Justice for Tirhas Berhane Tesfatsion

Justice for Tirhas Berhane Tesfatsion

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Jonathan Yohannes started this petition to Governor Inslee

Tirhas Tesfatsion was the most caring, loving, and joyful person to be around. Her radiant smile illuminated every space she was in and all those around her. Tirhas was raised by her loving parents, Berhane Tesfatsion and Hideat Yiman. She leaves behind two sons, Jonathan and Eliyas as well as a significant extended family. 

On July 13th, 2021, Tirhas Tesfatsion was pronounced dead at the Lynnwood Police Department due to an alleged suicide. She was arrested after being pulled over for a traffic stop and was found unresponsive 36 hours later in police custody. Video surveillance shows Tirhas clearly exhibiting signs of distress and asking for help, repeatedly. Police policy requires safety checks at least once every 60 minutes. The 5 officers on duty ignored Tirhas for nearly 3 hours, after which she was found unresponsive. 

The Lynnwood Police Department requested the assistance of Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) to investigate the death, but because there was “no indication of use of force”, they declined. Lynnwood PD then contacted the Kirkland Police Department (KPD) who agreed to conduct an “independent” investigation. Both police departments often work closely and collaborate, raising obvious questions around the independent nature of their investigation. Within four weeks, the KPD ruled Tirhas’s death a suicide and closed their investigation. 

Due to the clear neglect demonstrated by the Lynnwood Police Department, failure to conduct a throrough and independent investigation, and the numerous questions that have remained unanswered; we are demanding accountability. 


WE DEMAND: 

1. The state Governor, Jay Inslee, request an independent investigation. 

2. The on-duty police officers are held fully accountable for the wilful neglect that led to Tirhas Tesfatsion’s death. 

3. On September 13, 2021, the Lynnwood City Council votes NO on the $69 million proposal to build a new jail.

Tirhas loved so many and was loved by so many and we know that she should still be alive. Tirhas was a nurturing, compassionate, and thoughtful sister, daughter, auntie, mother, and friend. Tirhas Tesfatsion had a positive impact on so many people that she met throughout her life. We will dearly miss her and continue to fight for accountability and justice. This is a tragic loss for our family. Please help us demand justice for Tirhas Tesfatsion. 


SAY HER NAME. TIRHAS TESFATSION. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!