Celebrating Juneteenth with Next Steps Rally

SEATTLE — A rally is planned for this Friday, Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. This year, organizers are focused on what comes after the protests and marches demanding police accountability.

They are working on the next steps of real policy change. Andre Taylor with Not This Time is organizing the rally. His brother, Che Taylor, was shot and killed in a confrontation with Seattle police in February 2016.

Taylor has spent the last four years fighting for police accountability when it comes to the use of deadly force. He has helped pass Initiative 940, which removed the need to prove law enforcement acted with evil intent or malice. It also requires an independent investigation.

“The rest of the world is looking at Washington state, what does Washington state do next,” said Andre Taylor.

Now Taylor wants to take it one step farther and have the Washington State Attorney General’s Office investigate deadly shootings.

“The only way we’ll have significant police accountability is if it’s out of all law enforcement and done by the Attorney General’s Office. That’s a process. I think we can get there, especially now that the country is urging for something different‚” said Taylor.

Taylor said he knows having the Attorney General’s Office investigate all police shootings in the state will require adding more people to the office and will take time. He says it is the necessary next step.

The rally will focus on education and policy change.

The rally at Judkins Park on Friday starts at 1 p.m.

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