police shooting

9 petitions

Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Lisa Herbold, Bruce Harrell, Kshama Sawant, Rob Johnson, Debora Juarez, Mike O'Brien, Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Lorena Gonzalez

Justice now for police-slain Korean adoptee, Michael Layton Taylor

This petition is a call for an expedited independent investigation into the slaying of Michael Layton Taylor. Michael was shot by police on October 11, 2016 during a "sweep" of the Seattle homeless encampment known as the Jungle. He was someone who had experienced periodic homelessness, a person of color, an adoptee, and a victim of a highly questionable use of lethal force. His family and friends, who dearly loved him, deserve to know why he was killed, and the explanations offered so far have defied common sense and believability. The circumstances of Michael's death is also of grave concern to a public that has grown tired of seeing the city continuously fail in dealing with the intersecting issues of homelessness and biased policing. This petition calls upon Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council to impel the Seattle Police Department to publicly disclose all details surrounding the incident, including the accounts of all eyewitnesses — including outreach workers, both police officers at the scene, and the former Jungle resident who Michael was reportedly arguing with before Michael was shot multiple times by Sergeant Heidi Tuttle. An explanation should be provided as to why there has been no body camera footage of the incident that has been shared with the public. And an unbiased, independent agency — rather than the SPD's Force Investigation Team — should be utilized to investigate and make a formal determination into whether an inappropriate use of lethal force was used and, if so, to ensure Sgt. Tuttle is held fully accountable for her actions. This petition also calls upon the mayor and city councilmembers to speak out against the pattern of rhetoric and media reporting that continues to perpetuate dehumanizing stereotypes about the homeless community. Such rhetoric feeds and validates a bias held by some community members who, for whatever reason, remain unmoved by the psychological and mortal fallout of encampment sweeps and by the conditions of homeless citizens in general. In the case of Michael L. Taylor, this manifested in local news coverage of his death that engaged in a tacit character assassination of Michael and pre-emptive justification of the police in their use of deadly force. The only major news outlet to provide a counterpoint to this bias was KUOW, which reported that Michael, indeed, was well-regarded among residents of the Jungle, who insisted that he was not prone to violence. As illustration, on October 12, the Seattle Times ran a story entitled, "Man Fatally Shot by Seattle Police ‘Had a Good Heart,’ Father Says". While it granted space for Michael's father, Larry Taylor, to express his disbelief and shock at his son's death, the article also alluded to Michael's past criminal activities (including intimidating another with a weapon,) making an implicit connection between those past offenses and the likelihood he could act in a manner that would justify his being killed by police. Those who work directly with the homeless will often attest that there are very complex reasons people of lower socioeconomic status tend to have more negative encounters with the law. So, it was especially unreasonable here to draw any conclusions from a list of crimes without their full context. Nonetheless, the article implied they were pertinent to properly framing the shooting incident. The same article also included a crime scene photo of Michael's knife, which was presumably being brandished before his death. The entire Seattle Times story comes across as an ostensible attempt to be evenhanded by featuring Michael's father, but ultimately, through insinuation it portrays him as someone who is actually out of touch with Michael's "true" violent nature. It reads as a calculated attempt to discredit Michael's integrity before an investigation has even taken place. Furthermore, as Michael was not actually a resident of the Jungle at the time, the characterizations play upon the controversial notion that the Jungle attracts dangerous, outside criminal elements, even while the majority of its actual residents have managed to foster a sense of community and organization.* Considering the information available thus far, many things do not add up. The Jungle resident that Michael was supposedly arguing with had sustained a hand injury by Michael's blade according to reports. However, the crime scene photo shows a perfectly clean knife with no apparent traces of blood. So far, there has been no clarification as to what they were actually arguing about, which seems highly odd, considering the police would have certainly questioned the hand injury victim on the matter, if not at the scene, then at Harborview Medical Center where his injury was treated. The KUOW article that covered Michael's shooting underscored that his friends in the Jungle categorically do not believe the police account of what happened. His friends feel that his death was completely senseless and the idea that Michael was violent incomprehensible. Furthermore, a write-up on the South Seattle Emerald news blog describes how Michael's father has not been provided with any more details on the shooting since the initial reports in the press and has little confidence that more illuminating information will be forthcoming. Larry emphatically insists that Michael, while mentally and emotionally challenged, was not the thug the media and the police would have us believe he was and that his being killed was irrefutably unjustified. He wants and deserves answers, something which would at least give him the hope of finding closure to this tragic loss. Apart from the ongoing controversy over biased policing happening nationally, the citizens of Seattle have their own reasons to doubt the SPD's account of the shooting. Michael's death is eerily evocative of another incident that occurred in Seattle in 2010, that is, the shooting of homeless Native John T. Williams by SPD Officer Ian Birk. Like Sgt. Tuttle, Birk resorted to an escalated use of force largely based on Williams' possession of a knife, a knife that turned out to be used by Williams solely for woodcarving and was never brandished. Following the uproar over this incident, Officer Birk delivered what many would argue was a highly coached testimony in an attempt to convince an inquest jury he had believed Williams posed an imminent threat, something the inquest jury ultimately refuted. Still, criminal charges were never brought against Birk, an outcome this country has grown all too familiar with in other similar cases since that time. A lack of police accountability fosters distrust and unresolved tensions between the police and the general public, especially for those communities of color that are disproportionately victimized by police. Michael L. Taylor's death cannot be swept under the rug. His life mattered**, and we as a community cannot go on acting as if it did not. It is imperative that every police-related death be investigated fully, expeditiously, and with complete transparency. Our city government and our police department should not count on public apathy and dizzying news cycles to allow potentially grave injustices such as these to fade from memory. We, the petitioners, implore you to take action now. *Biased stories about the homeless community such as these have become all too common in our local news, and by all appearances — to those of us who are following the homelessness issue closely — they come across as veiled efforts to justify the more brazen, stringent approach this city has adopted thus far in dealing with homelessness. **Read the full South Seattle Emerald write-up to learn more about Michael's life as related by his father. It is a portrait of a life made up of trauma, struggle, perseverance, and ultimately tragedy.

Michael L. Moore
348 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to Kenneth Davis, Teresa Tomlinson

Insist Justice For the Wrongful Death of Christian Redwine

A fight between a seventeen year old boy and his girlfriend ended with her leaving his house and going to an undisclosed location. His worry for her and guilt about making her upset caused him to feel the need to look for her. Christian Redwine asked his grandmother if he could borrow one of her live-in friend's (Freddy) cars to search for his girlfriend of quite some time. She gave him permission once Freddy had went to bed. Christian waited, and once the time came, he and two other young adults (eighteen and nineteen) left in Freddy's car on a search for his girlfriend. Upon waking up and noticing the car and its keys, along with the boy he considered to be like a grandson, missing, Freddy contacted law enforcement asking for assistance in finding Christian and his car. Former Officer Allan Brown was on patrol that night and noticed a car driving through an empty lot, the stores were closed so he assumed the worst. He called in a description of the car and was told that the car had been reported stolen. He immediately turned on his siren and lights and began driving towards the teenagers. Christian had recently been released from jail, so obviously he panicked when he noticed the police car. He began speeding away towards Phenix City, hoping to leave jurisdiction and escape the officer following him (from my own assumption.) Former Officer Allan Brown and two other law enforcement officers began following him, and Brown tells the other officers to allow him to go around them and lead the chase. (Personally, I believe that this shows a lack of fear of the unknown subject/s.) After the chase hit Phenix City, Christian lost control of the car and crashed onto the side of the road. Brown pulled his car up facing the side of the car and got out, walking to the front of Christian's car and drawing his weapon. Christian puts the car in reverse and tries to back away, to which Brown responds by firing eleven shots. Christian was killed within the first few bullets. After those eleven shots, a passenger, Hannah, shouted something along the lines of "Oh, God, please stop. Please stop, I've been shot." Brown stops shooting, but only long enough to reload his gun and fire ten more shots. Christian (the driver) was hit by eleven bullets (a cording to the autopsy report.) Hunter (a passenger) was hit twice, one bullet went through his nose and came out through the roof of his mouth, busting out all of his top teeth. Hannah (another passenger) was shot in the arm, and lost function of it until recently. Christian was the only one who died. Brown claimed self defense. He says he felt threatened because the car was put into motion. His fear lead to the death of very kind and loving young man. Police officers are supposed to undergo training so that they do not panic in such situations. And if a trained police officer's panic is justified, the panic of a teenage boy should be, also, even more so.  I've enclosed the dashcam video from that night. I am calling on the department of Justice to take responsibility for the loss they have forced upon Christian's friends and Family. Allan Brown should be held accountable for his actions. We, the signers of this petition, request at the minimum, a charge of negligent homicide, and a sentence of at least 5 years prison time to compensate for the wrongful death of Christian Redwine. Christian was a very kind man, and despite his trouble with the law, he was one of the best men I'd ever met. He'd give the shirt off of his back to anyone who needed it and he proved it to me multiple times in the short time I'd known him. His death has caused hysteria for everyone who'd ever come into contact with him, because no one could ever believe that he could do anything to give the notion that he would cause harm to another person. He was never given a fair chance in life, and he will never have the opportunity to rise above his circumstances. Allan Brown is a coward who ended the life of a beautiful human being, decades before his time. He wrecked havoc in the lives of young adults who needed guidance. I truly believe he would not hesitate to hurt another person, and he used his badge as an excuse to be a vigilante. He resigned from his position as a Columbus Police Officer, but that is not enough. Being a police officer does not and will never excuse shooting someone eleven times, whether or not they have or will in the future do something wrong. It was not his place to decide that Christian's penalty for his mistakes was death. Brown's Dash Cam Video

Ryn Jones
313 supporters