I don’t know what’s been up with my hometown lately with all the cop killings, and I don’t presume to have any theories. It’s just all too sad: Four Lakewood police officers were gunned down at a coffee shop by Maurice Clemmons on Sunday, who was fatally shot this morning by police after a two-day manhunt.
In late October, Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was killed in his car in the Central District, and a suspect was later shot and paralyzed from the waist down during police pursuit. I was home that weekend, and the cross-town memorial procession and public funeral was all over local and national news.
Alan Berner/The Seattle Times
With two incidents in the last two months, I can’t help but be reminded of the days when SPD police brutality and community fear and backlash had me scared to go to school some days. Though I had it easy by comparison – I rode to school on the cheese bus and had skin light enough to place me above police suspicion when I skipped class and hung around the C.D.
The SPD has one of the worst records of racism and police brutality, from dragging black Council Member Richard McIver from his car on his way to a WTO meeting, to the killing of unarmed Aaron Roberts. But I don’t want to oversimplify things or point at these injustices to detract from the fact that the murders of these police officers – like anyone else – is tragic and despicable. I hope the cycle of violence ends here and doesn’t feed into the volatile mentality of civilians vs. cops. I hope there is more accountability and cooperation — and less antagonism and fear — between the two, so both can feel safe in their communities. I hope the 206 makes headlines for some positive things soon.