- Via John Helmiere, the photo he sent with his complaint to the SPD
- Minister John Helmiere of the Valley & Mountain Spiritual Community in Columbia City
I still haven't heard back from the Seattle Police Department about John Helmiere's allegations of police brutality, but I spoke to Helmiere yesterday and he told me he is in the process of filing a formal complaint with the SPD's Office of Professional Accountability (and showed me e-mail correspondence to support this claim).
Helmiere, 29, said he's still in pain after being arrested at the port protests on Monday, treated with alleged brutality in the process, charged with "obstructing," and then held for what he said was 12 hours.
"Physically I feel like shit," Helmiere told me. "My face is hurting and I’m just exhausted from the ordeal. I’ve never been beaten up before. It’s a pretty dehumanizing experience, so I’m kind of struggling with that thing. But I’ve had a great deal of support from people who are in my corner."
Not so much in his corner: A lot of Slog commenters, whose words Helmiere has been reading.
“There’s some provocative comments," he told me. "Some of them are actually pretty funny. But they’re mostly cynical and abusive to me. I just wish people could turn some of that energy and humor into something that generates love. I understand a lot of people have been hurt by religion, and I totally get that, and I’m not going to defend that. But some of the more cruel ones really take the wind out of my sails. I hope people can respect the fact that not all Christianity is the same.”