2010 has been an especially alarming year for police brutality in Seattle. From the blatantly unjustified murder of John T. Williams, a Native woodcarver, in August to the innocent man who was kicked in the head and body while a police officer told him he’d “beat the fucking Mexican piss out of you, homie,” to the 17-year-old girl who was punched in the face, we’ve bore witness to some bizarre and troubling events that show the fissures in our supposedly safe and tolerant town, especially against young people of color.
Last week, we found out about the latest incident to surface: a 17-year-old, clearly unarmed, taken down and kicked in the groin and face in a downtown convenience store on October 18th. (It’s his face in the picture above.) And according to this recount by The Stranger, the SPD withheld the video with no intent to investigate until it leaked to the press.
On Friday, Geo tweeted: “Dear @mayormcginn: as your favorite Seattle MC (your words), I implore you to do whatever you can to hold SPD accountable for their actions.” Shoutout to Above Ground Magazine, who used Geo’s tweet to write a thorough article on what’s been going down in Seattle for those who haven’t been following. (Read the article here.)
We only find out about these incidents because of coincidence: a passer-by capturing footage on his or her phone, or a store owner releasing film from security cameras. For every story we hear about, how many more are untold? It’s on us to stand up, use our senses, question and hold those accountable who are paid (by us) to protect and serve.