The entire world is responding to the shooting death of Charleena Lyles at the hands of Seattle police officers. Anger and unimaginable grief are flowing, important courageous conversations are beginning, and we must all demand justice and transformational change. In the midst of this, 450 people are trying to normalize their lives and heal from the trauma of this tragic event. They are Charleena’s neighbors — and other than her extended family, they are the ones most directly impacted by the events that have played out over the past four days.
During this time a battalion of press has been on site, including clusters of satellite trucks and helicopter cams, ranks of reporters from alternative to network news, and, of course, live streaming cellphones bring the world to our doorstep as events unfold. At a residents’ meeting last night, they expressed how much the support of the broader community means to them right now. They also told us how important it is for the spotlight to move away from them so they can have privacy as they begin to heal.
These are their requests:
- Attend Black Lives Matters rallies. There is a march tonight (June 22) in downtown Seattle. Find information about BLM activities on Facebook.
- Contact your elected representatives and ask them what they are going to do ensure our communities are safe and our police and various care systems are held accountable.
- Write Mayor Murray to demand Magnuson Park families and other underserved communities be given a voice when it comes to policies that affect their community.
- Write Police Chief O’Toole & demand that the Seattle Police Department use inclusive outreach and engagement strategies to build bridges with Magnuson Park residents in order to stop the dehumanization of underserved residents.
- Donate to support programs and services at Sand Point by visiting: www.solid-ground.org/donate/supporting-our-sand-point-community
- Do not take pictures of Sand Point residents or their children without their permission. This is for their safety.
- Bring your children to play with our kids at the Brettler Family Place playground to foster a sense of community.
We are unspeakably thankful for our community’s outpouring of support for Charleena Lyles’ family as well as the people who live at Sand Point. We are grateful for your continuing respectfulness and your understanding as people heal from this trauma.