Seattle Central District community ramps up after Judkins Park shooting
The upsurge in shootings in King County continued over the past weekend, but an incident prompted a local community to take action.
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“It was just an absolutely terrifying incident in the Central District on Saturday, in the middle of the day, roughly [2 p.m.], I believe, ”said Hanna Scott, reporter for KIRO Radio. “There was a small league team playing a youth football game in Judkins Park, full of parents, kids and everyone, and then there was gunfire.”
“Fortunately, no one was injured,” she added. “But it looks like maybe someone got out of a car, pulled towards the park, and then left. I don’t know if the police released more than that yet.”
Judkins Park, located in Seattle’s Central District, was packed with community members and kids ages 8 and 9 for the soccer game. Now the community is taking action to protect these children.
Omari Salisbury of Converge Media spoke with Acting Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz.
“There was a call to community members, and especially black men, to come to Judkins Park to provide a sense of security and well-being and worth and worth to these young children,” said Salisbury to Diaz. “The community is responding to this call. What do you think of something like that, where a community is like, “you know what, enough is enough, we’re going to go out, we’re going to stay here, we’re going to protect our children?” “”
“I think it’s fantastic,” Diaz replied. “This is what we need. We need the community to be involved in this. We know that we cannot have police officers in every part of our city all the time when violence could occur, so we rely on the community to find ways for them to intervene, be present and visible and make sure that when they see the potential escalating levels of violence that they can help say, “No, this can’t be here, this can’t happen in our children’s areas.” “
Shots fired across the city of Seattle and King County have already been said to be at an all time high, as Salisbury again noted in the Seattle Morning News. The Judkins Park incident stood out because the CD Panthers team is an institution in the community, Salisbury explained.
“Even those who have been moved, you will find that they drive into the park from Federal Way or Des Moines,” he said. “And the shots fired there in the middle of the game, it created a sense of chaos and terror among these young people, parents, fans and supporters.”
He says the community is now saying that is too much. They called on people to be present, specifically asking black men in the community to introduce themselves and reinforce the sense of security for the children.
Hopefully someone is held accountable, Salisbury noted.
“We’ve been trying to make people accountable, since I was in high school, since when I was there,” he said. “… Unfortunately, this gun violence problem has become generational here in our city. “
He says people bring peace, and it has been shown when the community comes out in force, such as the Juneteenth and Black on the Block celebrations which drew thousands of people.
“So the idea is that we also send a message to these shooters and the people with these guns, it’s like we’re going out in force, it’s not OK,” Salisbury said. “Our kids are valuable, our kids are valuable, and we’re going to show off for them.”
Salisbury also noted that there are a lot of people who stand up and talk and are “very loud” about homeless settlements near a school, for example, even when it is near a school. where they do not live, and their children do not attend.
“I want people to know that Judkins Park is right next to Washington Middle School,” Salisbury said. “And for the people concerned about safety around schools and everything in between, let’s go. Make your voice heard.
“We deserve security,” he added. “… The community will take the measures that are in our power to ensure safety, especially for our young people. “
While the community will be there, Salisbury says the police also have a role to play.
“The police get our tax dollars and every citizen of this city expects there to be public safety,” he said. “So of course there is a role, and that’s why I called Chief Diaz – I’m talking to everyone.”
“I want those elected or appointed to be able to speak directly to my community and tell them what they are going to do to make sure they are safe,” he added. “Now that’s a big deal maybe because it’s us, the black guys from the CD saying that, but it’s part and parcel of the rest of town. The rest of town, they’re demanding answers all the time. They demand, hey, what’s the plan and everything. And so, on behalf of my community members, I reached out to everyone I could. “
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After that shootout, the CD Panthers coaches taught the kids an escape plan in Judkins Park in case something like this happened again.
“Seattle, all of you here listening in the Emerald City, think about this: 8 and 9 year old kids out there and we have to learn how to evacuate the park in case there is more gunfire, shots in the park, ”Salisbury said. “It’s not OK, it’s not acceptable.”
“But the best thing is that we are taking this into our own hands as members of the community. We are going to show ourselves, we are going to be there for these children, ”he added.
No one, says Salisbury, is sitting on their hands.
“We’re like, man, if what we can do is be there, we’re going to be there,” he said.
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