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Auburn BLM Protest Scheduled for Tuesday

Note: A curfew in the City of Auburn from 9PM to 5AM has been extended through Saturday, June 6th. The quotes and information in the below article were obtained prior to the announcement of this updated curfew order.


A peaceful protest supporting Black Lives Matter and condemning police brutality will be held in Auburn. The family-friendly protest is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, at 6:00 p.m., at Auburn City Hall.

The event announcement states that “this peaceful protest is a Pro-Black Anti-Police Brutality Protest. Supporting Black Lives Matter and demanding justice for the black victims who have been wrongfully killed by law enforcement.”

Peaceful Protest?

Recognizing the many peaceful protests around the nation that have quickly transformed into volatile riots, the protest will have “peacekeepers to prevent violence of any kind, making sure everyone gets home safe.”

Protest organizer Dalayna Wallace is determined to maintain a peaceful protest, “unfortunately, when it comes to that I have no control over what other people do. I know that my intention is to lead a peaceful protest.”

Recognizing the current protests are not an all or nothing matter, Wallace continued, “I do know some people don’t express themselves like that. Some people are angry, and they have every right to be angry and how they handle that is out of my control. I can only control what I do. but people are tired, people are angry, and people feel like that is the only way to let out that anger.”

A protest held Sunday afternoon in Federal Way maintained order and did not devolve into unrest.

“As a Black woman, I recognize that I have one of the most vulnerable and marginalized voices in our society,” said Saudia  Sanders, an attendee of Sunday’s protest. “As the documentation of brutality against people of color increases and emotions become raw, these moments of unity and protest are mandatory.
We ask for Justice. We ask for respect. We ask for equality. #BlackLivesMatter”

Unfortunately, toward the end of the protest, a motorcyclist lost control of his bike and crashed into those gathered.  Two women and a baby were injured in the crash.

What to Expect from Auburn Police

This is not the first protest Wallace has lead or participated in, in Auburn. This history has given her insight into the Auburn Police response for the protest.

“My expectations of the Auburn police department are not negative at all when it comes to what my hot been at the protest; obviously, you can’t put anything past anybody,” said Wallace.

During the previous protests, the police provided crowd control and ensured the safety of demonstrators.  “I don’t know if they only did that because we were students or because that’s what they wanted to do for their community. This protest is way different, especially for me. I protested before about immigration and Latino rights. This hits home for me, and I know a lot of people are fed up. So, I honestly don’t hold any expectations for them. You can’t put anything past anybody.”

Auburn Police Chief Dan O’Neil outlined that “Auburn Police will provide a presence to ensure that protesters can protest peacefully without the fear of outside interference. We will also make sure that the protest stays peaceful, providing a safe environment, and preventing the destruction of any property.”

After events in the Puget Sound over the weekend, including looting at The Outlet Collection, the Auburn Police have an operational plan in place for any potential rioters or looters.

Only a few Auburn police officers are equipped with body cameras, and “will use them per policy. Auburn Police Officers are expected to follow policy at all times while on duty, to include the use of Body Cameras,” said O’Neil.

In Seattle, several officers were seen with black bands over their badges.  A likely misconception has circulated that these bands were an attempt to prevent their badge number from being obtained. “Some law enforcement officers are still wearing mourning bands to honor Trooper Justin Schaffer, who was killed in the line of duty during March,” explained O’Neil. “Tradition is to wear a mourning badge until a memorial has been held. Because of the current COVID Pandemic, there hasn’t been a memorial for Trooper Schaffer. Some agencies are continuing to wear mourning bands, and Seattle PD might be one of them.”

“Auburn Police Officers’ do not have badge numbers on their badges. However, Auburn Police Officers are required to provide a badge number if requested. Badge numbers have been over-glorified by the media. It is more beneficial to ask an officer’s name over a badge number, especially in Auburn.”

O’Neil expressed the department’s support for Tuesday’s protest, stating, “the Auburn Police Department supports everyone’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble and protest. This is a time when we are all hurting as a nation, and there is work to be done. I think the best work can be done through conversation and the building of relationships, not violence.”

Having already made a statement on the killing of George Floyd, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus also shared her support for Tuesday’s protest, “I am fully supportive of a peaceful protest. Violence cannot have a place in our community.”

Organizers for Tuesday’s protest will provide water.  Attendees are reminded to wear a mask as 6-ft social distancing will be unlikely to obtain.

If you would like to provide support for the event by way of donating water, masks or hand sanitizer contact Claudia Flores at [email protected].

As a reminder, if you are uncertain about the protest environment please remain at home.  If you are at the protest and it becomes an unsafe situation, leave immediately.

4 Comments

  1. X X June 1, 2020

    EVERY human being’s life matters. Period. How about justice for a man. How about regardless of what he was doing he didn’t deserve that horrible death. How about focus on training for police and higher standards when they don’t act appropriately. How about come TOGETHER for ALL people and justice for PEOPLE.

    • Teacher Teacher June 2, 2020

      X – of course every human life matters, no one is ever arguing that. Unfortunately there has been a concerted effort to paint the Black Lives Matter movement and rallying cry as some sort movement that seeks to diminish the value of others lives. But that is not the case.

      The simplest way to explain the movement is to put an “also” in the middle of it, “Black Lives Also Matter”. This is the goal; not to diminish the lives of other but to bring to light the fact that black and brown people in this country are the victims of systemic racism within our justice system. This means that proportionally, black and brown lives are at risk in our justice system and even simply in everyday police affairs.

      Black Lives Matter is a rallying cry to address these facts. If you have never heard of systemic or institutional racism, it means that racism exists in political or social institutions. This might not look like the racism of Jim Crow era politics, but more often it looks like laws and organizations that more negatively affect communities of color, or actually seek to negatively affect them. An easy example would be the “War or Drugs”. When Nixon began this, he did it to target communities of color regardless of whether those communities were in possession of or using drugs.

      When asked about the policy, one of Nixon’s closest aids, who worked on the bill had this say, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities…Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

      This is an historical example of institutional racism, but it has lasting effects, especially with the racial breakdown of our prison system, and that many minor drug offenses were given harsh prison sentences, and that majority of these people were black. This all despite the fact that majority of drugs users in this country, proportionally not just statistically, are white.

      I would encourage you to join us at the BLM rally this evening where you can stand and be together with your community in your belief that all lives matter, because we believe that too, but unfortunately, and for far too long, black lives have been forgotten about in many many ways.

      All lives wont matter, until black lives matter too.

  2. Anthony McKay Anthony McKay June 2, 2020

    To whom it may concern,

    I have lived in Auburn, WA. for over 15 years and I support peaceful demonstrations, not rioting or looters.
    I will self quarantine and will not attend the protest physically but I will be there in spirit.
    Peaceful protestors are welcomed, looters and rioters are not.

    Be sane, be safe and be peaceful.
    Tony

  3. Y Y June 2, 2020

    Peaceful protest? Awesome how the Auburn Examiner can tell the future. I hope it is peaceful.

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