PNWFC 2020 Holiday Wishes
There are a lot of people talking about how hard it will be to be alone for Christmas. Talking about how they will be missing those special loved ones they traditionally spend the holiday with.
For many, COVID-19 has brought a new reality of isloation and uncertainty to the holiday season. One that is,
unfortunately, very familiar to some already.
Families can lose loved ones to police violence. Or, police might take children from their parents and put them in foster care where they are often abused. Maybe their loved ones are deported by ICE.
At holiday events across the country, police have ensured that where once there was someone’s loved one, now there’s an empty chair. Instead at the holiday table, a partner’s jokes are missing. A grandchild’s dance no longer entertains the family. A father cannot reassure his children in this terrifying time.
And when Family Members must face that emptiness, they must also reflect on who took their loved ones away and why. The government murdered and harmed and removed their loved ones, for police are part of the government. The government that is supposed to represent them and create a place where they can pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Instead police harrass the Families for speaking out, criminalizing their grief and harming the community further.
The losses are many. And devastating. Every day of every year.
This year, Families will not only be missing their loved ones. Many must navigate the holiday season without each other, too.
This holiday season, the Family Members of Pacific Northwest Family Circle extend our deepest sympathies to all those whose loved ones are not present at their holiday table, whether it be from police or COVID or both. May your angels in heaven bring comfort and healing to you. May you be reunited with your angels on earth.
Silent Voices - by Donna Hayes
Silent Voices, a film by PNWFC Family Member Donna Hayes (Grandmother of Moose Hayes aka Quanice Hayes) has just won an award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council! Watch it for free online!
“The police gave one account of what happened and of who Quanice “Moose” Hayes was, and that was and is the official word. And many Oregonians believed the police…Their judgments were based solely on the accounts of the people who had killed him. This was a situation Hayes sought to rectify: “I wanted to give my grandson his chance to tell his side of the story.” (From a great article by Bobby Bermea for ArtsWatch)
PNWFC Statement on the Police Murder of George Floyd
Police murder of community members is literally an everyday event. In about the time it takes to get a good night’s sleep, police will have killed someone else in the U.S.
Murders by police aren’t well tracked by any government agency, mostly just advocates and activists combing the news. We know that we miscount deaths by police, so there are probably even more. The numbers that we do have still tell an important story.
Rick Hill has tracked murders by police since 2000 on a website called “Fatal Encounters”. “Black/African-American” were 27% of the police murders. They are currently only 13% of the U.S. population.
“Native-Americans/Alaskans” were killed in 1% of the cases and are about 1% of the population. This is at odds with other research that finds indigenous people are killed at a higher rate than any other demographic. It’s worth noting that 25 million people were murdered through government-backed genocide to found this country. This severely reduced their present-day population. Police murder of indigenous people continues the ongoing violence led by the U.S. government.
“Hispanic/Latino” people were 16% of police murders and are 18% of the population. “European-American/White” people were murdered by police 47% of the time. They are 60% of the population. In the last 20 years, police killed 28,174 people of all races in the United States.
At Pacific Northwest Family Circle, we know a person’s race dictates how likely they are to be murdered by police, but not *if* they are at risk. People of all races have some risk of being killed by police.
When police kill our Loved Ones, they put us in a club that we never wanted to be in. We know what that feels like. And we feel the same about George Floyd’s Family. We are truly sad that they can understand our pain, because our Loved Ones were murdered by police, too.
Black Lives Matter have always mattered. We will say Black Lives Matter for as long as we have the breath to do so. We are brokenhearted to watch the brutal murder of George Floyd, because our Loved Ones were killed brutally.
Murder is brutal.
Whether killed because they were Black or in a mental health crisis or by mistake, the result is the same. Our Loved Ones will never come back. And this never gets easier. It gets harder.
Because police murder happens every day, and we must live with it every day.
Justice for George Floyd and #AllStolenLives
Justice for Christopher Kalonji
Justice for Bodhi Phelps
Justice for Chance Thompson
Justice for Quanice Hayes
Justice for Terrell Johnson
Justice for Chase Hammer
Justice for Brad Lee Morgan
Justice for Daniel Isaac Covarrubias
Justice for Alex Dold
Justice for Captain Brian A. Babb
Justice for (alive) Andre Thompson
Justice for (alive) Bryson Chaplin
Justice for Deano Case
Justice for Remi Sabbe
Justice for John Elifritz
Justice for Jesse Powell
Justice for Patrick Kimmons
Justice for Matthew Burroughs
Justice for Andre Gladen
Justice for Giovann Joseph-McDade
Oregon DA for the People
Pacific Northwest Family Circle is a proud partner in the Oregon DA for the People Coalition. A County’s District Attorney is the most powerful position in the local criminal legal system. Voters decide who has that power and what values drive their decisions. The Oregon DA for the People platform sends a message to DA candidates that, if elected, they must act on the values that will result in a just and fair local criminal legal system.
Visit the Oregon DA for the People website to:
- Read the demands, developed under the leadership of people most impacted by the criminal legal system
- Endorse the platform as an individual or organization
- Learn how to get involved
Police Killings Info
- Fatal Encounters “creating an impartial, comprehensive, and searchable national database of people killed during interactions with police”
- Police Violence Trends by police department. Thanks to ssinyangwe for compiling this and other police killing data.
- Killed by Police. A list of each loved one lost across the country.
- The Counted. A database maintained by the newspaper The Guardian for the years of 2015 and 2016.
- Report on experiences of Families of Loved Ones lost to police violence, by David Baker, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Conventry University
Laws on Police Accountability
- Legislation Info: Campaign Zero. “We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”
From the Campaign Zero folks: