Inslee Press Conference Calls Protests “Beautiful” –Pledges Police Changes
Gov. Inslee in his press conference Monday listed off a variety of protests that happened over the weekend, saying "thousands of people in our state have been crying out for justice."
He said we need to fight against the "systemic racism that has plagued communities" for years.
He spoke of the recent Tacoma police related death of Manny Ellis, who died while in police WSP custody. The results of the investigation that he said is under way will be sent to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, possibly to determine if any criminal action will be taken.
He said we need action, policies and rapidly as possible, he said local leaders cannot continue to just reject racist ideas, but we need action and need it now.
He spoke about having to re think policing in Washington State. He said he will convene a group of black and other communities leaders as well as law enforcement to find proposals to submit to the legislature. He wants to write meaningful legislation.
He spoke about three things he believes are actions.
- Creating a state investigative unit separate from law enforcement that would investigate any allegations or incidents of police brutality etc.
- Rethink police use of force, namely chokeholds.
- Create a legally binding and enforceable obligation that offices report misconduct by fellow offices. (italics added for emphasis).
He said police conduct may be the by product of systemic racism. And he then pointed out the social inequities that we need to take action.
Then he brought in Secretary of Health John Wiesman, who told those who participated in protests or rallies to stay home for 14 days...bringing in the COVID aspect.
He also called out Yakima County for increases he called "alarming" in COVID cases.
When asked by a reporter about the conflicting message seemingly coming from the state, supporting protesters and yet wanting to tamp down COVID cases. Inslee responded by saying "It's a lot like life, it's complicated...." He admitted it's a lot like life and admitted the two points appear contradictory. He then said "thousands of people have made the decision that the virus of racism is important enough to fight back by peaceful protest." See the video at 27:52 mark.
to watch the press conference for yourself, click on the button below.