public forum: stop police brutality in our community
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public forum: stop police brutality in our community

09.2010 Williams Rally 01.jpg

Friday, November 5, 7:30pm at New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave S. A panel of civil rights attorneys and grassroots organizers will address concerns about lack of police accountability that have arisen during the recent surge of shooting deaths and abuse complaints.

Civil rights attorneys Lem Howell and Val Carlson, social worker Griffin Street and Native American activist Feanette Black Bear will kick off a community discussion and offer solutions to escalating police violence.

The panel will include renowned civil rights attorney Lem Howell, who has defended victims of police brutality since the 1960s, starting with the case of Robert Reese. Reese was an African-American man who was shot by Seattle police and whose death was deemed an "excusable homicide". Howell appealed the ruling all the way to the Washington Supreme Court, where a 5-4 vote failed to bring any charges against the officer involved. Howell was a pioneer, taking action when others chose to remain silent.

Feanette Black Bear of the Lakota Nation will speak about her 15-year friendship with First Nation carver John T. Williams, who was shot four times by SPD officer Ian Burk on August 30. Ms. Black Bear, who is also an advocate for the homeless, has been active in the protests and hearings that erupted after Williams' death.

Panelist Val Carlson is a veteran civil liberties attorney and outspoken critic of the September 24th FBI raids on antiwar advocates in Minneapolis and Chicago. Carlson is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and has played a leading role in winning landmark legal cases in Washington State that upheld the privacy rights of political organizations. She is a longtime advocate of an elected civilian police review board with enforcement powers.

Griffin Street is a clinical social worker at Sound Mental Health serving poor, mentally ill, often homeless clients. She will share her observations about the difficulties mentally ill people and/or those living on the streets often have with the police and criminal justice system.

Doors open at 6:30pm. Door donation is $3 and snack plates will be available for a $6 donation. The event is part of the First Friday Forum Series sponsored by the Freedom Socialist Party. For more information or to reserve childcare, please call 722-2453 or email moc.gnirpsdnim|elttaesPSF#moc.gnirpsdnim|elttaesPSF.


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