Vigil held in Seattle on 2-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death

SEATTLE — A vigil was held in Seattle for George Floyd, two years after he was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. During the vigil, the crowd sang songs, prayed and called for racial justice for all.

“Well, we have to keep remembering otherwise at our own peril, we forget,” Pastor Michael Ryan of St. James Cathedral said.

This anniversary comes as local departments are looking to recruit more officers to its ranks. This comes as many departments in King and Pierce County are revamping recruiting efforts to try and attract more officers to their departments. Just yesterday, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance authorizing $650,000 for the Seattle Police Department to pay for relocation assistance for police hires and add an additional recruiter, and for SPD to spend $350,000 on recruitment advertising and to assist with the search for the next police chief.

On Wednesday, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department announced the following temporary hiring and recruiting incentives that it has implemented or updated:

  • In-state lateral hire: $25,000 hiring incentive.
  • Out-of-state lateral hire: $25,0000 hiring incentive.
  • Lateral applicants will receive 80 hours of vacation and 80 hours of sick leave
  • Entry-level applicants: $10,000 hiring incentive
  • Pierce County sheriff’s corrections deputies moving from corrections to law enforcement: $12,000 hiring incentive
  • The county has a referral bonus program that paid $500 to county employees who referred an applicant to the sheriff’s department who were ultimately hired. This payment is now $5,000.

Deacon Joseph Connor says progress has gone back and forth, but he believes the fight for racial justice is far from over.

“We can’t let it become a statistic. We can’t let it be something that is just emotional,” Connor said.

Connor says that while he agrees with the city of Seattle’s vote, he believes change isn’t going to happen overnight.

“But if you have me in the back of your mind pegged and see me in your mind and not as I am, nothing will change,” Connor said.

He believes that change can be accomplished if everyone comes together.

“And we have to be a voice. And the only way that will happen is if we stand in solidarity and unity,” Connor said.