The Seattle King County NAACP denounces Mr. Trump's latest display of racism and xenophobia, in his tweet this week directed at Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar. The office of the highest power in the United States should never condone or promote hate in the name of patriotism, and the NAACP will not tolerate these actions.
Today, we, the Seattle King County NAACP, would like to express our sincere condolences about our fallen brother, Crenshaw rapper Nipsey Hussle, also known as Ermias Asghedom. Words cannot express how saddened we are to hear of this loss.
For those of us who were privileged to know Nipsey, we are well acquainted with his passion as an activist and leader in his community. Today hallmarks the memorial service of Nipsey. The world, but more importantly our communities just last week, were caught off guard when we were all made aware that Nipsey was gunned down in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Reports provide detailed accounts that Nipsey
was rushed to the hospital, and that his family and celebrity friends showed up shortly thereafter. It is widely known that Nipsey was regarded as a very successful artist and entrepreneur. In fact, Nipsey Hussle’s label, Atlantic Records, said in a statement. 'One of the kindest and brightest stars in the universe, he was inspiring to all.' Nipsey was shot in plain view of a surveillance camera, and footage shows the shooter who authorities believe to be Eric Holder, who opened fire three (3) different times on Nipsey before kicking his body and fleeing the scene. Nipsey was just 33 years old. The sadness we all feel is widely shared, because Nipsey’s death happened to be motivated by another black man who took it upon himself to assassinate Nipsey in cold blood.We remember Ermias Asghedom as a father, entrepreneur, rapper, and activist, and send our deepest condolences to his family and his friends.
- Seattle King County NAACP Religion Chair Tramaine Palms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2019
CONTACT: Kela Hall – Public Relations Seattle/King County NAACP
Spokes Person: Sadiqa Sakin, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
Seattle, WA— [April 4, 2019]- The Seattle King County Branch of the NAACP, under President Sadiqa Sakin, who took office January 1, 2019, declared today, in this year 2019, our NAACP chapter's realignment with community needs. The nation’s most prominent civil rights organization is prioritizing critical policy advocacy and social justice work needed to ensure the rights of all people.
One of the NAACP's most crucial community engagements in 2019 is fair housing. The greater Seattle King County area housing market is still flourishing, but most working- and middle-class
families struggle with fair and affordable housing. With housing prices up, that drives the working and middle classes, and specifically people of color, out of the city and closer to poverty and homelessness. The Seattle King County NAACP's Housing Committee has been meeting with local legislators over tenant/landlord laws and initiatives in affordable and fair housing.
Our Seattle King County NAACP administration focuses on community race relations, including building relationships with local organizations and emphasizing the importance of diversity trainings; most recently we've been working with Issaquah School District Superintendent, Dr. Ron Thiele, in April of this year after a racist photo a student posted went viral. We are at the forefront of calling for police accountability in incidents where it appears the victim(s) will not receive a fair review; the NAACP was the first organization calling for an independent investigation of the SPD shooting death of Iosia Fatelogo in January of this year.
We acknowledge, most importantly, however, that our NAACP membership is the driving force of our continued success in the community. Their continued support through membership, donations, and volunteer hours make this NAACP branch effective and powerful. Our membership this year has gone up a spectacular 250%, and we thank each member for being a part of the community and encourage others to join! Our Board is made up of volunteers only; our membership is our life blood as well as our direct lifeline to the community.
The Seattle King County Chapter celebrates its 106th year this year. We look forward to continued service of the Seattle King County community and working on issues that concern its citizens the most.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2019
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
On behalf of the Seattle King County Chapter of the NAACP, I want to congratulate the Washington State House of Representatives for passing HB 1453, which provides needed protections for community members who are faced with eviction during the current housing crisis. I would like to especially thank Representative Nicole Macri, the sponsor of HB 1453, for her leadership on this critical legislation. Rental protections are an important issue to the NAACP and the black community as we are well aware that we are evicted at a much higher rate due to issues that this bill will address. Important issues like this can bring difficult conversations and decisions, which is why it is vitally important that we assume good faith and conduct debates on legislation in a manner that fosters continued dialogue and deeper understanding. We will be working in a bipartisan way to help our elected officials in Olympia to better understand the issues that disproportionately impact people of color, who are often the most vulnerable in our communities.
While the Seattle King County NAACP agrees with the NAACP AOWSAC that the passage of 1453 is a great first-step in addressing bias and discrimination in the current housing market, we must be clear in stating that no one speaks on behalf of the Seattle King County NAACP except for its recently elected President Sadiqa Sakin or her properly appointed designee on this or any other issue. This includes presidents, board members and/or committee chairs of any other local NAACP affiliates that have jurisdiction within the State of Washington. The Seattle King County branch is encouraged to know that there are more allies and representation of communities of color in Olympia than ever. This progress has allowed the opportunity to form the new Black Caucus in Olympia. We have had the pleasure of meeting with the chair of the Black Caucus, Representative Melanie Morgan and look forward to seeing her leadership as she provides an insightful and equitable lens to issues that impact our community.
On behalf of the Seattle King County Chapter of the NAACP, I look forward to working with our local elected officials in a manner that fosters continued dialogue, open door policies, and to pass legislation that promotes civil rights and economic justice for all Washingtonians.
Seattle King County NAACP President Sadiqa Sakin
THE NAACP OF SEATTLE AND KING COUNTY ASKS ITS MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS FOR SUPPORT OF SB 5822, THE PATHWAY TO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE BILL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2019
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
Seattle, WA— [March 1, 2019] - The Seattle King County Chapter of the NAACP, acting in its representative capacity as the guardian of Civil Rights, under President Sadiqa Sakin, is asking its General Membership and supporters in a Call to Action for SB 5822, The Pathway to Universal Health Care Bill. Under this Bill, a pathway is established to a universal health care system for the residents of Washington state.
The mission of the NAACP is to ensure equal political, educational, social, and economic rights for all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. This mission includes a focus on the right of African Americans and other people of color to have optimal health outcomes and access to timely, quality, affordable health care. African Americans continue to have the highest incidence, prevalence and mortality rates from chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and issues like HIV/AIDS continue to overwhelm the Black community more so than any other racial or ethnic group. The NAACP is committed to eliminating the racial and ethnic inequities that exist within our health care system that undermine communities of color their life opportunities and their ability to contribute fully to the common good.
SB 5822, The Pathway to Universal Health Care Bill, had a hearing in the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee last Monday, Feb, 18th and passed out of committee. Thank you to everyone who submitted testimony, attended the hearing, and wrote their legislators. Now the bill is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The NAACP supports this bill because it would mean the biggest step towards an equitable, sustainable, and affordable healthcare system for WA State residents regardless of socioeconomic status, employment, race, gender, geographic location, or documented status, and strongly urges the Ways and Means Committee to vote 'yes' on it on Wednesday
Please contact your Senator and let them know why you personally support Universal Health Care and urge passage of SSB 5822 out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Find your Senator and send an email here - or- Comment on the bill.
The NAACP urges our General Membership and supporters to support this Bill and help in our Action Alert. Thank you!
NAACP Seattle/King County Calls for Independent Criminal Investigation of Iosia Faletogo Police Shooting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18th, 2019
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, President, Seattle/King County NAACP
THE NAACP OF SEATTLE AND KING COUNTY CALLS FOR THE WASHINGTON ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO OVERSEE THE INDEPENDENT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF THE POLICE SHOOTING OF MR. IOSIA FALETOGO.
[The NAACP further requests the Washington Attorney General’s Office lead criminal investigations into the officer involved shooting deaths of Charleena Lyles, Che Taylor, and Tommy Le at the hands of Law Enforcement in King County.]
Seattle, WA—[January 16th, 2019]- The Seattle King County Chapter of the NAACP, acting in its representative capacity as the guardian of Civil Rights, under President Sadiqa Sakin, calls for a fair, transparent and thorough criminal investigation of the police involved shooting death of Mr. Iosia Faletogo. Specifically, the NAACP requests an independent prosecutor and independent police agency handle the investigation to create dual level independence. The NAACP requests the Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO), oversee the criminal investigation, instead of King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office is the appropriate prosecuting agency for police involved shootings. The voters of Washington State have spoken with the passage of I-940 by demanding a new process to provide independent investigations in police involved shootings. The AGO does not have a symbiotic relationship with the Seattle Police Department and the AGO has the capacity to conduct a thorough investigation. The KCPAO has also never exercised its authority to call for a criminal investigation of police-involved shootings in over a decade of being in office.
Justice requires an independent criminal investigation supervised by the Office of the Attorney General for the following reasons: 1) An inquest is not a criminal investigation. 2) There is an inherent conflict of interest when the investigating agency works closely with the agency under investigation. 3) SPD has already taken steps towards independence, supported by the Consent Decree. 4) Community trust is required to ensure officer and public safety.
First, the Inquest process falls short of delivering justice as it does not address civil or criminal liability. [“Inquest interrogatories do not deal with the questions of law, recommendations for future police or procedures, or whether anyone is civilly or criminally liable.”]. The inquest process is also misleading as the public expects a legitimate criminal investigation but does not receive one. The Inquest’s inability to answer the critical question of criminal liability creates a lengthy process with no substance which is no more useful than a coroner’s report.
Second, a conflict of interest exists between The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the SPD. The KCPAO and the SPD have a symbiotic relationship managing criminal cases in King County. The KCPAO develops criminal cases with SPD officer assistance, calls on SPD for testimony, and strategizes with SPD on law enforcement practices. The intimacy of the relationship means there can be no objectivity. There are similar conflicts in all 38 other counties.
Allowing KCPAO to investigate SPD is in direct opposition to the standard applied to the public. If a civilian is investigated, their colleagues and associates are prohibited from participating in the investigation. This prohibition is outlined in both SPD and King County policies. Both entities recognize the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest, and even the “appearance” of such.
The SPD Manual, title 5, Employee conduct, 5.001 (18) specifies:
Employees Must Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Employees will not associate with persons or organizations where such association reasonably gives the appearance of conflict of interest.
Employees will not engage in enforcement, investigative, or administrative functions that create or give the appearance of conflicts of interest.
Employees will not investigate events where they are involved. This also applies where any person with whom the employee has a personal relationship is involved in the event.
Except in cases of emergency, officers will not arrest family members, business associates, or social acquaintances.
Similar King County policies exist.
Third, an oversight agency has requested an independent investigation and independence is vital in light of the 2011 DOJ findings. SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) recommended an independent criminal investigation into Mr. Faletogo’s death be led by an agency other than SPD. Police Chief Best, exercising sound leadership and ensuring an increase in community trust, followed the recommendation of the OPA and requested the Washington State Patrol (WSP) handle the investigation.
The NAACP urges the KCPAO to avoid an inherent conflict of interest and follow Chief Best’s lead, in agreeing to allow the investigation go to an independent authority. Justice calls for true independence and community trust in its law enforcement is dependent on a credible and transparent process.
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, Seattle/King County NAACP
The King County Chapter of the NAACP strongly condemns the racial profiling incident at Menchie's Yogurt on November 13, 2018, in Kirkland, Washington. On that day, Kirkland Police Officers unlawfully evicted Byron Ragland from a public accommodation without adequate cause. Menchie's employees later admitted that Ragland did not pose any threat, or nuisance to anyone inside the premises. Instead, the staff at Menchie's indicated that Mr. Ragland’s presence in the store made them “uncomfortable” but could not provide any reason for their discomfort. This blatant example of racial profiling is unacceptable and likely a violation of Mr. Ragland’s right to enjoy public accommodations. The Kirkland Police Officers failed to take reasonable steps to safeguard Mr. Ragland from blatant discrimination and facilitated the discrimination by ordering Mr. Ragland to leave the premises, without identifying any justification for his eviction. The NAACP stands with Mr. Ragland and the entire community to declare that incidents of racial profiling that deny community members access to public accommodations will not be tolerated. The NAACP recognizes that the Kirkland Police department has introduced new policies and will be implementing training to ensure this does not happen again. The NAACP is prepared to work with local businesses and police departments to identify resources and implement training to ensure that all members of the community are safe and welcome in areas of public accommodation. In addition, the NAACP has historically taken legal action and economic action against organizations that stand in the way of our mission as the leading civil rights organization in the country. The King County Chapter of the NAACP is prepared to live up the legacy of our namesake and protect our citizens.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sadiqa Sakin, Seattle/King County NAACP
NAACP STATEMENT ON HOMICIDE OF IOSIA FALETOGO
The NAACP calls on King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg to independently investigate the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Iosia Faletogo by a Seattle Police Department (SPD) Officer.
This shooting death is a homicide. Homicide is defined in the Washington Criminal Code 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.” RCW 9A.32.010. Thus, when a police officer has committed homicide, it is an act that falls under the one of the five categories defined in the Washington Criminal Code.
The King County Prosecutor must conduct an independent investigation to discover evidence surrounding the circumstances of this homicide and make an independent determination whether a crime has been committed, and whether this was excusable or justifiable act.
The investigation should be conducted at the direction of the King County Prosecutor by an independent law enforcement agency; the Washington State Patrol, the King County Sheriff; or by use of a grand jury or special inquiry judge. It is naïve to rely upon an investigation conducted by the SPD, the agency responsible for the death, as guidance for a decision whether or not to file criminal charges, to determine whether this homicide was excusable or justifiable.
The prosecutor must exercise discretion in the administration of justice that effects an acknowledgement and validation that every human life matters; that any citizen, even a police officer, that takes a human life will be addressed according to the law. An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding this homicide, regardless of the outcome; is the proper exercise to ensure that the administration of justice occurs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gerald Hankerson, Seattle/King County NAACP
PHONE (206) 249-1786
RACIAL PROFILING OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN VETERAN AT MENCHIE’S YOGURT SHOP IN KIRKLAND
Kirkland Police labeled Veteran “unwanted subject” and ordered him to leave
Seattle, WA--On Tuesday, November 13, 2018 an African American Veteran, Byron Ragland, was racially profiled by Menchie’s yogurt shop owner and white employees while working as an advocate of the Courts during a supervised visit between a mother and her 12 year old son. Kirkland Police arrived and asked Mr. Ragland to leave after labeling him an “unwanted subject”.
On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at 10:00 Seattle/King County NAACP will be joined by Byron Ragland and other Civil Right advocates, including members of WA State Civil Right Coalition to host a press conference/protest outside the Menchie’s yogurt shop 11308 Northeast 124th Street in Kirkland, where the incident occurred.
“From Starbucks in Philadelphia to Menchie’s in Kirkland, Black people are continuously racially profiled across this country where police are called to further facilitate acts of racism at the expense of African-American men and women. The NAACP is reminded of the days in history where blacks were not allowed to sit at counters nor patronize businesses without the risk of being racially profiled simply because they are black. All it takes is for a single white person to claim fear or intimidation before law enforcement become its advocate and further perpetuate injustice.”
“This growing trend must end before it takes root and eventually becomes the norm as it was during the Jim Crow era!”
It is with a heavy heart we grieve the loss of a longtime NAACP activist and leader, Oscar Eason, Jr. After nearly six decades of service, Oscar served as NAACP President of both Seattle King/County as well as Alaska, Oregon, WA State Area Conference He leaves behind a long, distinguished history of fighting for Civil Rights and equality for all.
While Oscar is no longer with us, his legacy will live on for ages, both in his personal life and in the mission of the NAACP. He will have an everlasting impact on the hearts and souls of all the people who had the pleasure of knowing and working him over the years. Our thoughts and Prayers go out to his family, as we all have lost a legend of Civil Rights in Oscar Eason, Jr.
Seattle Medium article