June 24, 2020
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich
1100 W Mallon Avenue
Spokane, WA 99260
Dear Sheriff Knezovich:
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, demand you cancel the October training you organized for Spokane County deputies, “Mindset Bootcamp,” by so-called “Killology researcher,” Dave Grossman and Dave Smith. Further, we demand you cancel any planned “community summit” with Grossman or Smith in Spokane. Instead, we call on you and your department to participate in a community listening session with Spokane County Black, Indigenous, and communities of color about the mental health impacts of policing on these communities.
After the nation watched the horrific killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, a spotlight was shown on police brutality against Black, brown, and Indigenous people. Our community learned the names of other Black people who died senselessly at the hands of law enforcement officers across the country, people like Breonna Taylor, who was shot at least eight times while sleeping in her own bed by Louisville, Kentucky police executing a bogus no-knock warrant for a suspect already in custody. We remembered the names of Black, Indigenous, and community members of color killed by law enforcement in Washington State and Spokane County—Joshua Spotted Horse, Eagle Michael, Clando Anitok, Manuel Ellis, Che Taylor, Renee Davis, Bennie Branch, Stonechild Chiefstick, and too many more.,,,,, And in response, on May 31, thousands of people marched through downtown Spokane to protest police brutality against Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Protests have continued each week since.
Further, as you are no doubt aware, Initiative 940 was approved by voters in November 2018. The second section of Initiative 940 clearly explains the reason the people exercised their Washington State Constitutional right to create legislation: “The intent of the people in enacting this act is to make our communities safer. This is accomplished by requiring law enforcement officers to obtain violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force.”
After Initiative 940 and 2019’s related House Bill 1064 became law, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission convened a large and diverse group of stakeholders to engage in negotiated rulemaking. These groups included law enforcement organizations such as Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, Washington State Fraternal Order of Police, and Black Law Enforcement Association of Washington.
During this painstaking process, communities across Washington, including Spokane, were invited for nearly six months to provide comments and input about the new training rules at in-person community forums around the state, as well as by email, U.S. mail, and online input forms. Stakeholders tackled this input and worked on multiple drafts of rules for these new de-escalation and mental health training requirements. The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission adopted the final rules on de-escalation training in June 2019. 
Finally, Sheriff, the community has spoken very recently through petitions directed at you, and an editorial in the Spokesman Review, calling for you to cancel the “Mindset Bootcamp” training and planned “summit” that includes Grossman. The communities most heavily impacted by policing—Black and Indigenous— have clearly and consistently spoken about the changes needed in local law enforcement. Yet, your insistence on continuing with this training indicates you have not listened. We do not need to attend a sales pitch by Grossman to know what he is offering. We understand from his own words on his website, myriad videos of his presentations easily found online, and his many publications, his pseudoscientific, militaristic perspective, and we reject it.
Now it is time for you to listen to the perspectives of the communities you police and serve, and the impact of that policing on our communities’ health. While the tragic and needless deaths of Black, Indigenous and people of color at the hands of law enforcement have been weighing heavily on our minds, nonfatal encounters with law enforcement officers also have negative impacts on the mental health of those community members. We invite you and the sheriff’s deputies to come and hear from those you serve in the community at a listening session.
Angelique P Sam
Carmen Pacheco Jones
Rickey “Deekon” Jones
Organizers of both the “Killology Kills Black People: Ban the
Training in Spokane County” petition
that has gained over 2,800 signatures and this letter signed by the following 69
organizations and 372 individuals
ACLU of Washington
All of Us or None
The Arc of Spokane
The Arc of Washington State
Pui-Yan Lam & Rowena Pineda
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane Chapter
Angel Tomeo Sam
The Bail Project
Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga Law School
Center for Independence
Columbia Legal Services
Compassionate Addiction Treatment
Disability Action Center – NW, Inc.
Disability Rights Washington
Divine Shine Healing Center
Front and Centered
Greater Spokane Progress
I Did the Time
IFJC – International Families Justice Coalition
Janice Miller Krummel
Inland Northwest Business Alliance
Jewels Helping Hands
Korean American Bar Association of Washington
Latino Community Fund of WA State
Law Office of Kelly Vomacka
Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
Lisa M. Stone
Levy Law Firm, PLLC
Carmen Pacheco Jones
Living with Conviction
Joshua P. Maurer
MOMI–Mothers of the Mentally Ill
Muslims for Community, Action and Support
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Lewis County
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Spokane
Lauren B. Simonds
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAIMI) of Washington State
Natasha L. Hill, P.S.
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
Northwest Health Law Advocates
Jorge L. Baron
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Northwest Justice Project
Northwest Justice Project, Spokane Office
Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds
PAVE: Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment
Shar Lichty and Liz Moore
Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS)
Taylor G Buck
Post-Prison Education Program
Post-Prison Education Program
QLaw Bar Association of Washington
QLaw Foundation of Spokane
Refugee Connections Spokane
SCAR (Spokane Community Against Racism)
Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL)
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Spokane NAACP #1137
Tamara C. Murray
Tamara C. Murray, Attorney at Law
Nathan R. Page
Tools For Change
Edie A. Rice-Sauer
United Peers of Washington
Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council
Patricia L. Hunter
Washington State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
James A. Bamberger
Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid
A. Suzie Henning
Alexandra Lynn Shook-Shoup
Alexis G. Cox
Alissa N. Baier
Allen W. Ratcliffe
Amanda R. Oropeza
Andrea K Matters
Angel R. Moore
Angela M Watson
Ann M. Murphy
Anne S Whigham
Brendan W Donckers
Brian G. Henning
Carmen Pacheco Jones
Carolyn M. Holmes
Claire Rudolf Murphy
Courtney S Lehman
Devin F.P. Biviano
diane de rooij
Edmundo M. Aguilar
Erin Rose Medina
G Woody Garvin
Genevieve Mann Morris
J. Parker Mason
Janice Miller Krummel
Jeremiah E Miller
Jessica Melear Lucht
John G. Ziegler
Joyce J. McCown
Judy A Palamidex
Kathryn E McClintock
Kevin C. O’Connor
Larry A Weiser
Layne Pavey, LICSW
Lynette Y Romero
Mary Lou Johnson
Mary Pat Treuthart
Michael P Dague
Rev. Arlen Farley
Rev. Jonathan Myers
Rev. Jane Nelson-Low
Rev. Katy Shedlock
Rev. Kimberly Meinecke
Rev. Kristi Philip
Rev. Mary L Ayers
Rev. Rick Matters
Rinzen Shay Kruger
Robyn G. Martin
Rose Mary Harris
Steohanie j passmore
Susan K Wilson
Theodore L. Carroll
Timothy P. Hamm
Z. Romero Becker
 Tessa Duval, Louisville Police Release the Breonna Taylor Incident Report. It’s Virtually Blank, Courier Journal (June 10, 2020), https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2020/06/10/breonna-taylor-shooting-louisville-police-release-incident-report/5332915002/.
 Mitch Ryals, Spokane Police Shot More People in 2017 Than They Have in Decades; Almost Half Were Native, Inlander (April 12, 2018), https://www.inlander.com/spokane/spokane-police-shot-more-people-in-2017-than-they-have-in-decades-almost-half-were-native-american/Content?oid=9274283.
 Emma Epperly, Man Killed, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Who Shot Him Identified, The Spokesman-Review (Jan. 14, 2020), https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/jan/14/man-killed-by-spokane-county-sheriffs-deputy-durin/.
 Hallie Golden, Manuel Ellis Killing: Mayor Calls for Firing of Officers Involved in Death of Black Man, The Guardian (June 5, 2020), https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/05/manuel-ellis-death-police-firing-mayor-victoria-woodards.
 Woman Dies in Deputy-Involved Shooting near Auburn, KIRO7 News (Oct. 21, 2016), https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/deputies-office-involved-shooting-near-auburn/459568142/.
 Michael Spears, Family: Man Shot in the Back, Killed by Tacoma Officer While Running Away, My Northwest (Sept. 9, 2019), https://mynorthwest.com/1505655/family-man-shot-in-the-back-killed-by-tacoma-officer-while-running-away/.
Andrew Binion, Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting in Poulsbo, Kitsap Sun (July 3, 2019), https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2019/07/03/officer-involved-shooting-reported-poulsbo/1646537001/.
 Initiative Measure No. 940, § 2 (filed May 23, 2017), https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/finaltext_1372.pdf.
 For a full description of the rulemaking process and comments submitted, see, Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission, Concise Explanatory Statement WAC Chapter 139-11 Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act: Summary of Rulemaking and Response to Comments (June 2019), https://wacities.org/docs/default-source/Legislative/wac139-11conciseexplanatorystatement.pdf?sfvrsn=0.
 See, e.g., Killology Kills Black People: Ban the Training in Spokane County, https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/killology-kills-black-people-ban-the-training-in-spokane-county.
 Maggie Quinlan, Black Spokane Residents Are 5 Times More Likely to Be Arrested, New Data Show, The Spokesman-Review (Updated June 16, 2020), https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/jun/14/black-spokane-residents-are-5-times-more-likely-to/.
 Jordan DeVylder, Exposure to Police Violence Linked to Mental Health Symptoms, Healio (Nov. 26, 2018), https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20181126/exposure-to-police-violence-linked-to-mental-health-symptoms.