Argo, “this was racism. For the NAACP to step in and fight for us, it was helpful.”
Seattle King County NAACP President, and NAACP Housing Chair Clifford Cawthon, worked with community activists the week of June 17, 2019, to prevent the eviction of tenants at the Byrn Mawr Plaza Apartments in Skyway, WA. This was a fight that involved extensive advocacy from NAACP Housing Chair Clifford Cawthon, with the cooperation of Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
The Seattle King County NAACP branch is a 110-year-old organization, which was alerted to this situation by community allies, and after contacting the tenants and looking at the relevant evidence, sent a letter June 23, 2019, to the landlords on the matter. As of this Press Release, there has been no response from the landlords. Thereafter, the NAACP reached out to King County authorities and the landlords to seek a resolution. We were, and continue to be, proud to stand with tenants who are facing injustice, or anyone who is facing racial discrimination in King County.
The Seattle-King County NAACP wants to urge King County Council, Councilmember Larry Gossett (D2) and Council Chair Rod Dembowski (D1), to pass Just Cause Eviction Legislation.
We sincerely hope that they push this urgent matter forward toward fighting for Just Cause Eviction legislation, which would affect thousands of their constituents. This is an urgent issue for renters across King County, particularly in unincorporated areas. Across King County, hundreds of thousands of residents would be protected from being denied housing due to implicit racial bias or retaliation among landlords. As it stands, this is a core denial of everyone’s right of equality under the law.