SPD Can't Use Tear Gas for 30 Days

Black Lives Matter Seattle Calls for a Statewide Silent March Friday

In a press conference Saturday, board members with Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC) called for a statewide general strike and silent protest march on Friday, June 12.

BLMSKC has made it very clear that it's had no part in organizing any of the demonstrations against police brutality that have taken place across Washington over the last eight days, and BLMSKC board member Ebony Miranda said they have not taken this decision lightly.

"We know people will claim our efforts will increase the risks of harm on our community and allies by doing such an action during this time, but I feel that we’re not taking risk," they said. "We’ve been put at risk. Anti-blackness is a greater threat to our survival. Racism in itself is its own pandemic. It's killing us. And we are fighting to survive and thrive."

The organization also announced an updated list of demands they say they delivered to Mayor Jenny Durkan earlier in the day, and they relayed her responses.

Here are the demands and Durkan's responses, according to BLMSKC board member Marlon Brown:

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Unlike Seattle, Portland's Mayor Will Not Ban Police Use of Tear Gas During Protests

Layers of tear gas rising from the streets of Portland Friday night.
Layers of tear gas rising from the streets of Portland Friday night. Alex Zielinski

Originally published on our sister paper The Portland Mercury's blog, Blogtown. Follow them for the latest updates on Portland's protests and rallies in response to the killing of George Floyd.

Last night, Friday June 5, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke to protesters at Chapman Square after listening to their concerns about retaliatory police response on crowds, particularly tear gas, over the past week, saying “I do not like the tear gas, I think it’s ugly, it is not focused enough.” He added that “The city of Seattle late today banned the use of tear gas for 30 days except limited circumstances... we should do the same. Tomorrow, my colleagues and I will be making an announcement.” Later that evening, police bombarded crowds with tear gas and other munitions, despite the mayor's clear disliking of the practice.

This afternoon Mayor Wheeler did address the subject of tear gas, but softened his words from last night, asking the police to restrict the use rather than call for an outright ban:

Today, I directed Portland Police Chief Jami Resch that gas should not be used unless there is a serious and immediate threat to life safety, and there is no other viable alternative for dispersal. I strongly believe that gas should not be used to disperse crowds of non-violent protestors or for general crowd management purposes. It should only be used in response to violence that threatens life safety.

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In Other News: Justice Smith Is Queer

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@nckash and I protested today in New Orleans. We chanted ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ ‘Black Queer Lives Matter’ ‘All Black Lives Matter’. As a black queer man myself, I was disappointed to see certain people eager to say Black Lives Matter, but hold their tongue when Trans/Queer was added. I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-black. If your revolution is okay with letting black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate black cishet men, it is anti-black. You are trying to push yourself through the door of a system designed against you, and then shut the door behind you. It is in our conditioning to get as close to whiteness, straightness, maleness as we can because that’s where the power is. And if we appeal to it, maybe it’ll give us a slice. But the revolution is not about appeal. It is about demanding what should have been given to us from the beginning. What should have been given to black, queer, and trans individuals from the beginning. Which is the right to exist. To live and prosper in public. Without fear of persecution or threat of violence. There is so much tragedy on the timeline these last couple of days so I added some photos of me and Nic to show some #blackboyjoy #blacklove #blackqueerlove ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 You’ve been my rock and guiding light through all of this and I love you so much. I know that on the other side of this Is change, though the fight is far from over. #justicefortonymcdade #justiceforninapop #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonna #sayhername #defundthepolice #endwhitesupremacy

A post shared by Justice Smith (@standup4justice) on

Actor Justice Smith, known for starring in Detective Pikachu and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, came out in an Instagram post showing solidarity for Black queer and trans lives. The 24-year-old actor also revealed he's dating Queen Sugar actor Nicholas Ashe. We'll take cute news where we can get it this week! Read his full statement in the post above.

Now if only Lady G could find the courage to come out, too...

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NewsFilm/TVCityAnimalsCopsSlog AM/PM

Slog PM: Local Leaders Call for Durkan's Resignation, SWAT Can't Use Tear Gas for 30 Days, I'm Not a Horse Girl But...

TO FREEDOM!!! Petra Tänzer / Getty Images

Bad news for media outlets that use Instagram embeds: In an interview on Thursday, Facebook—who owns the social media app—said that embedding an image or video from Instagram may not protect news organizations or other for-profit sites from copyright claims. This means websites would have to get a license from the original poster before being able to embed an Instagram on their own site, potentially upending a widely held assumption that crossposting from the site did not need such an agreement.

There were horses, repeat, HORSES, at a rally organized by Africatown near 23rd and Jackson this afternoon: Their names are PJ and Chaka Khan and they are perfect. I'm not a horse girl, okay, I (Jasmyne) just love horses at protests.

That rally also included a presentation of demands and a giant teach-in: You can read the demands which include redistributing $180 million from the Seattle Police Department and immediately severing all existing contract and financial ties between the Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Police Department.

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Progressive Leaders Call for Mayor Jenny Durkan to Resign, or for the Council to Remove Her

Some progressive leaders and local Democrats have a signed an open letter demanding her removal from office.
Some progressive leaders and local Democrats have a signed an open letter demanding her removal from office. LESTER BLACK

A couple dozen (at the moment) local leaders have signed an open letter demanding the resignation or removal of Mayor Jenny Durkan for her "failure to stop the Seattle Police Department from engaging in violence against its residents; for her failure to protect the safety of our communities, specifically our Black community, the homeless, and peaceful protesters; and for violating the accepted standards of our community by excusing and defending the violence used against our families, friends, and neighbors," they write.

"Mayor Durkan has repeatedly proven that she is either unwilling or unable to exercise control over the Seattle Police Department," the letter continues. "Mayor Durkan has failed to uphold the values of the Democratic Party, has willfully violated her duty to keep the people of Seattle safe, her duty to direct and control all subordinate officers of the City, and her duty to maintain peace and order in the City. For all of these reasons Seattle Mayor Durkan must resign or be removed."

According to the municipal code, "The Mayor may be removed from office after a hearing, for any willful violation of duty, or for the commission of an offense involving moral turpitude, upon written notice from the City Council at least five days before the hearing. He or she shall have the right to be present, to the aid of counsel, to offer evidence and to be heard in his or her own behalf. Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members of the City Council, acting as a court of impeachment, the office shall become vacant."

They're asking all who agree to sign this petition.

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Signal Boost: Seattle's Doctors for Justice March


Here's another big march to signal boost for tomorrow. The Doctors for Justice March will kick off Saturday June 6 at 9 am and march from Harborview Medical Center to Seattle City Hall. Here are the demands that Doctors for Justice listed on their flyer:

  • End policing that is violent against marginalized populations, particularly our Black communities (e.g., racial profiling, stop and frisk, gang injunctions, criminalization of homelessness)

  • Redirect funds from law enforcement agencies to community-based programs for harm prevention, intervention, and transformative justice

  • Stop and reverse militarization of law enforcement

  • Eliminate legislative and union contract provisions that shield the police from accountability

  • Declare records of all investigations of law enforcement brutality with associated materials as public property and ensure public accessibility

  • Immediately end the violence against protestors. We stand in solidarity with them!

  • Stranger EverOut has a guide to Seattle resistance events here.

    More Great Reviews for Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You

    We love to see it.
    We love to see it. HBO

    We gave Michaela Coel’s upcoming series I May Destroy You an excellent review. The 12-episode series premiering on HBO this Sunday takes Coel's signature wit and applies it to the aftereffects of sexual assault. Frankly, I will watch anything with Michaela Coel in it. The London-born actress is most known for her series Chewing Gum, a fast, witty, and singular sitcom about a religious 24-year-old who just really wants to have sex. Our writer Robert Ham called this new act from Coel "stunning" and wrote that "this is gripping, provocative television of the highest order and the kind of platform that Coel, and storytellers like her, richly deserve."

    The reviews are now in and others agree:

  • Vulture: "One of the most immediately striking things about I May Destroy You is its tone...This play on tonality runs the course of the series—scenes that start out as sexy only to become harrowing, dark moments are edged by the comedic without losing sight of the rich dramatic stakes."
  • New York Times: "At just about every step, it’s touching and quietly hilarious. Coel gets away with things that would be dicey for other writer-directors, and she does it with consistency."
  • The Hollywood Reporter: "There's a lot happening here, a lot of big swings. And even when it misses, the ambition of it is a thing to admire."

    I May Destroy You premieres Sunday June 7 at 10:30 pm on HBO and HBO Max.

  • NewsCops

    Seattle Says Only SWAT Can Use Tear Gas For 30 Days

    Cloud city but in this case the clouds are tear gas clouds not Googles campus.
    Cloud City, but in this case the clouds are tear gas clouds and not Google's campus. Nathalie Graham

    For the next 30 days, at least, the Seattle Police Department will not be allowed to use tear gas, or CS gas, as the police call it. The SWAT team can still use tear gas, however, but only if authorized by SPD Police Chief Carmen Best or someone she has designated to issue the order.

    Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Best announced the "ban" on tear gas—which SPD last used to disperse protesters on Tuesday, and which has wafted into peoples' apartments on Capitol Hill—after the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the Community Police Commission (CPC) plus King County Public Health Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin recommended the city cease using the chemical weapon on "First Amendment activities." *Cough* Otherwise known as peaceful protests. *Cough*

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    57 Buffalo Police Officers Resign From Special Team After Suspension of Colleagues

    Last night, two Buffalo police officers were suspended without pay after a deeply disturbing video of them shoving an elderly man to the ground, stepping over his limp body as blood dripped from his ear, surfaced online earlier that day. The man was identified as Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old peace activist and demonstrator, who came up to the group of officers during a protest over the killing of George Floyd. Gugino was hospitalized with a head injury and is in serious but stable condition, reports the New York Times.

    In a show of solidarity and egoism, today all 57 officers resigned from the Emergency Response Team—a specialized team devoted specifically to respond to riots—over the officers' suspension. President of the Buffalo police union, John T. Evans, stated that the officers were "simply following orders" to clear the square.“It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40," Evans told The Buffalo News. "They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards.” I think the video directly contradicts that claim.

    Watch the video, taken by WBFO, a Buffalo radio station, of the incident here—warning, it is graphic:

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    The 42 Best Things To Do in Seattle This Weekend: June 5-7, 2020

    Spectrum Dance Theatres 2017 piece Shot is a moving response to the long history of violence against black Americans. Its available to watch in full on YouTube.
    Spectrum Dance Theatre's 2017 piece Shot is a moving response to the long history of violence against black Americans. It's available to watch in full on YouTube. Spectrum Dance Theatre via Facebook

    Looking for ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement this weekend? Our resistance & solidarity guide has lots of info in the way of events (like a march with Doctors for Justice this Saturday), reading materials, ways to donate to social justice causes, resources for protestors, and more. We've also rounded up our picks for movies to watch at home, which includes several films highlighting black lives and movements, as well as a guide to supporting black music artists in Seattle. If you're looking for even more options for things to do this weekend, see below for our picks of virtual happenings in every genre, from Phinney's Pride Rainbow Hop to MoPOP's Seattle Pride Drag Show, and from a Black Lives Matter concert with Parisalexa to a YouTube graduation ceremony featuring the Obamas, Condoleezza Rice, and Beyoncé. For even more options, check out our complete streaming events calendar.


    Dear Class of 2020
    YouTube is hosting a virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020, featuring commencement addresses from Barack and Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, plus live performances from major names like BTS, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé.

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    ICYMI: Seattle Residents Got Tear Gassed in Their Own Apartments

    Protesters on the streets dont want to deal with this. Civilians in their homes dont either.
    Protesters on the streets don't want to deal with this. Civilians in their homes don't either. Nathalie Graham

    This piece received a lot of attention yesterday. Thanks for sharing it, everyone. And we see you, Councilmember Mosqueda! —Eds. Note

    Maggie has started taping the windows in her apartment in Capitol Hill. She still ends up coughing each night, but it's not as bad as it was Monday night when the Seattle Police Department fired tear gas and pepper spray across the residential neighborhood.

    Maggie, whose name has been changed out of fear of backlash she's already gotten from posting about her experience on Twitter from some "local right-wing militia dudes" as she described, lives right near where the George Floyd protests have been happening each night this week on Capitol Hill. She hasn't been participating in the demonstrations because of the pandemic and the vulnerable people who live in her apartment building but she says she's "100 percent in solidarity" with the movement.

    On Monday, she was watching and participating from her apartment window. Suddenly, there were flashbangs. She grabbed her camera. It looked like fire. A cloud of smoke billowed upwards. Her partner rushed over yelling to close the windows. Maggie started coughing. Tears were streaming down her face. "I was like 'Oh my god, we have gas in here,'" Maggie said.

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    Signal Boost: Rally for Black Lives in North Seattle


    We're working hard to keep up-to-date information on the ongoing rallies and activism happening in Seattle in response to police brutality. Here's one to signal boost happening Saturday in north Seattle.

    EverOut has a guide to Seattle resistance events here.



    On the Move: Dahlia Bazzaz Is Following a Protest in South Seattle

    Seattle Times' schools reporter Dahlia Bazzaz is currently following a #BlackLivesMatter protest organized by a group of Franklin High School students in south Seattle right now. The group has a list of demands which includes demilitarizing and defunding the police, funding counselors and nurses in their schools instead of cops, introducing ethnic studies and anti-racist policies throughout Seattle Public Schools, as well as giving the youth a greater voice in schools. It looks like they began on the intersection of MLK & Rainier Ave, then began walking down Rainier, and have ended up on the Franklin High football field. Follow more of Bazzaz's coverage on Twitter here.


    Mutual Aid Organizing Is Growing in Capitol Hill

    The operation at Vermillion.
    The operation at Vermillion. RS

    On Tuesday, Carolyn Hitt asked her boss if she could hand out water to the demonstrators protesting police brutality on 11th and Pine, just a block down the street from Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, where Hitt works as a bartender. Diana Adams, who owns the venue, said "Sure, no problem."

    Next thing Adams knew, the bar became the headquarters of a "very last-minute, loosely organized," artist-led mutual aid network built to sustain protesters fighting against police brutality.

    Rancho Bravo, Blue Cone Studios (which Hitt runs), Bang Seattle, Annex Theater, Optimism Brewery, SeattleShare, and others have since joined the cause. Each place offers different services at different times—water, bathrooms, food, phone charging stations, first aid.

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    Support Black Music: A Guide to the Seattle Artists You Should Be Streaming Right Now

    Rising star Parisalexa will headline a benefit concert for Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County tonight, June 5.
    Rising star Parisalexa will headline a benefit concert for Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County tonight, June 5. NIKO SERPANOS

    Supporting black artists (and black-owned businesses) is essential every day, and Seattle is brimming with talented black performers and bands that Stranger critics have written about again and again, from sibling duo the Black Tones to jazz institution Industrial Revelation to young star Parisalexa. With nationwide protests demanding justice for black lives, the online music publishing platform Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share from midnight to midnight on Friday, June 5, and again on Friday, July 3, meaning that all proceeds will go directly to artists. (Plus, while you're writing down dates, know that Bandcamp will also donate 100% of their shares to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in honor of Juneteenth on Friday, June 19. Below, we've rounded up active Seattle musicians whose music you can buy directly on Bandcamp and other platforms (meaning we haven't included artists like Jimi Hendrix and Riz Rollins, whose work is also essential to Seattle's music scene). Did we mention that June is also Black Music Appreciation Month? Go forth and buy tunes.

    We've done our best to make this post as comprehensive as possible, but please email us at calendar@thestranger.com if we're missing anyone!

    Afrocop is a spectral jazz trio whose sounds go into outer space, with moods and styles varying greatly, from cuts that feel like they should be scoring the chase scenes in the original (1980s-era) Terminator (like “Sci-Tropics”), to “Upward Bound,” which starts out with vague NOLA jazz vibes before venturing into cosmic grooveland. LEILANI POLK
    (Originally appeared in a November 2019 Timbre Room show preview. Founding member Noel Brass Jr.'s solo work is also available on Bandcamp.)

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