Report from the EastPAC meeting featuring Sen Kline and E Precinct Commander Wilson

UPDATE: I was going to cover the meeting, but the place was on police lockdown when I showed up maybe 2-3 minutes late. The officer guarding the door told us the meeting had reached capacity, and that nobody else could go in. There were only a few of us locked out, including longtime Yesler Terrace community organizer Kristen O’Donnell and a small group of young people who came to the meeting to voice their concern about police action during a queer “dance party” during Pride.

Some of the people who were turned away at the door

I’m not sure what the organizers were thinking (they claimed the room was at capacity, but when we were finally let in, there were plenty of empty chairs). The young group who showed up to participate in a community meeting to talk to a panel of police and government leaders were turned away at the door (several left before we finally talked our way inside). Some murmured that the only reason they weren’t let in is “because we look like this.” And no matter what the intent of the police and EastPAC organizers, you can understand how they might get the feeling that they are not welcome to voice their concerns in these meetings.

It took about a half hour before we talked our way in, and the meeting had already moved to Q&A. If you were at the meeting, please let us know what happened at the beginning in the comments below.

New East Precinct Commander Ron Wilson would not comment on the use of force in busting the queer dance party, which is under investigation. When asked about his comment to our sister site Capitol Hill Seattle that he did not “believe the actions we took were out of line,” Wilson said he was referring to the decision to move the crowd out of the street, not necessarily the decision to use pepper spray.

He said he is supportive of free speech rights, pointing out that a student debt protest recently occurred without incident.

“We had a march last night that went off, I think everyone would agree, extremely well,” he said. But he acknowledged that “we need to improve.”

Senator Adam Kline said that, compared to his youthful experiences protesting for Civil Rights in Baltimore, “The tidal change in the professionalism [in SPD] is impressive.”

During the rest of the conversation, two themes came up several times: Youth and social programs need more funding, and people need to feel they are being listened to. We have a lot of work to do on both counts.

UPDATE: EastPAC Chair Stephanie Tschida has apologized that anyone was turned away. See her comment below.

Original Post:

The monthly meeting of the East Precinct Advisory Council is tonight (June 28) from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Seattle University. Some big names are scheduled to attend, including Senator Adam Kline, Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata, City Attorney Pete Holmes and new East Precinct Captain Ron Wilson (who recently defended the precinct’s controversial handling of a queer protest on Capitol Hill).

Details from EastPAC:

Please be reminded to attend our EastPAC Community Meeting this Thursday, June 28, beginning at 6:30 PM.  Our guests for the evening are Senator Adam Kline, Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata, City Attorney Pete Holmes, and the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative’s Jamila Taylor. 

We will also be welcoming our new East Precinct Commander, Captain Ron Wilson, who began his career with the Seattle Police Department on December 10, 1976. In his previous assignments as a Captain he commanded the Community Outreach Section and the Metropolitan Section which included SWAT, Harbor Patrol Unit, Mounted Patrol, Canine Unit and Crisis Intervention Team.  


We’ll see everyone there, and please be on time, so we can start on time!  

East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) Community Meeting

Thursday, June 28th, 6:30 TO 8 PM

Seattle University’s Chardin Hall, Room 142

1020 East Jefferson-

(enter on 11th and Jefferson, park free in front of building)  

UPDATE: Here’s the video from Ciaren (thanks!). I apologize for the poor audio (I said I would fix it and then failed).

20 thoughts on “Report from the EastPAC meeting featuring Sen Kline and E Precinct Commander Wilson

  1. Read the CHS story and watched the videos. Video 1 was, as usual, editted for the specific purpose of discrediting SPD by biased untrustworthy jerks. Video 2 (unedited) – the rest of the video is not in position to see the reported action. As usual, something happens, and then the video turns to it. So – the video is not useful in deteriming the facts.

    The police logic and actions seemed to be a resonable response to unreasonable people. Getting out of the street was a simple request. That the group became cobative added to the evidence that they were preparing for violence. Thank you SPD. This was the correct tactic and we appreciate it.

  2. No, we didn’t see everything. However, 20-21 seconds into the unedited video we see a police officer walking toward a man who is standing on the sidewalk, not in the street — neither moving toward the officer or trying to evade him. The officer walks towards the man standing on the sidewalk. When the officer is approximately four feet away, (too far for kicking range) he pepper sprays the man on the sidewalk in the face, comes in closer and drags the man from the sidewalk into the street.

    Do I know if the guy ever kicked the officer? No. However — when he was pepper sprayed, he was on the sidewalk, too far away to do any effective kicking and not moving towards the officer.

    If the officer thought it necessary to arrest the man on the sidewalk for previous illegal behavior, were there not enough officers present to manage that without the use of pepper spray, which is harmful not only to the person targeted but to everyone nearby?

    At 1:04 in the unedited video, someone says –“I don’t —” And I don’t either. If this is OK with the Seattle Police Department — bring on the Feds. Do it now.

  3. Sure, bring the Feds. What will happen is federal crack down on criminal elements in the city. I’m fine with that. It’s about time we got something for our money. In case you have not noticed, the Obama administration has been more heavy handed in law enforcement than any president since Truman.

    What happens when somebody comes in and thinks they can do your job better than you is – maybe they do. They don’t have the history and impediments that you do. The feds will crack down harder than SPD. Watch and see. They have already moved to crack down on gun violence. Who will be going to jail with harsher penalties. Black men. They will also root out the quasi terrorist wanabee anarchists and put them in federal prison as if they were commies in the 50s.

    SPD has been overly nice. Sure, they will press their uniforms more crisply and document their activity better, but, SPD under the Federal eye will be coming down harder with the Feds beside them. It’s a good thing.

  4. Ha ha ha. Please.

    Fortunately I’m not a criminal and don’t need any protection.

    My God, how naive.

  5. Although the audio needs cleaning up, due to background sounds, I have video of the entire meeting if someone from the blog would like to have that for a record of what occurred prior to your being let in.
    Like I said, the audio needs some background fuzz removed but hopefully a sound-tech of some sort would be able to do that relatively easily.

  6. Email Sent. I hope the audio is fixable, my laptop does not record the best of sound.

  7. I felt really bad about the “lock-out” last night. Someone sent a note in to me about folks stranded outside- and we hopefully were able to get everyone in. Seattle University’s Public Safety staff issued this quote, “…..There was a miscommunication of the seating available and as soon as the staff at the meeting room realized it they updated the security person at the entrance, and everyone present was seated….”.
    Apparently, the seating maximum is 40… Someone suggested we may want to get a larger venue, I will ask the board to take this into consideration. Please accept my sincere apology, I should have been more aware of the situation. This is not what I want to do. I’m so sorry.
    Stephanie Tschida, Chair

  8. If it’s one thing Queers have shown the City of Seattle it’s Solidarity and I don’t understand how that keeps going over people’s heads…Be real the Queers were locked out on purpose because the police have seen this video
    People knew it would be brought up at this meeting and didn’t want to talk about it….just be honest we’re honest about what we do. We also stand in Solidarity with each other I suggest getting a larger venue because the “small group” that was at the last meeting will be doubled in size the next meeting…when you take away one of our voices there are three more people there to help that person to have their voice heard.

    IT also doesn’t need to be said…The streets this night were blocked off from traffic and open to the public…police wouldn’t let the group of people even get to the area that was blocked off…how many other people were stopped from walking to the few blocks that were permitted to be closed off from traffic? Bachelor and Bachelorette parties with 30 deep are never turned out of Belltown why are queers turned out of Capitol Hill where there is an event being held in their honor?! Nobody freaks out when all the Santa’s do a pub crawl during the Christmas Holiday?! Nobody pepper sprays the Hoover Street Gang when they take over parks in South Seattle.
    To me this is way more scary then Queers Dancing in the street to Lady GaGa

    Pride is a ridiculous “CELEBRATION” of the Stone wall Riots
    All These Queers were trying to do was let the larger part of their Umbrella Community-(the LGBTI of the LGBTQI) remember where this celebration came from…the same way some people are asked to remember veterans or other fallen Comrades. Nothing Less Nothing More….We realize our community has forgotten where it comes from…To a good majority of the Q in the spectrum, Pride isn’t about Budwiser endorsements, Free Condoms, or Jacked up prices in “safe space bars” that normally support us year round….it’s about remembering people who fought for something they believed in.

  9. Thanks for all you do, Stephanie. I’d agree that a larger room might be a good idea.

  10. I, too, was locked out of the meeting. I was about five minutes late because something kept me at work. I agree that it was extremely frustrating to not be able to attend the meeting and represent my neighbors who are sick of the gang activity on our street and the complete lack of response from the city.

    You are not the only group that was denied a voice. They weren’t judging people on appearance, and admitting only those who received approval. I am a middle aged Caucasian woman who was dressed in professional office attire. They refused to let me in just as they refused the other people of various ages and backgrounds who were gathered outside. I’m very angry any person was denied entrance. I’m mad that I didn’t get to ask the city attorney some very tough questions about why he doesn’t prosecute the drug dealing and other street crimes committed by gang members.

    I believe that the complete lack of civility at community meetings over the past month has played into public officials’ decision to keep attendance low. If you want to blame anyone, it is the screamers who highjack meetings and use foul language and yell the same statement over and over again. Sometimes you can’t even tell what they are saying. They never even allow public officials to respond to their vitriol and rhetoric.

    While I do not respect those who make decisions to keep people locked out, I have also completely lost respect for people who cannot behave in a civil, thoughtful manner in a public setting.

  11. Another standing room only meeting of the EastPAC took place on Thursday (6/28) evening. It pays to be on time; those of us who arrived before the scheduled start time were freely admitted. After the meeting started the room began to fill up and campus police understood that we had reached capacity and prematurely stopped admitting people. They then admitted a few more people. Next month, if possible, the meeting may move to a larger room.
    It is impressive that a panel that included Senator Kline, City Attorney Holmes, Councilmember Licata, Precinct Commander Captain Ron Wilson and Reco Bembry an expert on youth services, would be available to briefly introduce themselves and then give the public more than an hour to ask questions and vent.
    During the opening remarks several ideas were discussed on ways to interrupt the cycle of violence in Seattle’s youth. Reco Bembry described the need for more funding for youth programs to provide positive alternatives that will catch the interest of young people before they are tempted to join gangs. Senator Kline mentioned the need to reconsider the rules for admitting people with mental health issues who pose a threat to themselves as well as the public. City Attorney Holmes is starting to prosecute gun crimes better in the city by collaborating with Federal Prosecutors who have access to stiffer penalties. A broader discussion of City policy can be seen here in a TV interview where the Mayor talks about what he plans to do about guns:
    During the Q and A hour, neighbors pointed out specific locations where drug sales, prostitution and violence are common occurrences. One idea occurred when it was suggested that removal of certain trees and shrubbery would improve lines of sight and prevent crime. It was also suggested that more attention be paid to noise and parking violations at Wades Lounge on E Jefferson Street. The sidewalk sales of Oxycontin and Ecstasy near Madison and Minor were mentioned. Captain Ron Wilson was taking notes and he will follow up on these suggestions.
    Several people expressed outrage concerning a pepper spray incident that occurred during a Pride Festival dance party at the corner of 12th and Madison just after midnight on Sunday (6/24). A police report on the incident said the officer only used the spray after being kicked, but the video doesn’t show any kick. Captain Wilson discussed SPD’s broad policy on public demonstrations, but he could not discuss the specifics of the pepper spray incident because it is under investigation. Here is the video:
    The next EastPAC meeting is scheduled on July 26, 2012, 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Recently the location has been Seattle University’s Chardin Hall, Room 142. The location may change to a larger room.

  12. Read carefully strait from SPD Twitter feed. This is exactly what I wanted. And don’t forget – you asked for it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha hrarrrahrhr.

    SPD Twitter: “A violent convict is out of the meth and heroin trade and will soon be facing federal gun charges after he was arrested in the Rainier Valley in a drug investigation earlier this week.

    When SWAT and narcotics detectives arrested the 46-year-old suspect outside a store near his south Seattle home on June 26th, they found a loaded handgun in his car. Later, detectives found 1.3 kilos of heroin, a half-kilo of methamphetamine, methadone pills, a pistol and an assault rifle in the suspect’s home. ”This guy sold to so many people,” says SPD Narcotics Lt. Mike Kebba.

    According to Lt. Kebba, narcotics detectives are seeing more heroin and meth on Seattle’s streets as supplies of other drugs dry up. “Right now, there seems to be a cocaine drought in the city,” Lt. Kebba says. “The price has gone up and people are turning to other drugs.’ As a result, Lt. Kebba says. “we’re seeing some tragic overdoses.”

    The US Attorney’s office has agreed to file gun charges against the suspect in this case, as part of a partnership with the SPD. Earlier this month, SPD partnered with the US Attorney’s office to more aggressively prosecute gun crimes in federal court, which can lead to much stiffer sentences for violent criminals caught with weapons.”

  13. @City Cat – Amen! Well said! The prior poster needs to stop thinking it’s all about his Queer status. Honestly, the great majority of do not care about your sexual identity nor make it at the forefront of every thought as you do. And certainly not on Cap Hill! The endless mantra of “I am a victim because I’m —– (insert here whatever label you’re obsessed with)” is tiresome. People like City Cat were shut out, too. It’s no grand conspiracy. It IS true, however, that the total failure to behave in a civil manner at public meetings by some, has ruined them for most.

  14. ——Please don’t take this an an indicment against Our SPD, but I think this was handled badly. My understanding was that these public meetings were a way for the police to meet with and discuss Public issues of concern, and to build mutual support and respect. If for whatever reason the SPD block a group from participating in these discussions, aren’t they ( Our SPD ) pushing these groups into use of possibly less desirable options in being heard? In this case, I think I would like to have heard from these locked out folks.
    ——Show respect to our whole community, or don’t be surprised when reaction is negative. Respect breeds respect, and the reverese is also true!
    ——I do support the SPD, but am disappointed in some of the actions like that repoted here.

  15. Wait and see. Perhaps the next one will be in a GIANT room so the issue isn’t an issue again.

  16. I incorrectly attributed remarks to Reco Bembry who was listed on the agenda. The youth worker’s name is Jamila Taylor, and she is with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Reco Bembry was unable to make it.

  17. From Puget Sound Anarchists: “This morning at 5:58 AM, an apartment which houses four Seattle comrades was raided by a Seattle SWAT team. They forced entry into the front and back door of the third floor apartment, throwing flash grenades and yelling that this is a police raid.”

    Ha ha. This is more proof of how SPD will be coming down harder on the criminal elements in Seattle, with the backing of DOJ resources. These idiots are getting what they demanded. Federal assistance and guidance for SPD. The countries 8th most liberal police force is now meeting federal standards and I thank SPD and the folks who demanded DOJ intervention for this wonderful change.

    Note there were also raids on anarchists houses on Saturday night. Ha ha ha ha. Things might be even better than we thought.