Occupy Seattle Calls for Diaz Resignation

January 12, 2012
CONTACT: Phillip Neel
(530)340-1980

Occupy Seattle calls for Diaz resignation
SEATTLE, Wash — On Tuesday, January 3, the Occupy Seattle General Assembly joined the NAACP and other community groups in calling for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department. The call is in response to the recently released Department of Justice report on its investigation of the SPD.

“In consideration of the Seattle Police Department’s systematic use of excess force on the citizens of Seattle, its violent and unnecessary repression of nonviolent protesters and its disproportionate targeting of the most disenfranchised members of society, whether they be people of color or simply people without houses, Occupy Seattle hereby calls for the resignation of John Diaz, Chief of the Seattle Police Department and the prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct,” states the endorsed proposal, which passed with a large majority.

The first large action in the campaign will be on January 14, 4pm at 23rd and Union, in the Central District. The rally will then march on the east precinct at 12th and Pine to hold a public speak-out, in which members of the community who have been brutalized by SPD can publicly voice their grievances.

“The time is ripe,” said Liam Wright, one of the organizers behind Occupy Seattle’s Bring Diaz Down campaign. “I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and it’s always been like this. Excessive force, the explicit targeting of communities of color, constant abuse of the homeless. But we have a moment right now where the normalcy of it, the everyday acceptance, you know, is fractured. We have the possibility for something new.”

“And this isn’t just about what the DOJ has reported on,” added Carson Ivins, one of the presenters of the original proposal. “They mention the crackdown on Occupy, like how the use of pepper spray in Seattle is questionable, but I think it goes farther than just pepper spray. When we were rallying outside the Sheraton [to protest CHASE CEO Jamie Dimon] I was tackled by a plainclothes police officer for trying to help someone who had been knocked to the ground by a blow from one of the cops. This undercover, he literally tackled me from behind, smashed my face into the asphalt and nearly broke my arm. Excessive force is being used on us at almost every event, all because we are targeting the wealthy. And, you know, it’s the wealthy who the cops really protect and serve.”

When asked what Occupy Seattle would like to see come of the campaign, Wright said, “Well, we want to bring Diaz down. I mean, he needs to resign. After John T. Williams, after the repression of nonviolent protests, after this report, he just needs to leave. And all these officers repeatedly engaged in excessive force, in any kind of misconduct, they all need to be prosecuted. Not scolded. Prosecuted. But that’s just the beginning.”

“Afterwards we don’t just want a new face on this same practice,” added Ivins. “We want real systemic change. We are Occupy Seattle so we want a fundamental shift. I personally would like to see some sort of security commons, rather than a police department. Something that gives us a democratic infrastructure for oversight, a community-based network for public safety, instead of what we have right now. Because the department right now is simply a group of armed men who live in communities other than the ones they police. Armed men who are beholden to no one, especially the public.”
“The Justice Department found reasonable cause to believe that SPD engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,” the Department of Justice report states. It goes on to say that, although systematic racial discrimination could not be proven due to lack of good record-keeping on behalf of SPD, “the investigation raised serious concerns that some of SPD’s policies and practices, particularly those related to pedestrian encounters, could result in unlawful discriminatory policing.”

Further interviews and details can be obtained by contacting the Bring Diaz Down Committee at Bringdiazdown@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.occupyseattle.org

7 Responses to Occupy Seattle Calls for Diaz Resignation

  • REPUBLIC says:

    This GA rant is so stupid. Why can’t you think like normal folks? Do you think that Mr. Diaz will resign? Vote out incumbents and demand a new Chief of Police. Duh!! Do it right or your disorganization shall fail again!! Quit running like a chicken with its head cut off!

    • BoogaBooga says:

      You think it’s stupid that we’re demanding a new Chief of Police, but what you think we should do instead is demand a new Chief of Police? On what planet do you make sense?

      • REPUBLIC says:

        Okay, you failed to read the whole thing (I don’t mean to be loud, but I need it to stand out). IF YOU WANT THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO STEP DOWN, YOU AND THE REST OF US NEED TO VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENTS THAT SUPPORT THE IDIOT. ONCE THE THE NEW ELECTED OFFICIAL COMES IN THEN DEMAND THE NEW POLITICIAN TO FORCE THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO RESIGN. Is this clear enough? Do we see eye to eye now?

        • REPUBLIC says:

          No comments since I spelled it out better.

        • BoogaBooga says:

          I’m sorry, but I am completely incapable of reading anything posted in caps lock, so I didn’t catch a word of that. It just parses as gibberish to me – you could be talking about your grandmother’s apple pie recipe for all I know.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    PS: Sometimes the politicians will listen better when a written petition is on their desk; comparing voicing out which will fade away from the politicians ears.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    Petition: HR 3261 SOPA Violations

    Here is where you can sign a petition to stop this madness, however I must warn you the first signatory of this petition is Ron Paul, and if you feel you or this organization must stay biased don’t bother to sign it and let the government walk all over us. Either this OS is united and unbiased and sign the petition or just do what you do best and that is scream from the top your lungs of the injustices.

    In order for politicians to listen it has to be written and not just voiced out. Voices will fade away faster than written signed petitions.

    Let’s unite whether we are left, right, or center or forever hold your peace.

    http://dontcensorthenet.com/kill-sopa/

    Petition: WHO GETS THE NEXT U.S. JOBS?

    THIS IS AN ATTEMPT AT A REALLY BIG CAMPAIGN
    TO FORCE ALL POLITICIANS TO ANSWER THE QUESTION:

    WHO GETS THE NEXT U.S. JOBS?

    With Congress arriving back in town this week for the new year, we need as massive a campaign as possible to get their attention on THE QUESTION.

    I have to rely on you to spread the petition to bring tens of thousands of new allies into our internet army.

    Here’s how you spread the petition:

    Find the email in your in-box with the subject line “TV ads break taboo on jobs and immigration”. Then forward it widely.
    Go directly to the petition page at: http://numbersusa.com/petition?ID=39