Mayor Murray responds to Dallas shootings

Today, Mayor Ed Murray delivered the following remarks in response to the Dallas shootings:

For the second day in a row, I am speaking to you because our country is shaken.

We were shaken just days ago by the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. 

And last night by the violent reaction of a single individual in Dallas to those tragic deaths, resulting in the shooting deaths of five law enforcement officers and the wounding of seven others.  

Today, there is anger, and uncertainty, and bitterness, and fear. Among the black community. Among our law enforcement community. And across this county and this city.

This is a pivotal time in our history and it is also a dangerous time in our history.

How we chose to respond will determine our ability to come together as a city and a nation, or be further divided and sink into ever more violence.

Let us respond and be united in denouncing violence as the answer.

Let us be respond and be united in hearing the peaceful voices of the peaceful protesters in Dallas, in Louisiana, in Minnesota and here in Seattle.

Let us respond and be united in not allowing the viciousness of one man to silence these voices, so many of whom were crying out in pain.

Violence will not resolve the hurt or helplessness or frustration. The politics of simply tearing others apart and denouncing our opponents will not heal the wounds of racism.

The stigmatization of any group, based on race or religion or sexual orientation or of police officers, only leads to violence.

To the members of the Seattle Police Department, this tragedy is a somber reminder of the uncertainties and risk you and your colleagues take each and every day in service to our community.

You have an extraordinarily difficult job and, as I said yesterday, often are called to respond to the failure of other systems.

You put your life on the line every day to keep us safe. For this we thank you, and we simply must do our best to make sure you are safe.

To further reiterate what I said in my remarks yesterday, the causes of the violence we have seen this week are institutional and structural racism.

And the best answer we can give is to continue our work to create a more equitable city, giving young people of color opportunity, and leading the nation in reforming our police department.

But we are also challenged with a politics locally, nationally and globally based on fear and intent on dividing us. Where issues are pushed to the extreme, and we demonize those who disagree with us.

Our challenge at this tragic moment, as individuals and collectively as a city, is to step back from the politics of divisions and find a way, despite our disagreements, to recognize the good in others and build bridges to overcome the challenges we face.

As Congressman John Lewis said just this morning, “We are one people, we one family, we are one house. We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters. If not we will perish as fools.”