"The Policies of the Seattle Police Department Regarding Immigration Status Will Not Change." Those were the words of Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole last night promising SPD officers will not ask people in Seattle for documentation for the purpose of deporting them. The department's current policies say officers will not request documentation "for the sole purpose" of determining immigration status and officers will not initiate action based solely on immigration status. "As affirmed by Mayor Murray, the City of Seattle remains committed to values of equality, inclusion and openness. So does the Seattle Police Department," O'Toole said in a statement. "I have heard from people in our community who fear that the policies of the SPD with regards to immigration status will soon change. They will not."
Like Seattle, King County Will Not Cower in the Face of a Trump Administration: King County Executive Dow Constantine said Tuesday the sheriff's office and King County Public Health will continue to not ask about people's immigration status, even if that means risking federal funding. (Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made similar promises last week.)
Someone Spray-Painted the N Word on Spokane's MLK Center: "Staff at the center found the graffiti on the side of the building when they came in to work Tuesday morning," the Spokesman Review reports. "Freda Gandy, the center’s director, said some of the children saw it before heading to school." Donate to the center, which provides education and job training programs, here.
Western Washington University Students Want Bellingham to Become a Sanctuary City: Undocumented students are asking the city council to make Bellingham a safe city for undocumented immigrants, KOMO reports.
What Can You Do? Join the resistance.
Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Charged: A prosecutor in St. Paul has charged the officer with second-degree manslaughter, the New York Times reports. Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop. His girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook.
State Supreme Court Hears Arlene's Flowers Case: That's the case of a Richland florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay couple's wedding. Yesterday, the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case. While the state and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington argued on behalf of the couple that the refusal violated anti-discrimination laws, lawyers for the flower shop argued the owner's refusal to serve the couple was protected because her work is artistic expression that deserves free speech protections. It's unclear when the court will hand down its decision in the case.
That Petition to Remove Kshama Sawant from the City Council Is Bullshit: In case you saw this idiotic KING 5 story about a petition to remove Sawant from the Seattle City Council and are confused, here are two things you should know: 1) The petition is to the mayor, who does not have the power to remove a city council member. 2) The accusation in the petition—that she's "incit[ing] violence"—just is not true. Another, very similar petition links to this video, in which Sawant calls for mass protests and an occupation of inauguration day, but does not call for violence.
Among the People Who've Signed that Second Online Petition: Uncle Ike's owner Ian Eisenberg.
Washington Senator Patty Murray Named Assistant Democratic Leader: The position is the third-ranking position in Senate Democratic leadership. According to Murray's office, she will help "shape the Democratic agenda and strategy." In a statement, Murray promised to "fight back—tooth and nail—if [Republicans] try to divide our country, hurt our constituents, or drag us backwards." Bernie Sanders will be outreach chair.
“Improper Manufacturing” and “Inadequate Maintenance" Led to Seattle Ride the Ducks Crash: The National Transportation Safety Board says Ride the Ducks International alerted operators about problems with certain vehicles in 2013 but that the Seattle operators did not address the problems, the AP reports.
Gun Crimes Going Unpunished in Washington: While it's illegal to try to buy a gun when a court order prevents you from buying one, you're unlikely to face criminal charges for it, KING 5 reports.
EMP Gets a New Name: The Experience Music Project is now the Museum of Pop Culture or MoPOP.