Seven Black women sue Seattle for discrimination: The women, all over 40, worked in the Parks Department. "Most of the plaintiffs allege they were denied promotions, most allege they were retaliated against for various reasons and several say they were wrongly disciplined," the Seattle Times reports.
Good luck getting east of Easton: The Kittitas County Sheriffs Office evacuated the area near milepost 78 on I-90 due to a wildfire burning out of control. KING 5 reports WSDOT closed the freeway east of that point for now, and there's "no estimated time of reopening."
U.S. Army Ranger allegedly murders security guard in Tacoma: The soldier, who was stationed at JBLM, tackled the security guard, beat her and stabbed her in the face with keys, and then choked her to death, according to KIRO's reading of a police report.
Turns out SPD's response to the anti-SPD protests "made things worse:" That's the reading of Part I of the Office of Inspector General's five-part review of last summer's protests from the perspective of the Seattle Times, people. The OIG report found that "decades of unanswered police violence in communities of color" was the primary driver among "a series of overarching contributing factors that fueled the protests in the wake of Floyd’s death." The 54 recommendations for Part I of the investigation, which covered the first few days of protests at the end of May, basically go like this: we need more cops on the scene so they don't get "overwhelmed," all the cops need crowd control training, cops should conceive of their role as crowd "facilitation" rather than crowd "controlling," cops should be allowed to express solidarity with protesters if they want, cops should communicate more with protesters, and maybe we should let the cops use private encryption apps and "live CCTV footage" while they respond to protests.
I'll write more on this issue next week, but my first thoughts are these: 1. I'm glad the OIG is doing this report, if only for the record. 2. I'm interested to see what civil rights and open government organizations have to say about the idea of cops using WhatsApp and live CCTV footage to communicate and to surveil the scene during protests. 3. If they haven't already, the SPD will point to these recommendations every day forever to argue that they need more funding for "crowd facilitation" training, more funding for crowd surveillance, more funding for communication devices, and more funding for wiffle ball bats or for whatever they want to use to replace their scary batons, all so they can better "facilitate" demonstrators who took to the streets to tell the city to defund the cops and to increase funding to social services. Rather than address the root cause, they'll propose this absurd proposition. 4. So far, this report only tells us what the the WTO fallout reports from 2000 told us. Since then, the city has funded the hell out of the cops, and yet the cops still reacted the way they did last summer. The bottom line, so far as I can see it, is that no amount of training will stop the cops from flipping out if the cops are the subject of the protest, and if they get some "intel" that someone is going to "assault" a precinct in any way. If they think someone's going to bonk them on the head, they're going to throw a can of tear gas in that person's face. That's their whole deal.
Apropos of nothing: Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, the Stranger-endorsed abolitionist candidate running for City Attorney, hit the fundraising cap today, her consultant says.
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, @ntkallday, candidate 4 Seattle City Attorney, has collected the max amount of vouchers for the 8/3 primary. All vouchers from here on out will go to the general. This is the 1st time ever this has happened in a race for this position.
— Riall Keeps Repeating Himself Johnson (@RiallJohnson) July 23, 2021
Climate activists continue demonstrations against climate-killing cruise ships: "Cruise-Free Salish Sea" protesters rallied at Pier 66 to "showcase the harms and impacts of cruise ships and their toxic business practices."
We haven’t even made it to Pier 66 for today’s rally and we’ve already come across a cruise ship: meet the Defiler of the Seas. It has a fuel economy of 0.0096 mph, noisy engines, and is leaving a trail of single use plastics in its wake. #CruiseFreeSalishSea pic.twitter.com/i2DCCmbJXH
— SeattleCruiseControl (@SeaCruiseCntrl) July 23, 2021
COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates rise in King County: Public Health Seattle & King County chief Dr. Jeff Duchin said "our average daily case counts have swelled to 141—a 130% increase in just over three weeks," and hospitalizations are up 32% over last week's numbers. (Last week the respiratory virus sent 45 people to the hospital.) The outbreaks occur "in indoor settings where people have prolonged contact with one another, such as gyms and social gatherings," and Duchin advises all people—even in the vaccinated—to "consider taking extra precautions, especially in indoor settings with other people."
Don't worry, we're not alone! COVID-19 hospitalization rates have risen in forty-five states, according to the New York Times.
All of this, and yet: "Millions continue to refuse coronavirus shots as the delta variant drives new outbreaks," according to the Washington Post. It's getting so bad, even Republicans are pretending to express "frustration." Cc: Brandi Kruse:
Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey: "It's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down." https://t.co/CHtFXcIdtM
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) July 23, 2021
Biden officials now admit certain kinds of people will need boosters: The administration "expects" that immunocompromised people and anyone over 65 "will most likely need a third shot from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna," reports the New York Times. Recent studies show both mRNA vaccines drop from 95% effective to 84% effective against symptomatic infection after six months.
The Olympics are still happening for some reason: For those interested in watching people win 11 gold medals as a virus runs roughshod over a population all to serve the profiteering ends of a psychotic organization, then the BBC has you covered with a live blog.
It's the least we can do: Biden authorized some money to start resettling thousands of Afghanis at risk of death for working with the U.S. government during the long war we lost in that country. We're processing "about 18,000" applications, Al Jazeera reports.
Democratic Senators approve massive boost in war machine spending: If you think we're learning any lessons from Afghanistan or Iraq, then you're out of your goddamned mind. Biden wanted a lower defense spending bill this year, but the Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee aren't going to give it to him. The committee voted 25 to 1 to boost the Pentagon's budget by $25 billion. Only Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted against the proposal, Politco reports.
The Cleveland Indians finally decided to change their racist name: The baseball team will now call themselves the Guardians, a reference to the sweet-ass art deco statues installed onto the Hope Memorial Bridge, which leads right to the stadium, Axios reports.
TBH, The Guardians is much more authentically Cleveland than most jokesters on this website understand
These four statues—The Guardians of Transportation—are absolute icons in the city and familiar to anyone who has any sort of roots in the area https://t.co/8u0fx9SKI0 pic.twitter.com/vlifF39JjQ
— josh grubbs (@JoshuaGrubbsPhD) July 23, 2021