Local leaders, families address gun violence in Seattle

SEATTLE — The African American Community Advisory Council and the East Precinct Advisory Council held a Zoom meeting Thursday night to discuss gun violence and the impact it has had on African American families in Seattle.

During the meeting, families who have experienced the heartache of gun violence shared their stories first hand, calling for change.

One participant was Alicia Dass, whose son Conner was shot and killed outside their home last year.

“The moment Conner was killed, all the kids in the neighborhood, everybody wants revenge, right? Everybody wants to figure it out, and you know the fact that they think that’s the only way that we’re going to get justice, perpetuates the issue,” Dass said.

It is a problem that is continuing to grow year after year. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said the city has already seen more than 110 shootings.

“When I look at all the people who are willing to pick up a gun and pull a trigger, it’s a very small number of people in our community. So, when I look at 110 shootings, I don’t look at 110 shooters. I look at a smaller number of people doing that and that are victimizing our neighborhoods and our communities,” said Diaz during the meeting.

Chief Diaz said one of the problems the department has encountered has been getting information from witnesses. Part of that is due to fear of retaliation.