SEATTLE—Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC) today released the following statement on U.S. District Judge Richard Jones finding Seattle Police Department in contempt of court for four uses of pepper spray and blast balls in recent months:
“Officers in the Seattle Police Department used indiscriminate violence against people fighting for the protection and liberation of Black Lives.
“Police do not have license to attack people demanding accountability and change. The use of pepper spray and blast balls against our community is proof that our protests are necessary.
“Last summer, with our partners at the ACLU and impacted protesters, we secured the original temporary restraining order against the SPD and City of Seattle. When police didn’t stop, we came back, filing for an order of contempt. We will continue to defend our rights until we achieve systemic change and accountability. We will not stop.
“We put our faith not in failed institutions like the Office of Police Accountability. We place our faith in the people to make OPA’s failure plain and to correct it.
“It’s our right and our power to exercise oversight as people who call this state home.
“This is the power we’ll carry forward to the state legislature in 2021, and one example of the fight for Black Lives taking place across the nation to change policing for the protection of Black Lives.”
About Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County
Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is a grassroots, volunteer-run, social-justice nonprofit organization focused on the empowerment and liberation of Blacks and other people of color through advocacy and direct action. BLM Seattle centers leadership on Black femmes, women and queer people organizing and taking direct action to dismantle anti-black systems and policies of oppression.