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Letter Sent Demanding Spokane County Sheriff Cancel “Killology” Training and Community Summit

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.[1] [1] 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.[2] [2],[3] [3],[4] [4],[5] [5],[6] [6],[7] [7] 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.”[8] [8]

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. [9] [9]

Finally, Sheriff, the community has spoken very recently through petitions directed at you,[10] [10] 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[11] [11]— 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,[12] [12] 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.[13] [13] We invite you and the sheriff’s deputies to come and hear from those you serve in the community at a listening session.  

Sincerely,

Angelique P Sam

Carmen Pacheco Jones

Rickey “Deekon” Jones

Organizers of both the “Killology Kills Black People: Ban the Training in Spokane County” petition [14] that has gained over 2,800 signatures and this letter signed by the following 69 organizations and 372 individuals

Organizations

Michele Storms

ACLU of Washington

Megan Pirie

All of Us or None

Sima Thorpe

The Arc of Spokane

Stacy Dym

The Arc of Washington State

Pui-Yan Lam & Rowena Pineda

Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane Chapter

Angel Tomeo Sam

The Bail Project

Dustin Jolly

Believe Change

Jason Gillmer

Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga Law School

Leah Velasco

Center for Independence

Antonio Ginatta

Columbia Legal Services

Hallie Burchinal

Compassionate Addiction Treatment

Lauren Goldbloom

Common Well

Mark Leeper

Disability Action Center – NW, Inc.

Mark Stroh

Disability Rights Washington

Mokeph Wildflower

Divine Shine Healing Center

Sarahi Gutierrez

EWU P.O.W.E.R.S.

Aurora Martin

Front and Centered

Jim Dawson

Fuse Washington

Anne Martin

Greater Spokane Progress

Sabrina Ryan-Helton

GROUND 5ZERO9

Layne Pavey

I Did the Time

Linda Inagawa

IFJC – International Families Justice Coalition

Janice Miller Krummel

Inland Northwest Business Alliance

Greg Gardner

Interaction Transition

Julie Garcia

Jewels Helping Hands

Michelle Su

Korean American Bar Association of Washington

Lilliane Ballesteros

Latino Community Fund of WA State

Kelly Vomacka

Law Office of Kelly Vomacka

Erin Lovell

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children

Lisa M. Stone

Legal Voice

Alicia Levy

Levy Law Firm, PLLC

Carmen Pacheco Jones

Living with Conviction

Joshua P. Maurer

Maurer law

Jerri Clark

MOMI–Mothers of the Mentally Ill

Naghmana Sherazi

Muslims for Community, Action and Support

Sherry Palmer

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Lewis County

Hadley Morrow

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Spokane

Lauren B. Simonds

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAIMI) of Washington State

Natasha Hill

Natasha L. Hill, P.S.

Marley Hochendoner

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance

Janet Varon

Northwest Health Law Advocates

Jorge L. Baron

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Kathy Jensen

Northwest Justice Project

Robert Hervatine

Northwest Justice Project, Spokane Office

Lisa Robbe

Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds

Rich Stolz

OneAmerica

Tracy Kahlo

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

Ari Kohn

Post-Prison Education Program

Joshua Treybig

QLaw Bar Association of Washington

Denise Diskin

QLaw Foundation of Spokane

Marijke Fakasiieiki

Refugee Connections Spokane

Curtis Hampton

SCAR (Spokane Community Against Racism)

Ivanova Smith

Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL)

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

Katie Horvath

Spectrum

Kurtis Robinson

Spokane NAACP #1137

Tamara C. Murray

Tamara C. Murray, Attorney at Law

Rosemarie Thurman

TeamChild

Nathan R. Page

The Porch

William Aal

Tools For Change

Edie A. Rice-Sauer

Transitions

Antoinette Preciado-Lacambra

United Peers of Washington

Jeremy Norden-Paul

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

Jess Frank

Yoga Behind Bars

Individuals

A. Suzie Henning

Adare Mahan

Adrianne Nedeau

Alco Canfield

Alex Bergstrom

Alexandra Lynn Shook-Shoup

Alexandra Panagotacos

Alexis G. Cox

Alexis Tanphantourath-Jordan

Alicia Santoro

Alissa N. Baier

Allen W. Ratcliffe

Allison Rhoades

Aly DeHay

Alycia Delmore

Amanda Burns

Amanda Forsman

Amanda Miller

Amanda R. Oropeza

Amanda Robinson

Amelia VanMeter

Ami Manning

Amy McColm

Andrea Crumpler

Andrea Farley

Andrea K Matters

Andrea Utigard

Andrew Biviano

Andrew Pickard

Angel R. Moore

Angela M Watson

Ann M. Murphy

Anne S Whigham

Annemarie Frohnhoefer

Annie Benson

Anthony Noyes

Antoinette Bonsignore

Anwar Peace

AutumnRose Maurer

Becky Rempe

Ben Cabildo

Ben Read

Benjamin Bagley

Bill Osborne

Billie Fisher

Blair Murphy

Bob Dange

Brandon Adams

Brandon Poepping

Brendan W Donckers

Brett Werenski

Brian G. Henning

Brianna Dirks

Brianna Rollins

Britta Hawkins

Brooke Rogers

Caitlyn Hinojosa

Camesha Little

Cara Longinotti

Cara Schroeder

Carmen Pacheco Jones

Carol Godwin

Carolyn M. Holmes

Carolyn Scott

Charles Lassiter

Charlie Johansen

Charlotte Keenan

Cheri Nelson

Cherylynne Crowther

Cheyenne Smith

Chris Sheller

Christa Lenssen

Claire Rudolf Murphy

Coleen Ohm

Colin Naake

Conrad Reynoldson

Courtney Chappell

Courtney S Lehman

Cristine Vallone

Curtis Hampton

Cynthia Manycolors

D’Adre Cunningham

Dalin Tipton

Dan Ophardt

Dana Oxford

Daniel Rey-Bear

Danielle Anderson

Danielle Caldwell

David Carlson

Deborah French

Debra Janison

Debra Park

Denisse Guerrero

Derrick Moyer

Devan Holmes

Devin F.P. Biviano

Diana Stewart

diane de rooij

Don Adair

Donna Hammar

Donna Larsen-Limric

Douglas Hyldahl

Edmundo M. Aguilar

elijah markovic

Elizabeth Jimenez

Elizabeth Roderick

Ellen Maccarone

Ellen Martin

Emerald Fitzpatrick

Emily Badgley

Emma Almquist

Emma Lasko

Eric Matthes

Eric Warwick

Erin Rose Medina

Eryn Wuesthoff

Fay Baptiste

Felicia Reilly

Felisa Gonzalez

Fernanda Mazcot

G Woody Garvin

Gayle Hammersley

Genevieve Mann Morris

Greg Szabo

Guin Sloan

Hadley Morrow

Hallie Burchinal

Hannah Dean

Hannah Myrick

Harry Gasnick

Heather McGregor

Heather McKimmie

Heather Meares

Heidi Carlson

Heidi Wangelin

Houston Eymann

Hunter Badgley

Isabelle Edwards

Isobel Gooch

Ivan Joyce

J. Parker Mason

Jac Archer

Jai’Lysa Hoskins

Jane Boman

Jane Mark

Janice Miller Krummel

Jasmine Pacheco

Jason Green

Jeff Workman

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Hughes

Jennifer Ralston

Jennifer S.

Jennyfer Mesa

Jeremiah E Miller

Jeremy Broadbent

Jeremy Whittington

Jerilee Stone

Jessica Brown

Jessica Gibson

Jessica Jones

Jessica Melear Lucht

Jessica Simanton

Jill Ellison

Jill Kong

Joann Peña

Jodi Rose

John G. Ziegler

John McFarland

john zielinski

Jonelle Gallaway

Jordan Stello

Joseph Sampson

Josephine Keefe

Joshua Simmons

Joy Fradin

Joyce J. McCown

Judy A Palamidex

Julia Larsen

Julianne Jett

Julie Chung

Julie Garcia

Kady Cullen

Karen Boone

Karen Byrne

Kari Reardon

Kate Burke

Katherine Karr-Cornejo

Katherine Larabee

Kathryn Cronin

Kathryn E McClintock

Kathy Au

Kathy Lang

Kathy McFaul

Katie Longinotti

Katy Sheehan

Kayla Tuning

Keara Rypien

Kerrina Williams

Kevin C. O’Connor

Kevin Curtis

Khay Zellner

Kimberly Sloan

Kitty Klitzke

Kristi Wold

Kristin Hahnlen

Krystal Monteros

Kyle Peirson

Lacrecia Hill

Lanisha Jackson

Lannie Macandrea

Lareesa Holford

Larry A Weiser

Larry Valadez

Laura Kalmwood

Laura Pierce

Lauren Goldbloom

Laurie Sundstrom

Layne Pavey, LICSW

Leann Ledford

Lee McCormick

Lenell Nussbaum

Leslie Cushman

Liat Kriegel

Lillian Ripley

Linda Lane

Linda Williams

Lindsey Hedin

Lora Mason

Luke Tolley

Lynette Y Romero

M Kikikis

Madison Moreno

Magdalene Bolden

Mara Grubb

Marci Carpenter

Maria Howard

Mariah McKay

Marie Barnett

Mark Capka

Mark Odegard

Marla Zink

Marsha Valenzuela

Mary Farrell

Mary Frankhauser

Mary Gibson

Mary Griffin

Mary Lou Johnson

Mary Pat Treuthart

Mary Perkins

MaryAnn Bosky

Matt Slotemaker

Matthew Wolf

Max Delsid

McKenzie Ballo

Megan Chandler

Megan McCabe

Megan Pirie

Meghan Apshaga

Mercy Aguilar

Michael Bernal

Michael Koretz

Michael P Dague

Michaela Jones

Michaela Kelso

Michelle Conley

Miguel Bernal

Mimi McClellan

Michael McDonell

Miranda Jack

Mokeph Wildflower

Molly Brashear

Msry knight

Nadine Bertman

Neva Davies

Nickeia Hunter

Nicole Adamson-Wood

Nicole Bishop

Nicole Burrow

Nicole Langevin

Nicole Murphy

Nicole Palczewski

Nicole Willms

Nichole Gibson

Noahloni Garcia

Norah Willett

Olivette Orme

Patricia Pickard

Paul Dillon

Peggy Hotes

Penny Achten

Penny Larsen

Pia Longinotti

Ping Ping

R Hat

Rachel Barrett

Rachel Dorfman

Rachel Spencer

Randall Fichte

Ray Rast

Rebecca MacMullan

Regina Malveaux

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

Richard Bocook

Richard Callahan

Rick Eichstaedt

Rinzen Shay Kruger

Robert Blumenfeld

Robert Carroll

Robert Murphy

Robin Lehman

Robyn G. Martin

Robyn Urhausen

roopali d.

Rosa Rice-Pelepko

Rose Mary Harris

Ross Carper

Ryan Grant

Ryan Jacobson

Ryan Nabors

Ryann Louie

Sabrina Ryan-Helton

Samantha Werme

Sandra Moore

Sara Greenwald

Sarah Beza

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Knudsen

Sarah Nowak

Sarah Tatistcheff

Sarah Tunnell

Saria Sappho

Saundra Moy

Sean Dong

Sean Petersen

Sean Powers

Shannon Birchler

Shantell Jackson

Sharlyn Hidalgo

Sharon Smith

Sharyl Brown

Sheila Northrop

Sophia Herrmann

Stacie Siebrecht

Stefani Rossi

Steohanie j passmore

Stephanie Ullah

Steven Clark

Steven Herevia

Susan Goertz

Susan K Wilson

Suzanne Cook

Sydney Posey

Taylar

Taylor Weech

Teko Dumoulin

Theodore L. Carroll

Timothy P. Hamm

Timothy Weidel

Todd Kehne

Toni Lodge

Tracey Waring

Victoria Hester

Will Neville

Z. Romero Becker


[1] [15] 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/ [16].

[2] [17] 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 [18].

[3] [19] 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/ [20].

[4] [21] 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 [22].

[5] [23] 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/ [24].

[6] [25] 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/ [26].

[7] [27]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/ [28].

[8] [29] Initiative Measure No. 940, § 2 (filed May 23, 2017), https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/finaltext_1372.pdf [30].

[9] [31] 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 [32]

[10] [33] 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. [34]

[11] [35] 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/ [36].

[12] [37] www.killology.com [38]

[13] [39] 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 [40].