The Seattle Police Officers Guild continues to support those who gather to grieve and protest for George Floyd. We have added our voice to those who have spoken out and condemned his tragic death in Minneapolis. SPOG encourages peaceful protests and demonstrations – please communicate with us and the department and we will facilitate your freedom to assemble.
We also understand that peaceful protests are designed to disrupt – that is what makes them noticeable and effective. The beginning of the day on Saturday was an excellent example of this. But our job is to keep demonstrators and others safe, so we must at times intervene and guide a group’s movement. Marching in the streets poses a risk to you and motorists, and impacts the lives of those who live and work in the area because busses and vehicles must be re-routed.
Additionally, it is clear two groups have emerged over this weekend: the truly peaceful protestors described above, and those who simply wish to instigate violence, incite chaos, destroy property, loot businesses, and assault both officers and innocent civilians. Please understand that in Seattle we do not arrest people for protesting – there is no crime of “protesting.” Individuals over the weekend have been arrested for assaulting officers, property destruction, drive by shootings, burglary, robbery, and other serious, felonious crimes. These rioters disguised as protesters must stop their violence and the damage they are doing to our city.
Lastly, there are several videos circulating on social media regarding SPD conduct during the events of this weekend. As always, those events will be investigated and SPOG is confident when information is released it will be clear our officers’ actions were not malicious.
In closing, we ask that you remember that the actions of one do not define the character of many. Communication with our communities is one of the most significant areas in which we can improve, but we cannot start that process when we are devoting all our resources elsewhere. We have joined with several other officer associations in expressing the following message:
“The rank and file police officers that we represent want to provide our perspective, we must be part of the national dialogue that works toward a more perfect union. It is time for the discussion on policing in America to include the actual people that patrol our streets and respond to calls for service. That can’t happen when our cities are on fire.
Mourn, protest, honor George’s memory, but please, please do it peacefully, and let’s begin the difficult dialogue that must be had – our police officers are ready.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2020
Contact: Mike Solan