Happening now: Remembering Officer Brenton

(scroll down to see added info, video and links)

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
The Seattle Times (WSB partner) has a map with a timeline pointing to multimedia coverage of the procession that’s been under way for more than an hour; see it here. Meantime, we are adding photos taken for WSB by Christopher Boffoli along the procession route.

12:03 PM UPDATE: SPD has shared the program that is being distributed at this afternoon’s memorial. Mayor Nickels, Governor Gregoire and former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske are among those who are speaking. You can see the program (2-page PDF) here. And here’s Christopher’s video of scenes from the procession:

More coverage from fellow independent community-collaborative news sites Capitol Hill Seattle, here, and Central District News (whose editor Scott is at KeyArena and updating what he’s seeing), here. Live video coverage is being streamed right now by KING5 – keep in mind the memorial itself begins at 1. ADDED 1:06 PM: The Times reports that St. James Cathedral is holding a prayer service at 6:30 tonight, all welcome, on behalf of Officer Brenton, the Fort Hood victims, and all those lost to violence.

14 Replies to "Happening now: Remembering Officer Brenton"

  • cathyw November 6, 2009 (11:21 am)

    Thanks for covering this and for the photos. There was a group – more like a formation, really – of about 12 motorcycle police officers riding along Alki about 10:45 am. It almost looked as if they were participating in the ceremony “vicariously.” Not sure that makes sense, but that’s what it looked like. I wondered why they were part of the official procession.

  • cjboffoli November 6, 2009 (11:37 am)

    cathyw: Were they Seattle officers? The reason I ask is that it looked like there were hundreds of police forces represented in the procession today. In fact, I saw motorcycles and cruisers from as far away as British Columbia, Idaho and Montana. The motorcycles were first in the procession. So if they finished and were not going to Key Arena, maybe some broke off for a bit of sightseeing.

  • WSHC November 6, 2009 (11:48 am)

    I’m thankful SPD bike cops still use the old-style Harleys instead of the crotch-rockets used by EPD.

  • cathyw November 6, 2009 (11:53 am)

    That’s probably what happened. It definitely looked like they were more than just a group of cops on patrol. What was different was that there seemed to be a “leader” who was giving the other riders formation instructions by beeping his horn. At the sound of the horn, the riders parked their bikes, took off their helmets and placed them near the handlebars, all at the same time. I started to go over and take a closer look – they had parked in front of Sun Fish. I had my camera, but I just decided to leave them alone. I felt like a photo would have been intruding. So I didn’t find out where they were from.

  • JAT November 6, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    I thought the bike cops rode Ralleighs…

  • Angel BN November 6, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    I love that we show our appreciation to our law enforcement, I am SO proud of our community, so proud.

  • bridge to somewhere November 6, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    it’s unfortunate it sometimes takes tragedy to appreciate how important people are to you. i found myself near tears the other day thinking about this officer and the fact that i’ve taken for granted what he and his colleagues do for us every single day. the world can be an ugly, ugly place — thank god there are people who are willing to put their lives on the line to keep the order.

  • KB November 6, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    I happened to be near the route where it turned from Pike to Broadway this morning and watched for several minutes. What an extraordinary site. I have felt that this is not only a memorial for Officer Brenton, but for all of those who have died in the line of duty and everyone who continues to serve. Thank you all.

  • Kelly November 6, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    The memorial service was so touching and so very sad. Officer Brenton sounded like an incredible man and I wish his family peace and comfort.

  • with heartbreak November 6, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    The processional was very moving. Great job WSB and Christopher for the images. The memorial was tough to watch. Specifically, the video with pictures of Tim and his family set to music, and the heartbreaking ‘3 George 13’ final radio call just made me weep.

    Police officers in this city are often vilified and criticized in everything they do. People jump in to armchair quarterback incidents that they can’t understand unless they were there from the beginning. For the officers it can be a very lonely profession because very few understand what it takes to do it. So it is heartwarming to see this outpouring of support from this citizens around the state and nation. As we could see today from the video in honor of Timothy’s life, police officers are indeed human. Outside of their jobs like many us they lead warm, loving lives full of family, laughter and personal hobbies. It’s just their jobs that are not perceived as warm and loving at times.

    I am hoping through this incredibly sad loss a more human face has been put on Seattle’s police department. Very few in Seattle really know just how excellent The Seattle Police Department is. I think police are often thought of as ‘blue collar workers’ or people who aren’t smart. Nothing could be farther from the truth in Seattle. The Seattle Police Department is one of the most highly regarded and best paying departments in the country and they follow a rigorous 6-9 month testing, hiring and training process. To add, the officers are also some of the most highly educated and trained in the country.

    Unfortunately, negative connotations with simply the English word ‘police’ combined with deep-seated cultural mores from our past tend to reflect on our officers today. Overall they need our support and appreciation. Tim was working peacefully when he was killed. He is Seattle’s PEACE officer and I like to believe that his legacy will live on for all of us to learn from. Peace be with you.

  • miws November 6, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    Definitely a very moving memorial.


    I had thought about attending in person, or at least gone to somewhere along the procession line, but decided watching on TV would give the best perspective.


    with heartbreak; I’ve always found the “final radio call” in ceremonies such as this to be an extremely haunting and moving experience.



  • Brian November 6, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    Actually “Bike” cops ride a combination of Cannondale and Trek unless they provide their own ride.

  • WSHC November 6, 2009 (5:24 pm)

    You’re right brian. Sorry, motorcycle officers, for using a dorogatory term.

  • mitch November 6, 2009 (8:11 pm)

    My heart goes out to the family. My own kid loves Halloween and one of the first things I thought of when I heard about the shooting was that his poor family will now hate that word and holiday, probably for generations. One horrible second that changed everything for them.
    I’ve worked with cops and one of the first things you notice is that they’re pretty much like everyone else. They go work, try to do the best job they can, collect their wages and go home. For the most part it’s a good career with decent pay and hours, and if you like guns and fast driving it’s a great job. And most cops I’ve met like both. Me too. Sure it can be dangerous, but that’s part of the allure. If you’re professional and keep your wits about you, the dangerous moments are few and far between, and most cops go years without having to draw their guns.
    My annoyance is with the word hero, and all the sentimentality around that. Why is Tim Brenton any more a hero than a logger in Aberdeen who works 15 back breaking hours a day trying to support his family for half the money a Seattle cop makes? It’s certainly a lot more dangerous and selfless, if that counts as heroic.
    People don’t become cops to save the world and it’s childish to think of them as super heroes. It’s an interesting job that pays well, and draws the good as well as the bad, like any job.
    This was a senseless act of violence and to glorify it with maudlin histrionics no doubt thrills the a**hole that did this. Tim Brenton was just another working guy trying to support his family who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think the shallow fascination the press and some of the public have with the murder is creepy and weird. And demeans Tim Brenton.

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