Reform advocates upset over pushback over changing malice law

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Members of the legislative task force formed to recommend policy to next year’s Legislature on how to reduce violent interactions involving law enforcement listen Tuesday to executive director Sue Rahr of the state Criminal Justice Training Center during their meeting at the Burien facility. Peter Haley phaley@thenewstribune.com

When an effort by state lawmakers to make prosecuting police for improper use of deadly force easier stalled last year, legislators compromised.

They agreed to let a task force study the issue and recommend policy to next year’s Legislature on how to reduce violent interactions involving law enforcement.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article92684372.html#storylink=cpy

But some on the state-appointed committee, which had its second meeting Tuesday, say lawmakers overseeing the panel are filibustering even a dialogue about changing controversial state law regulating police use of deadly force.

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Capitol Hill Hate Crimes: TONIGHT 7 p.m. at All Pilgrims Church, 500 Broadway East on Capitol Hill

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SEATTLE – Hundreds of residents of Seattle’s Capitol Hill say they no longer feel safe in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

Recent crimes have put the lesbian and gay community on edge – leading to a large meeting planned for Tuesday night.

Officials say it’s hard to put an exact number on the recent hate crimes that have targeted Capitol Hill’s lesbian, gay and transgendered residents. Some go unreported and others may not be legally classified as a hate crime.

But those who live and work there say they’ve seen it – and experienced it.

KOMO News has reported on several incidents, as recently as last month. Many involve harassment, and some do get physical. Now community leaders want to reverse what they see as a troubling trend in one of the city’s most diverse and inclusive neighborhoods.

“There is definitely a sense in the community that the Hill is no longer safe and that obviously is tearing at the fabric of our ability to have safe spaces,” says Danni Askini of the Gender Justice League. “If not the Hill, then where?”

Askini is moderating Tuesday night’s meeting with community leaders. Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant’s office is helping spearhead the discussion. The meeting gets under way at 7 p.m. at All Pilgrims Church, 500 Broadway East on Capitol Hill. About 300 people are expected.

The goal is to not only brainstorm solutions but to become proactive as summer approaches – a time when nicer weather means more people are out in the neighborhood and a time when there tends to be more violence.

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Corner Story: SPD Sgt. Balances Homeless Outreach With City’s Laws

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Written by Andrew Garber on November 5, 2014 12:26 pm
Sergeant Paul Gracy isn’t a landlord. He can’t charge rent, demand security deposits or, generally speaking, evict unwanted tenants.

Yet he still has to figure out what to do with Russell, a seemingly permanent fixture on the sidewalks near Denny Way and Aurora Avenue. “He’s been living there for four years,” Gracy says, walking toward Russell’s abode.

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Russell, wearing a black sleeveless T-shirt with “Sugar Mama needed” scrawled on the front, sees Gracy and waves, a smoldering cigarette in hand. He knows what’s coming next – a request to move. “I’m doing what I can to stay out of trouble,” he tells the sergeant.

It’s the first step of an old dance. Russell and Gracy have all the moves down. If police force Russell from one spot, he just moves to another. Arrests are a last resort because jail time does little. He’ll come straight back. “We got human services out and they put him in a motel. It solved my problem for two weeks,” Gracy says, “until he started having guests. So he’s back.”

Seattle has hundreds of people like Russell living downtown on sidewalks, in parks, and under bridges. Mayor Ed Murray, in his 2015-16 budget, has proposed spending an additional $3 million over the next two years to rapidly rehouse people who end up homeless and create additional capacity at homeless shelters, among other measures.

Gracy and his community police team at the West Precinct mix with the homeless daily, urging them to go to shelters, asking them to move. They prod them to seek help from friends, family, social services and query them about mental health and drug problems.

The team, which has six officers including Gracy, has to balance the needs of a vulnerable population of homeless people downtown with laws that dictate where they can and can’t hang out. The officers also must respond to concerns raised by tourists, businesses and other city residents who fear for their safety.

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East Precinct Officers Now Testing Bodycams

Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on December 23, 2014 11:38 am

Officers in the East Precinct have begun testing of a body-worn video cameras. Here’s our first-ever release of thrilling first-person police video, featuring officers responding to a report of disabled vehicle blocking a sidewalk.

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Community Outreach: United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington

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Community Outreach

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington is committed to effectively serving our community and engages in outreach in order to prevent crime, respond to community needs, and promote good citizenship. Through our outreach efforts, the office connects with local community groups and organizations to discuss ways our work affects them, and provide an avenue for members of the community to express issues of concern and report federal crimes or civil rights violations.

A number of outreach efforts are underway. In concert with the work of our Hate Crimes Task Force, the office is engaged in efforts to reach out to, and more fully engage, members of our Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities whose members often find themselves targets of hate crimes. In addition, we actively work to address the public safety concerns of our 23 Native American tribes within the Western District of Washington. And we conduct extensive community outreach through law enforcement initiatives such as

Project Safe Childhood, which combats sexual exploitation crimes against children;

Project Safe Neighborhood, which focuses both on arresting and prosecuting serial criminals who illegally use or possess firearms, and assisting communities in addressing issues that, left unchecked, may lead to gun violence; and

The Washington Anti-Trafficking Advisory Committee, which is dedicated to identifying and rescuing trafficking victims, providing social services and immigration relief to victims, and fully investigating and prosecuting traffickers.

Should you have a question about, or wish to participate in, any one of our outreach efforts please call us at 206-553-7970. Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bates directs our outreach efforts and other members of the staff lead specific initiatives, including:

Bruce Miyake, Assistant U.S. Attorney – Hate Crimes Task Force

Jerrod Patterson, Assistant U.S. Attorney – Project Safe Childhood Coordinator

Jill Otake, Assistant U.S. Attorney – Project Safe Neighborhood Coordinator

Susie Roe, Assistant U.S. Attorney – Tribal Outreach Coordinator

Ye-Ting Woo, Assistant U.S. Attorney – Washington Anti-Trafficking Advisory Committee

The U.S. Attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, along with other office staff, regularly speak at community meetings, local events and schools throughout Washington regarding the work of the officeUSAO as well as specific law enforcement or crime prevention issues of interest. To request a guest speaker contact Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov or 206-553-4110.

Lets Review: Jason Lajeunesse

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Cool Jason Lajeunesse

From: http://www.onlythebeat.com

Once a year, Seattleites take over a few blocks of Capitol Hill to enjoy music, drinks, and the summer weather. The Capitol Hill Block Party has come to be a favorite for many who live near Seattle. Boasting three days of musical acts, the CHBP encompasses a wide variety of genres to give those attending the block party a chance to hear new music they have never heard before while at the same time bringing in a few larger top notch acts that attendees know and love.

This year is no exception with the Capitol Hill Block Party bringing in acts such as Chromeo, A$AP Ferg and Rocky, ODESZA, Spoon, and The War On Drugs to headline while flushing out the lineup with amazing up and coming acts such as RAC, Manatee Commune, Slow Magic, and many more. I was given the chance to interview the man who works tirelessly behind the scenes year round to produce the Capitol Hill Block party and operate most of your favorite clubs and music venues in Capitol Hill; Jason Lajeunesse.

Jason Lajeunesse has worked in the music industry since the mid-1990s, starting his career as a talent buyer for venues in the Pacific Northwest. Jason now is managing partner at Neumos, Moe Bar, Big Mario’s Pizza, The Comet Tavern, Barboza, Pike Street Fish Fry, Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge, and Sealed With a Kiss Presents, all of which are located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. In 2012, Jason became the producer and owner of the Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) after acting as Program Director from 2006 to 2011. That year, Seattle Magazine included Jason in their “Most Influential Seattle People” round-up. Jason has served on the Board of Directors at the Vera Project and currently serves on the Board of Directors at The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. He continues to work in the music industry and ties his love of creative process, community, and business together throughout all his endeavors.

Getting to interview the owner of such an incredible festival was quite an honor for me, and after working with other members of the OTB Family, a list of questions was compiled for Mr Lajeunesse. Here for your reading pleasure then is Jason Lajeunesse on the Capitol Hill Block Party.

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Hate Crimes on Seattle’s Capitol Hill

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In year marked by deadly hate crimes, SPD says will ‘err on the side of caution’ on bias

Posted on Monday, October 6, 2014 – 11:40 am by jseattle

In a year with two of the most horrendous hate crime incidents in the city’s history, Seattle Police officials provided their annual update on bias crime to the City Council Monday morning.

Assistant Chief Nick Metz told the council that directives at SPD have shifted to “err on the side of caution.”

“If somebody says they believe an action is biased related, we’re going to act on that,” Metz said.

The annual number of reported, investigated bias crimes in the city is relatively low compared to other types of assaults or threats.

In the East Precinct covering Capitol Hill, SPD says there have been 10 incidents investigated in the area with the majority of those happening in Pike/Pine.

CHS has mapped nine of the ten 2014 reports below. A tenth occurred in recent weeks in an incident at R Place that has not yet been widely reported. In that incident, Metz said a “young man” threatened patrons at the club, making “some threats” and “made gestures he had gun.” “Our officers immediately responded and made an arrest,” Metz said. UPDATE: More details on the arrest have been added to the end of this post.

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Chokeholds: King County Sheriff John Urquhart

King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave
Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 296-4155
sheriff@kingcounty.gov

Attention: King County Sheriff John Urquhart

With the disturbing and unsettling recent announcement on August 4 by the Seattle Times article entitled “King County deputies restart neck-restraint training” and a report from KOMO TV 4: King Co. Sheriff’s deputies now allowed to use ‘chokeholds.

This letter is in regards to your department’s announcing continued training in the use of what is basically known as a “chokehold”.

A recent case in Staten Island New York on July 17 where a nypd officer’s use of the chokehold resulted in the death of Eric Garner could in fact, and will in fact happen here. The chokehold, ruled by a county coroner as the direct cause of death with Mr. Garner has been prohibited by New York City Police Department policy since 1993. And in the past there have been countless other deaths resulting from this apprehension technique.

If your department’s choke hold training is in fact implemented, its a matter of time before it results in fatalities. King County, the City of Seattle, nor the State of Washington are prepared to deal with the class-action lawsuits, or any other action directed straight at the king county sheriffs department, including civil unrest and any inflamed notoriety directed at this city or state.

While new ‘use of force’ decisions have to be made, whats even more important is that the ‘right’ decision is made, and not one that will result in future fatalities at the hands of king county deputies.

Ron Williams / Executive Director
Government Policies Enforcement / LEATF
Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force
http://www.gpenforcement.wordpress.com

Q & A with Capitol Hill Block Party owner, Jason Lajeunesse

From: The Ballard News Tribune

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By Shane Harms
07/25/2014

The Capitol Hill Block Party is set to kick off today, July 25 at 4 p.m. with the Shy Girls melting faces at the Main Stage.

The much anticipated music festival ends Monday, July 28 at 2 a.m., and some Ballardites plan to see the festival through until the finish.

The Ballard New-Tribune caught up with the Capitol Hill Block Party owner Jason Lajeunesse, and he shed light on the history and future of the party.

What are the origins of the Block Party?

The CHBP started pretty small. In 1993, a Capitol Hill skate shop called Crescent Downworks hosted a small block party with a skateboard street course and carnival games. The first official CHBP came in 1997 and had only one small stage on 10th between Pike and Union. The festival had a handful of DJs and five bands, including Flight to Mars and Mavis Piggott. Thrift store furniture was used to help seat the many attendees. We actually didn’t start doing three-day festivals until 2010, when several participating bands like Queens of the Stone Age and The Dead Weather couldn’t all play on the same day. We expanded to fit their schedules and the rest is history.

How has the CHBP evolved from its inception? Where do you see it in the future?

We started small, but today the CHBP spans across six city blocks and attracts over 9,000 people per day. As far as future plans, I don’t see the festival growing in geographical size. However, I’d love to see our online presence reach more of a global scale. I’d also like to continue to promote and support the Capitol Hill neighborhood beyond Seattle.

What does the CHBP provide for Seattle?

I’m proud of everything CHBP brings to the Seattle community on a social and economic level. It’s one of the most affordable music festivals in the country and we want to keep it that way because being an accessible festival for as many people as possible is really important. On average, we employ more than 200 people for the festival and many local restaurants and small businesses experience peak traffic during the three-day weekend. Support for some local area companies is so high that many double their work schedule to accommodate the increase in traffic. Additionally, we work directly with Capitol Hill businesses to offer discounts and promote local neighborhood businesses during the weekend. We have also raised more than $25K a year for nonprofits including Creative Advantage, an organization we’re partnering with this year that funds music and art programs in public schools. To start open the festival this year, we’re collaborating with Washington Middle School’s drum line and one of the main stage artists for an exciting opening event to the festival. From a musical standpoint, we’re committed to including both well-recognized bands and emerging artists in our lineup. We have always sought to bring exposure to the bands that come directly from the Northwest.

How do you determine which bands to offer in the line up?

Our model for booking talent is to bring in headliners that are relative to the size of the festival, but 95 percent of our programming revolves around up-and-coming acts in all genres. We always listen to fans to take into account genres or artists they are interested in hearing. We try our best to incorporate their feedback as much as we can.

What are you really excited about this year?

This year, I’m excited about the expansion of our Vera stage. We’ve invested a lot of money into expanding the talent and production for the second outdoor stage and we hope that’s something fans will be happy about. Now that it’s a proper second stage, we’ve been able to book national level artists there. It’s also open to all-ages for the first time, so even if you’re under 21 you can see some national, well-known artists.

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