Sumner councilmember sends offensive meme in work email

A local official allegedly sent out a racist meme with one of their government accounts back in August. Patrick Reed, Public Government Affairs manager for the Secretary of State’s office, as well as a city council member for the city of Sumner, WA sent an email with a meme stating that if people are in court, they’re guilty, especially if they are Black or Mexican. KIRO7 obtained a copy of that exchange through a public documents request after receiving a tip about it.

The Secretary of State’s Office director of External Affairs sent this statement on the matter:

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on any ongoing issues involving our employees. The Office of the Secretary of State takes all matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion very seriously. We expect all employees to uphold the office values of integrity, service excellence, visionary leadership, and collaboration in every aspect of our duties. Further, we require all employees to foster an environment of dignity and respect within our office and with those we serve.”

Reed has served in his current role for the Secretary of State’s Office since 2017. He has also been a council member in Sumner since 2015, according to his LinkedIn page.

The news of the alleged incident has some in Sumner concerned.

“Yeah, that is so professional,” one woman told KIRO7.

“That’s sad, of course. It’s concerning,” Dr. Waldo Dagan said.

Some even believe Reed shouldn’t be in office if he did send the email.

“They shouldn’t be in office,” Kent Witham said.

Dagan says more context of the email needs to come out so people can get the whole story.

“Pretty much what’s the content of it. Like, what was the basis for it? So, we need to be careful. Especially in these times where it’s important to mindful of everything,” Dagan said.

“We’re human beings. We are all the same, right? Let’s… let’s go back to loving people, right?” Dagan said.

KIRO7 asked if there is an investigation into this alleged incident, but they say they cannot comment on the matter.

Reed later issued an apology, calling the email a “horribly offensive mistake.”

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