SEATTLE — President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild Mike Solan on Monday stood up for the 1,300 officers he represents who he said have become “tired of what is occurring” outside of the department’s East Precinct.
Demonstrations have continued outside of the East Precinct as protesters call for systemic change following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Solan reiterated that the department has strongly condemned the Floyd tragedy and said, “I want the community to understand we are with you.”
“What I saw happening that day was unconscionable and sickening,” Solan said of watching the video of Floyd’s death. “That tragic death has caused such great strain on our community and across this nation.”
Solan said the department stands by the many peaceful protests that have occurred throughout the city but said what has happened outside the East Precinct “is unreasonable.”
He said dozens of officers have been injured by protesters who have thrown projectiles, rocks and explosive devices their way.
On Saturday night, officials said six officers were injured and two were hospitalized when demonstrators then began throwing rocks, bottles and “improvised explosives” outside of the precinct.
“It’s a small group of criminal actors that are unfortunately stealing the peaceful message of justice for George Floyd,” Solan said. “We cannot lose (the East Precinct) to a small group of actors… They are not the true voice of the citizens of this city.”
Solan then shifted his message from the “small group of criminal actors” to elected officials and demanded that officers have a seat at the table during ongoing discussions for change.
“We haven’t even been asked to be at the table. Where’s our perspective? We are a part of this community. We’re human beings,” Solan said.
Solan then questioned public officials who have suggested the possibility of defunding the police department.
“If you want to have a talk about defunding the police department, what will that do to our training? Who’s going to answer that 911 call? Who’s going to investigate that child who was just unfortunately raped, abducted, kidnapped?” he asked.
Solan finished by demanding that city officials release surveillance tapes from outside the East Precinct that show the violence some officers have faced.
“I don’t want to come across as victims here. We are police professionals, and we are open to any dialogue at any time. I want the violence to stop against police officers,” Solan said.
Watch a full replay of Solan’s news conference below: