Update: SPD supporters rally outside precinct; protesters nearby

On the Delridge side of the Southwest Precinct, a group holding signs urging support for local police is staging the demonstration it had promised, with whistles and cheers every time a car passes (and some are honking in response). Across the street, there are a few counter-demonstrators chanting.

Arrivals are continuing; we’ve recorded video, including interviews with both sides, but wanted to get something up quick in case you drove by and wondered what was going on (we previewed it earlier today). There is also an SPD car at the scene, lights flashing, keeping guard. (update) As of 7 pm, we took a count: 34 police supporters, 4 counterdemonstrators (two more just joined the two in the photo above).

9:21 PM NOTE: The rally was scheduled to last until 8:30; we had to leave just past 8. By that point, the counterdemonstrators had crossed Delridge (by walking all the way down to the stoplight at Orchard, and then walking back south on the west side of the street toward the precinct). They stopped maybe 50 yards away; the police car that had been at the corner by the precinct moved down to that area (later moving back closer to the precinct, while flares were placed in the lane alongside both groups). Southwest Precinct Captain Steve Paulsen was at the precinct for the duration, frequently coming out to check on how things were going. When we left, those on hand in the two-block stretch from the southwest corner of Delridge/Webster to the midblock spot where the counterdemonstrators had stopped numbered 30 with police-support signs and six in the counterdemonstration group.

ADDED 10:08 PM: After the jump, four video clips:

First – we walked alongside the original group of police supporters (walking in front of them would have put our photographer in a traffic lane):

Next, we asked organizer Candace Peplowski to explain what message the rally was meant to send:

The counterdemonstrators’ chants:

And what one of them, Miles Partman, told us back when he and one other protester were across Delridge from the police-support group:

Organizer Peplowski says they are planning similar rallies April 15th at the South Precinct and April 20th at the North Precinct.

39 Replies to "Update: SPD supporters rally outside precinct; protesters nearby"

  • Watertowerjoey April 8, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    Good lookin’ pair.

  • Bella April 8, 2011 (8:01 pm)

    How do you know the supporters are the demontration and the opposition supporting that Birk goes to jail is the counter demonstration? I drove past and assumed it was the other way around. If you have a link to another article about this I’d appreciate it because I’m very interested in political/social movements and this it the first time I’ve seen one in my neighborhood. Thanks!

    • WSB April 8, 2011 (8:26 pm)

      Bella: We linked to our earlier story, which mentioned that the SPD supporters have been doing this outside the precincts. The counterdemonstrators announced their intentions in the comment section of that story. When we are back at HQ we’ll add our video interviews with reps of both. The demonstration was scheduled to go till 8:30; We had to leave shortly after 8.

  • west sea April 8, 2011 (8:40 pm)

    SPD rocks.

  • JoB April 8, 2011 (8:43 pm)

    SPD rocks
    An accountable SPD rocks more

  • Paul April 8, 2011 (9:42 pm)

    good cops rock and bad cops suck!

  • stillwaiting April 8, 2011 (9:43 pm)

    SPD sucks.

  • Testing HTML April 8, 2011 (10:09 pm)

    I’m with Paul! There are a whole bunch of great officers doing a great job and the occasional “embarrassment”.

    Ronald Smith, the well known Seattle pawn shop unit detective, police union official and proud patch holder in the Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club, is suing the Seattle Police Department for $169,800.

  • MB April 8, 2011 (10:34 pm)

    @Paul: the voice of reason ;)

  • I. Ponder April 8, 2011 (11:32 pm)

    If I want justice and think Ian Birk belongs in jail, does that make me a cop hater?

    The fact that the law shielded killer cop Ian Birk from prosecution, is what created mistrust of police by many people.

    That law and Ian Birk have done tremendous damage to community relations and to the reputation of ethical cops.

    Support good cops, and put the murderous ones in prison. Change the law that shielded Birk!

    • WSB April 8, 2011 (11:40 pm)

      FWIW IP – the point you make is related to the reason why I used the term “counterdemonstrators” as opposed to “anti-police protesters” … there probably was a more accurate term lurking somewhere like “demonstrators concerned about unethical police” or something like that. “Anti-police” would be something along the lines of “disband the police force,” not a suggestion here … TR

  • I. Ponder April 9, 2011 (12:40 am)

    I’ve yet to hear anyone affiliated with SPD speak out against what Ian Birk did or his ability to get away with what is commonly regarded as murder.

    I’d like to see some of the “support the police” demonstrators post their opinions here about that. Many people are not going to just move on and forget about it.

    Young people in particular are outraged by the way the case went and do not trust police as a result.

    SPD needs to do more than having family-members rallying and whining about their mistreatment. The law that shielded Birk needs to be thrown out. It gave him a free pass on murder.

  • beegone April 9, 2011 (1:06 am)

    I think we should be glad to have the kind of SPD officers that work in West Seattle. Every interaction I’ve had with an officer in my neighborhood has been respectful and professional. They’ve been so kind, like I’m talking to a neighbor. One officer even thanked me for calling 911 when I saw a stranger walking around my neighbor’s house. On the other hand, I’ve had to call 911 when I’m downtown on the bus and those officers treated me like I was the problem. As if I was bothering them and annoying them. It was really frustrating how bad they treated me.
    Yes, there are “bad apples” in every kind of organization. I just think we should be glad that we have good ones that patrol over here.

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (7:14 am)

    i was the one they interviewed also we having to police the police and also hold police accountable and end police brutality because spd obviosouly does not hold thei officers accountablebasicly what i said in video above

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (7:20 am)

    west seattle blog ask police to put out flares for you but probaly not evben dop that because not accountable for police brutyality or public safty

  • Get a Life April 9, 2011 (7:48 am)

    Hey Miles

    That weed or whatever mind altering substance you are on doesn’t bode well as you attempt to express yourself here. Great example of many of the forlorn protesters. Keep it up!

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (8:44 am)

    YOU KNOW WHAT MY I BEEN AROUND POLICE ALL MY LIFE/since i was born SO I KNOW WHAT POLICE DID IS WRONG AND THE SUPPORTERS ARE IN DENIAL so atleast I am able to let voice be heard and say what POLICE did wrong and need to change and behave themselves

  • Realist. April 9, 2011 (9:04 am)

    What about those of us who support the police, and support the guild, but also want transparency and accountability? I’m neither an anarchist nor a civic cheerleader. I support what they do, but I also appreciate how the stress of the job can affect them in negative ways. How do you show that kind of support?

  • NotMe April 9, 2011 (10:06 am)

    I see that Mister Get A Life has now become the grammar police. See? The Grammar Police Department (GPD) has already shown us how THAT police force treats the citizens with brutality. I am surprised that comment was able to stay.

  • cj April 9, 2011 (10:08 am)

    So these protestors are using a your with us or your against us type thinking? I don’t understand how helping a bad cop is supporting the police. They need encouragement to know that they can police their own and still have the support of the public.

    Bad cops hurt police forces.

  • Norma Berube-Adler April 9, 2011 (10:36 am)

    Good versus evil. How to tell the difference? At some point all this has to be put behind you. Accountability didn’t work so what’s next? Do we have the full story?

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (10:52 am)

    like cj comment so true

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (10:55 am)

    praise them when they hold officers accountable but you I know stressful job been around police but when police are not held accoutable ,it is a shame and you can apperciate by paying taxes but the last 12 months have been a waste of tax payers dollars by seattle police

  • David April 9, 2011 (10:59 am)

    When I drove past the demonstration yesterday, I didn’t realize there were actually TWO demonstrations. I saw the signs that were protesting the murder of John Williams by the SPD, and decided to honk in support of those who were protesting against policy brutality. Now I realize that at the point I honked my horn, I might have shown support for the murderous SPD. Damn!

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (11:01 am)

    dear ponder well i am as close as you get my mom worked for spd for 20 years and i am a anti police brutality activist. now see differnce. the supporters of police re in denial and i asm not. i support spd but i dont support police brutlity

  • miles partman April 9, 2011 (11:02 am)

    no david. we noticed honked you honked to end police brutality thank you

  • Pete April 9, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    You can support SPD and still not agree with the actions of all of the SPD personell. To blame SPD for not prosecuting Ian Burk is just ridiculous. SPD does not decide whether to bring charges or not that is up to the Prosecutor’s Office.
    I have tremondous respect for the men and women of the SeattLe Police Dept. they have one of the most thankless and stressful jobs one can have. they are the ones that answer your 911 call when you feel threatened, they are the ones that have to deal with the folks on our streets that might have mental health issues and have no where to turn for help, they are the ones answer the call when no one else will. So to blame the entire SPD for all the worng in the world is just not right. When you look at the total number of citizen contacts during the course of the year and then compare that to the number of issues and or complaints that come up the % is so small. Every company in the world would like to have that track record I can assure you.

    So next time you see a police officer thank him/her for the great job that they are doing to protect us here in Seattle.

  • Watertowerjoey April 9, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    Obama/Partman 2012!

  • MILES PARTMAN April 9, 2011 (4:47 pm)


  • Nulu April 9, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    “So to blame the entire SPD for all the wrong in the world is just not right.” – What a deliciously hallucinatory statement.

    ” When you look at the total number of citizen contacts during the course of the year and then compare that to the number of issues and or complaints that come up the % is so small.” –
    Pete, that is exactly what the Feds did and chose to investigate.

  • MILES PARTMAN April 9, 2011 (6:58 pm)

    @ nul. we not blaming all spd were saying spd not holding their officers accountable

  • I. Ponder April 10, 2011 (12:35 am)

    Your blanket support and saluting of ALL police makes you an American patriot. Thank you for supporting the police. That said, your attitude makes me want to gag. I’m a white guy over 50. I have never been hassled by police. I grew up believing police were the good guys. Most police are good people, just like most of the rest of us are decent people. Police are given rights and responsibilities the rest of us do not have. When a cop murders a person and is not held accountable because of the law, it’s bad for all of us.

    I’m interested in finding out how the law that kept Ian Birk out of jail became a law. I imagine it was lobbied for by SPD and the police union. A get out of jail card. If that’s the case, they are responsible for the law and its consequences.

    I have 2 smart law abiding teen sons. They and their friends have been hassled and disrespected by police for no good reason on several occasions. I really should thank those officers for not shooting my children and their friends, even though they could do so and not go to jail.

    If you’re a middle class white adult you’re likely to be treated differently by SOME cops than if you’re of a different type. Your experience is not everyone’s experience.

    • WSB April 10, 2011 (12:51 am)

      Maybe more people have been “hassled” by cops than we all collectively think … my teenage son was out walking alone down the block late one night, decided to try to run – in flip-flops – and somebody called the police to report a man on the run at 1 am. He was tall enough and stocky enough to be adult. And then I could tell you the tale of how I stood for a few minutes next to a mailbox in Hawaii at age 12 in broad daylight to listen to a favorite song on a portable radio, and got called in by someone 12 stories up as a suspected mail thief. Cops caught up with me a couple blocks away. But I digress. I wanted to say, I looked up the law. You may be surprised to hear that actually, the law in question apparently represented a TIGHTENING of standards, 25 years ago … at least as reported by the Times (WSB partner) in this sidebar after the Lakewood shootings and the killing of the killer:

  • MILES PARTMAN April 10, 2011 (8:11 am)


    as i said before you can be patrotic when support police but when you support police for murdering inccoent people that wrong

  • MILES PARTMAN April 10, 2011 (8:14 am)


    our next anti police brutality rally on april 15th

  • I. Ponder April 10, 2011 (10:08 am)


    Thanks for posting the link to the article which says:

    “Deadly force is permitted only when a fleeing suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others, the justices said.

    That standard has been written into Washington state law, RCW 9A.16.040.”

    In the Ian Birk case, he was able to get off because he BELIEVED the suspect posed a significant threat. This case was family dinner conversation from the start, with my 17-year old son griping that the cop was going to get away with murder and me countering that was NOT going to happen and justice would occur.

    Boy, was I wrong. So, my 17-year old son was right and worldly over 50 me was wrong. Sometimes we need to change our views based on facts, as painful as that may be.

    Seems that SPD’s solution to the issues is to hire a PR consultant.

    The part of the law that shielded Birk because he BELIEVED Williams was a threat needs to be removed. I haven’t heard that there’s a movement to push for that. I support the right of police to justifiably defend themselves and the public, with appropriate force, lethal if absolutely necessary.

  • MILES PARTMAN April 10, 2011 (11:07 am)

    “Deadly force is permitted only when a fleeing suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others,” by ponder

    thse police brutality victimsdo not not pose a threat

  • Nulu April 10, 2011 (12:38 pm)

    I Ponder seems sympathetic, yet you delete the part of the law that allowed the shooting, as the officer’s claim that he ‘believed’ there was a threat.

    “thse police brutality victimsdo not not pose a threat.” sic -Partman

    Maybe true from your perspective Miles, and mine. But you can not claim to know whether the officer ‘believed’ there was a threat.

    “The part of the law that shielded Birk because he BELIEVED Williams was a threat needs to be removed.”- I. Ponder

  • MILES PARTMAN April 10, 2011 (3:25 pm)

    null and poder. i would love to hae conversation at next support police rally as you know what look like because of video and like to see what you truly think. at south precient 6:30 pm april 15 2011

Sorry, comment time is over.