After a week of protests in the Seattle area, officers murdered in Dallas and controversial shootings by police officers, KIRO 7 invited the community to join in the search for solutions.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, police officers and activists came together at KIRO 7 for a one-hour conversation that streamed on TV, online and over Facebook Live. Viewers asked questions throughout.
Below are quotes & highlights from the interactive conversation.
Andre Taylor, community activist & protest organizer: "Protests are good because it allows a space and an atmosphere to release those fears. Sometimes you can protest and nothing changes, and that’s a problem. I wanted to bring together certain attorneys, so we can brainstorm what the problem is.”
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: "We have made progress, but when you are dealing with centuries of racism. … While Seattle has made progress, we are not there yet." When asked where to go to take the first step of getting to know their local police officers, Mayor Ed Murray recommended going to your local police station, introducing yourself and asking how you can get involved.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, says he was pulled over two minutes away from his house and asked to step out of his car at gunpoint because the police thought the car was stolen. “It’s hard for me to say if that shouldn’t have happened because I’m not trained to do what they do.”
Sue Rahr, Washington state Criminal Justice Training Commission: “Our goal is to stop police interactions from becoming fatal. We have made progress but we have a long way to go.”
Councilwoman Lorena Gonzalez: “I am inspired like I know that the mayor is and others are to really cease on this moment to take action.”
Washington state Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling: “If you can’t de-escalate then use force more often. Deescalation is important. ... I always tell students that their number one job when interacting with law enforcement is to be respectful. It should be acceptable for law enforcement to choke a student who is walking away."
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner: “It’s a mixture between we need to do better as people and police officers doing what needs to be done.” “I think everybody could do better in the choices that they make.”
Former NAACP Local President James Bible: "When we need the greatest help, when we actually call for assistance that assistance rarely comes. … I believe that we are working hard, we are doing the best we can and meet the police and hopefully they can do the same.”
KIRO 7’s Monique Ming Laven and Steve Raible moderated the conversation. Siemny Kim took your questions to our panelists. Find them below.
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