Mon June 19, 2017
The urgent need for calls/emails/faxes/noise around healthcare absolutely continues for this entire week—PLEASE keep calling Senators! But also—there is devastating violence and toxic masculinity that must be addressed. It's really gutting, and, frankly, hard to confront and process the events of just the past WEEK---the Congressional baseball shooting; the Cosby verdict (or lack thereof); the acquittal of Philando Castille's killer; and now the mowing down of Muslims in London, the murder of a 17-year old Muslim girl in Virginia; and the police murder of a pregnant Black mother in Seattle. Here are two #ACTIONS to take today. Genuine trigger warning: both of these actions concern the brutal death of women of color.
#ACTION FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE SEATTLE POLICE DEPT [from Sahar Azi] On Sunday morning, two officers were dispatched to a burglary call in Seattle. The statement released by Seattle Police and the audio recording of the incident demonstrate that the officers were aware prior to responding that the caller in question had children in the home, and that she had a history with the department demonstrating mental instability. Seattle police confirm, in their statement, "Both officers were equipped with less lethal force options, per department policy. All Seattle police officers receive Crisis Intervention Training." The police can be heard entering the apartment and speaking with the caller. They can then be heard telling her to "get back," as they claim she was wielding a knife. Then, 2 gunshots.
Three children were in the home when both officers fired, shot, and killed their 32 year old mother. These police were trained in methods to safely de-escalate the situation without killing the woman, in front of her children. They had stun guns and non-deadly weapons. They had no reason to murder her.
This is not isolated news. This is not 2 bad cops. This is a culture of violence and no accountability, that allows the officer who murdered Philando Castille to get off with no penalty, that allows police to profile victims until they are no longer seen as human beings.
Charleena Lyles, the victim, was a small-in-stature woman, 3 months pregnant, and shot by the police she had called to help her. Please file a report. Make some noise. Don't let this keep happening.
#ACTION: Fill out an online complaint with the Seattle Police Department office of Accountability. Tell them this is unacceptable, and that the police must be held accountable for their actions. Tell them that training in non-violent crisis intervention is useless if the culture that creates racial and class profiling and no consequences is allowed to continue. Tell them that calling the police to help you SHOULD NOT result in your children watching you get killed. http://www.seattle.gov/…/file-a-complaint-about-the-seattle…
#ACTION SEND A CARD TO THE ADAMS CENTER IN VIRGINIA Early Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia, a group of Muslim teens were walking from The ADAMS Center mosque (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) toward a shopping center to get food around 3 a.m. They had been attending an all-night prayer session for Ramadan. According to police reports, a man driving a red car got out of his car and confronted the teens, assaulting a 17 year old girl named Nabra Hassanen. Police said her friends ran back to the ADAMS Center to get help; a search was launched, and her remains were found yesterday in a nearby pond.
Police arrested and charged Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, with her murder on Sunday evening, and have announced that the murder will not be investigated as a hate crime (they have not said why). Nevertheless, we know that, according to a May 2017 report by the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR), there was a "57 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents" from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by "a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period." The ADAMS community is serving as a center of grieving for the community, and is offering counseling services.
#ACTION Send a postcard to the ADAMS community expressing love, sorrow, solidarity.
46903 Sugarland Road
Sterling, Virginia 20164