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Seattle’s interim police chief condemns violence toward police at protests

nterim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz listens to a question during a news conference about changes being made at the department Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)



The statement comes after a 19-year-old accused of striking an officer in the head with an aluminum bat was charged with first-degree assault

October 21, 2020: Credit – Sara Jean Green for The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Monday denounced ongoing property destruction and violence targeting officers in light of a first-degree assault charge filed last week against a 19-year-old Kirkland man who is accused of striking an officer in the head with an aluminum baseball bat.

The officer was hit hard enough in the back of the head on Sept. 26 to crack his protective helmet, which likely saved his life, Diaz said in a news conference at Seattle police headquarters.

“This is not protest. This is not civil disobedience. This is violence,” he said, adding residents in certain neighborhoods are now too scared to go outside at night and business owners are frustrated by graffiti and windows that are repeatedly broken out.

For those who engage in property damage and violence, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) “will investigate and hold you accountable,” Diaz said.

Demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality have continued in Seattle nearly every day in the months after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, with confrontations between police and protesters leading to injuries among both demonstrators and officers. SPD has faced criticism for its use of force against peaceful protesters.

In October, the protests have been small in size and continue to be mostly peaceful, with sporadic property damage reported. Police have made at least two dozen arrests during protests this month, for charges including property destruction, assault, failure to disperse, and rendering criminal assistance.

In discussing the first-degree assault charge filed Friday against Jacob Greenberg, Diaz said the 19-year-old expressed remorse in a text message to a friend — not that he struck the officer, but that the officer was wearing a helmet. Greenberg was booked Friday on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree attempted arson, and first-degree reckless burning and remains at the King County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

He also quoted another Greenberg text included in charging documents, in which Greenberg is accused of writing that he wanted to slit the throats of all SPD officers.

“All SPD officers deserve to be safe on the job, too,” said the interim chief. “We’re focused on trying to stop some of the violence that’s going on.”

Diaz said he’s committed to ensuring officers are equipped with protective gear and the department is getting goggles to protect officers from laser lights amid reports of lasers being shined into their eyes.

Diaz also addressed the departure of 39 Seattle police officers in September alone, and said those departures came about as a result of conversations in the city about defunding the police department. Many of them weren’t sure whether they would be laid off, so applied for positions with other area law-enforcement agencies, he said.

“Right now, we’re keeping our department as whole as possible,” said Diaz. “We don’t want to focus on nightly demonstrations.”

So far this year, police have collected 2,400 shell casings and taken 820 guns off the streets, with officers on pace to recover more than 1,000 firearms by the end of 2020, said Diaz, noting the number of shootings in the city are at their highest level in 11 years. He also said the city has seen an increase in homicides, which according to Seattle Times data has exceeded 40 homicides for the first time in recent memory.

(c)2020 The Seattle Times

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In The News

At Least 13 Shot, 1 Dead in Tenn. Grocery Store Shooting



Collierville’s police chief called the shooting at Kroger grocery store “the most horrific event that’s occurred in” the city’s history.

September 23, 2021 – By Nelson Oliveira – Source New York Daily News

A gunman shot and killed at least one person and injured at least 12 more in a shooting Thursday afternoon at a Kroger in a Memphis suburb.

The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Collierville police chief Dale Lane told reporters at a press conference.

The chief said officers were still working Thursday afternoon to locate all the victims from the mass shooting and determine their conditions. Lane called it “the most horrific event that’s occurred in Colliverville history” and said the 12 wounded people were transported to multiple hospitals with “very serious injuries.”

Neither the shooter nor the victims have been identified.

The first shots were fired around 1:30 p.m. local time, with the first police officers reaching the scene four minutes later, according to Lane.

After the shooting stopped, cops went room to room and aisle to aisle in search of employees and shoppers who had been hiding since the bullets started flying. At least one person hid in a freezer, while another escaped to the roof, Lane said.

The shooter’s car was in the Kroger parking lot, and police were waiting Thursday afternoon for equipment to fully examine the vehicle, Lane said.

©2021 New York Daily News. 

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Man Shoots Calif. Officer Before Standoff with Police



An Oakland police officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition after he was shot by a man who then barricaded himself before police convinced him to surrender.

September 22, 2021 – By Rick Hurd – Source Mercury News

A person shot an Oakland police officer early Wednesday morning and later barricaded himself before crisis negotiators were able to convince him to surrender, police said.

In a series of posts on Twitter, police said the officer was in stable condition at a hospital after being shot on Telegraph Avenue.

Police said they recovered a gun from the scene.

The suspect barricaded himself with a knife in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, police said. Negotiators and members of the Oakland Police Department’s mental health team went to the scene and convinced the suspect to surrender around 8:25 a.m., police said.

The suspect had some minor self-inflicted wounds from the knife, police said. Police later recovered the knife.

(c)2021 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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Tennessee K-9 Shot Multiple Times During Foot Chase



The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K-9 needed surgery and was in “semi-stable” condition after being wounded by gunfire in Cleveland.

September 23, 2021 – By Ben Benton – Source Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

Authorities in Cleveland, Tennessee, said a Bradley County Sheriff’s Office police K-9 was shot multiple times during a foot chase Wednesday morning in the woods near the Toyota of Cleveland dealership at Interstate 75’s exit 20.

Police are seeking at least four men in connection with the shooting.

The department’s K-9, Joker, had surgery Wednesday and was reported in “semi-stable” condition afterwards.

The dog has been in service with the department for the last five years and “is a cherished, loyal and devoted BCSO family member,” sheriff’s spokesperson Alana Shell said in a social media post. “Joker is truly our hero.”

Joker’s handler, deputy Eduardo Choate, was uninjured during the incident, she said.

Police received a burglary call about 2 a.m. Wednesday for Harrison Pike apartment complex, Shell said in a statement.

Officers entered the apartment complex and spotted a white Jeep Gladiator speeding onto Georgetown Road, heading toward Interstate 75, Shell said. Officers caught up to the Jeep at mile marker 25 on I-75, confirmed it was reported stolen in Hamilton County and tried to stop the vehicle.

“The suspects fled on foot into the woods around Toyota of Cleveland at Exit 20,” she said. “K-9 Joker was deployed by his handler.

“Upon making contact with the suspects, K-9 Joker was shot multiple times,” she said. “The K-9 was immediately taken to an emergency animal hospital in Chattanooga.”

While Sheriff Steve Lawson activated the department’s SWAT members and other off-duty officers to set up a perimeter in an attempt to corral the suspects, authorities were told a blue/silver 2009 4-door Lexus IS 250 with no license plate and a loud muffler had been stolen from the Withrow Road area and the suspects were headed toward Chattanooga, police said.

A witness told police the vehicle was last seen occupied by at least four men who are now considered armed and dangerous, Shell said.

“We appreciate the immediate response and wonderful collaboration between the Cleveland Police Department, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and BCSO’s SWAT Team,” Lawson said in the statement.

Chattanooga police also assisted, he said.

The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available, Shell said.

(c)2021 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

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