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caption: A monument for Confederate soldiers is shown toppled on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle. The memorial, erected in 1926, was built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

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A monument for Confederate soldiers is shown toppled on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle. The memorial, erected in 1926, was built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Blog: Ongoing protests for racial justice in the Seattle area

Demonstrations and protests for racial justice continue in Western Washington. What to know:

  • The back story: After weeks of protests, Seattle police retreated from the East Precinct at 11th and Pine on Capitol Hill, leaving it empty and boarded up. Protesters began blocking off an area around it on Capitol Hill, first naming it CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), and then renaming it CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest).
  • Around 5 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, Seattle police began efforts to clear people from the CHOP zone. Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an emergency order to vacate the area.
  • The rallying cry has been to defund the police. Here's what that means.
  • Deaths and injuries: There have been four shootings, resulting in two deaths, that occurred in or near the CHOP. It is unclear whether the shooters have a connection to the protest. On Saturday, July 4, a motorist sped through a protest on Interstate 5, killing Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old demonstrator, and seriously harming Diaz Love, also part of the demonstration.

MONDAY, JULY 13

Recall effort underway for Mayor Jenny Durkan

8:30 a.m. -- Petitioners can start gathering signatures for a recall effort against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, according to a decision by a King County Superior Court judge.

The judge ruled Friday that the petition effort can go forward based on one of seven complaints which accused the city of using chemical irritants, such as pepper spray, on those who've been demonstrating against police brutality. The judge dismissed the six other complaints.

In a statement, the Mayors Office said Durkan has consistently acted to protect the city’s public health and safety and has respected the constitutional rights of peaceful protesters. The mayor also believes the remaining claim will be dismissed.

Petitioners need gather more than 50,000 signatures within 180 days to get the measure on the ballot.

--Angela King

Mental health day

Seattle NAACP holds mental health event amid stressful times

Seattle NAACP holds mental health event amid stressful times

8 a.m. -- Between the pandemic, social uprisings, and economic uncertainty, Black communities are dealing with a lot of stress. That’s why the Seattle NAACP hosted a mental health event on Saturday, focused on getting people counseling and testing.

The pop-up event featured free COVID testing. It also offered up to 60 Zoom sessions with a therapist.

"The trauma of violence can affect us and we may not even realize it," said Teri Rogers Kemp, one of the event planners.

"This period in time is having an effect on our mental and emotional well being. I know that I have felt the trauma."

She says Black and brown communities are impacted at higher rates by both police brutality and coronavirus. But they have a harder time accessing mental health resources.

The event is the first in a series the NAACP is planning for the coming months.

--Esmy Jimenez

FRIDAY, JULY 10

SPD officer involved in collision near protesters leaves force

6 p.m. -- The Seattle Police Department says an off-duty police officer involved in a collision during a Black Lives Matter protest no longer works there.

The July 4th incident involved allegations of protesters blocking the intersection at Boren and Olive Way the officer was attempting to drive through, when another vehicle struck the car. Police say no injuries were reported at the time.

The collision happened the same night a man drove a vehicle into another crowd of protesters on I-5 in downtown Seattle, killing one and seriously injuring another.

The Office of Police Accountability is reviewing the case.

-- Kim Malcolm

Seattle Councilmember Pedersen seeks details on SPD budget cuts

Councilmember Alex Pedersen doesn't entirely favor a 50% cut to SPD

Councilmember Alex Pedersen doesn't entirely favor a 50% cut to SPD

2 p.m. - Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pedersen says he’s not ready to commit to defunding the Seattle Police Department by a specific amount. He says he wants to get more details from the seven council members who have promised to cut the police budget in half.

But Pedersen says he’s open to reallocating law enforcement dollars. “For me it’s the outcome of people feeling safe, people getting an appropriate response from the city that serves the communities asking for that response," he said. "Committing to a certain percentage or number is something that I think we need to do through the budget process.”

He said he supports shifting more emergency calls to mental health workers, for example. Councilmember Debora Juarez hasn't weighed in on the 50% cut to SPD that community groups are seeking, but said last month she supported the principle of defunding the police.

The council is currently looking at changes to this year’s and next year’s budget.

-- Amy Radil

Read previous updates here.