SPOG’s Response to the Chauvin Verdict

Today, a Minnesota jury respected due process and the rule of law by issuing a guilty verdict in
the Chauvin Trial. For communities across our nation to trust law enforcement, they must have
trust in our nation’s criminal justice system. Adhering and respecting the rule of law is key to
that trust.

Just days after George Floyd’s death, SPOG authored a letter to our Seattle community that said,
“The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is shocked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
This incident is in complete opposition to everything we stand for, and everything we are
trained to do. There is no law enforcement or self-defense rationale for the prolonged use of
the officer’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck.” As of today SPOG still believes in this statement.

Seattle Police Officers are amazing professional police officers who serve at the communities
will, and understand that we must continue our commitment to learning new skills and being a
partner in evolving policing. We promise to continue being that model of police reform that was
recently touted by our elected politicians. We promise to never rest on continuing that work.

We hope that today’s decision will allow our community to heal, embrace peace and rebuild our
trust. Our bond must be stronger than those intent on dividing us. Our hope for the Seattle
community is that those who will be exercising their right to free speech in the coming days can
do so without violence and destruction. The Seattle Police Officers Guild supports the right to
free speech, but cannot support continued destruction of businesses and property or assaults on
police officers.

SPOG is a strong reflection of Seattle’s diversity and values. I want to thank each and every
Seattle Police Officer for taking part in being that model of reform and for serving our
community under immense scrutiny this past year. You are valued and respected. Thank you for
your service.

Respectfully,
Mike Solan
President
Seattle Police Officers’ Guild

 

 

 

 

 

SPOG – Response to MLK Labor Council Vote

June 17, 2020

Today’s decision to disaffiliate the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from the MLK Labor Council is deeply disappointing and concerning. SPOG has been an effective police labor union for its members since 1952. We take pride in consistently working hard to protect the collective bargaining rights for our members – always focusing on improving hours, wages and working conditions. We’ve also fostered long-lasting relationships with our fellow labor brothers and sisters. Today’s troubling political decision should sound the alarm to other public safety labor unions across our region, state and nation that they’re next.

SPOG has addressed the demands set forth in the MLK Labor resolution. We shared our answers via a letter to the labor council on June, 15 2020. Our executive board also participated in a 2.5 hour Zoom meeting with the executive board of the MLK Labor Council to further address the resolution. This conversation allowed our unions to immerse ourselves in a cathartic, robust discussion on race relations and how we ALL can move forward in labor solidarity against racism. Despite our expulsion, SPOG is hopeful these important conversations will continue.

SPOG is profoundly proud of our wonderfully diverse membership who reflect Seattle’s values. We have a long history of positive community engagement through many innovative programs. Our Emerald Protection Plan is an excellent example of our commitment to our community as our membership partnered with independent grocers and community members to collect and donate over five tons of food to feed our most vulnerable in just six “Food Bank Fridays.” SPOG members also saved over one hundred and fifty lives when we donated blood in partnership with the American Red Cross. During COVID-19, SPOG dues were used to assist local restaurants in an effort to keep them economically viable and help keep their workers employed. This financial assistance continued as we provided financial support to SEIU 1199 health care workers to help feed them as they worked tirelessly to protect our community ravaged by the pandemic.

Regardless of today’s decision, SPOG will continue to protect the collective bargaining rights for our members. We will remain open to working with the MLK Labor council, and will also foster quality relationships with other labor unions across our region, state and nation so we ALL can continue to grow, learn and protect labor rights.

Seattle Police Officers Guild members are high-caliber individuals who swore an oath of service. The job of policing is a calling that not many can do. We are willing to risk our lives to save others; while others run from danger, we run toward it. As the job becomes increasingly political and dangerous, I’m confident SPOG members will continue to serve professionally, for the betterment of our society.

 

In solidarity,

Officer Mike Solan
President
Seattle Police Officers Guild

 

 

 

 

Seattle Police Officers Guild – Press Conference 6.8.20

SPOG President Mike Solan held a press conference addressing the dangerous working conditions for the 1,300 members of SPOG.

SPOG – Open Letter to Mayor Durkan, 6/6/20

June 6, 2020

Mayor Durkan,

I’m writing this letter to inform you of the tenuous situation impacting SPOG members at the Seattle Police Department East Precinct. As I author this letter, several objects have been thrown at officers which have exploded. Several SPOG members are injured. As the situation on the ground devolves into more violence, singularly perpetuated by a group of criminal agitators on the west side of the barricade on Pine Street and 11th Avenue, I’m fearful that further exposure to SPOG members from these criminal violent acts will have drastic repercussions for public safety.

I also want to convey that I recognize and I feel the deep resentment being expressed by members of our Seattle community toward law enforcement regarding the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. SPOG shares their anger, which we affirmed in our open letter to Seattle https://seattlepoliceofficers.org/seattle-police-officers-guild-open-letter-to-seattle/, strongly condemning the involved officers’ actions. We also signed on to another open letter with a coalition of police unions across the nation who are equally outraged. https://mailchi.mp/8a1d24e5ca1f/law-enforcement-statement-on-floyd-protests?fbclid=IwAR2AiYXLjC4Wyr8L5deUEnWwfo1JE1vasMbDq_SrrFKg_sxtYRrJ-xMjZFk.

As peace officers, we swear to an oath of service.  That oath of service is noble and it bonds us with our community. SPOG members take great pride in our bond and that bond is reflected by the professional service that we provide to our community on a daily basis.  We’ve participated in and have accepted reform. We also understand that we must always strive to improve for the interests of the public, whom we serve. We also take great pride in knowing that our membership is a wonderfully diverse group of human beings that reflect Seattle’s values. We love our job and we love Seattle.

In our second open letter to our community, we expressed our full support for peaceful protests https://seattlepoliceofficers.org/spog-response-to-the-ongoing-protests-in-seattle/. But now I am appealing to you for help, because I fear that our daily peaceful protests are unfortunately being stolen at night by a group of criminal agitators who continue to attempt to provoke police. This hostile, violent group continues to throw projectiles and injure police officers. Many SPOG members have sustained significant injuries including broken bones, stitches, bruises and one almost lost an eye. This is unacceptable.

SPOG members follow orders from the department’s chain of command. It is our understanding that we’ve been instructed to protect police facilities in our city so those facilities can be used to continue police services. We have been following these orders for days now. It is also my understanding that the use of an effective less-lethal chemical munition has been removed as a force option by elected city officials. The removal of this tool is concerning because without this tool our ability to safely and effectively protect this police facility has been hindered. Our community must realize that the only other options available to help us solve this predicament are physical confrontations or for us to simply walk away if instructed to do so. If we have to engage in physical confrontations, more of our members and our community members will unfortunately get injured, and no one wants that. If we are instructed to walk away, then what will become of our city police facilities? One can only imagine. We must develop a plan or this will continue without end.

This situation is becoming more untenable by the day and I fear law and order and SPOG members’ safety are in peril. As president of SPOG, I have the responsibility to protect the working conditions of my members and it is also my sworn duty to protect the lives and property of our citizens. You have the responsibility for the overall safety and wellbeing of Seattle’s citizens as you are the executive officer. It is our hope that we can begin to work as a team to solve this public safety crisis because at this point, I’m extremely worried about the safety and morale of the SPOG membership and our community’s safety.

Respectfully,
Officer Mike Solan
President
Seattle Police Officers Guild

 

 

 

SPOG – Response to the Ongoing Protests in Seattle

The Seattle Police Officers Guild continues to support those who gather to grieve and protest for George Floyd. We have added our voice to those who have spoken out and condemned his tragic death in Minneapolis. SPOG encourages peaceful protests and demonstrations – please communicate with us and the department and we will facilitate your freedom to assemble.

We also understand that peaceful protests are designed to disrupt – that is what makes them noticeable and effective. The beginning of the day on Saturday was an excellent example of this. But our job is to keep demonstrators and others safe, so we must at times intervene and guide a group’s movement. Marching in the streets poses a risk to you and motorists, and impacts the lives of those who live and work in the area because busses and vehicles must be re-routed.

Additionally, it is clear two groups have emerged over this weekend: the truly peaceful protestors described above, and those who simply wish to instigate violence, incite chaos, destroy property, loot businesses, and assault both officers and innocent civilians. Please understand that in Seattle we do not arrest people for protesting – there is no crime of “protesting.” Individuals over the weekend have been arrested for assaulting officers, property destruction, drive by shootings, burglary, robbery, and other serious, felonious crimes. These rioters disguised as protesters must stop their violence and the damage they are doing to our city.

Lastly, there are several videos circulating on social media regarding SPD conduct during the events of this weekend. As always, those events will be investigated and SPOG is confident when information is released it will be clear our officers’ actions were not malicious.

In closing, we ask that you remember that the actions of one do not define the character of many. Communication with our communities is one of the most significant areas in which we can improve, but we cannot start that process when we are devoting all our resources elsewhere. We have joined with several other officer associations in expressing the following message:

“The rank and file police officers that we represent want to provide our perspective, we must be part of the national dialogue that works toward a more perfect union. It is time for the discussion on policing in America to include the actual people that patrol our streets and respond to calls for service. That can’t happen when our cities are on fire.

Mourn, protest, honor George’s memory, but please, please do it peacefully, and let’s begin the difficult dialogue that must be had – our police officers are ready.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2020
Contact: Mike Solan
Email:  Mike@seattlepoliceguild.org

 

SPOG – Open Letter to Seattle

The Seattle Police Officers Guild is shocked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This incident is in complete opposition to everything we stand for, and everything we are trained to do. There is no law enforcement or self-defense rationale for the prolonged use of the officer’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck.

We swear an oath to protect people, whether they’re a person in our custody or a victim of a crime. Reverence of life and rendering aid to those who need it are tenets of our profession. Officers must treat every citizen with respect, and should be held to the very highest standards of conduct. We have been entrusted by our communities to perform a complex and powerful role in our society, and this singular act completely violated that trust.

Although what was depicted in that video does not represent who we are as law enforcement professionals, we know it has diminished the trust and respect of officers nationwide. We trust Minneapolis officials will conduct a thorough investigation and push for accountability while knowing all officers will be held accountable for possibly years to come. We cannot affect the outcome of this tragedy in Minneapolis, but we can begin to repair and rebuild the trust of our communities.

The Seattle Police Officers Guild pledges to always protect and serve the people of Seattle.

We will continue to actively train, and seek training, to safely manage similar situations we may encounter to ensure safe resolutions. We vow to repair any trust lost by holding ourselves to the highest possible standard in a transparent way.

As we’ve already proven with food drives, blood drives, youth mentorship, and day-to-day interactions, we are an integral and invested part of Seattle. Our officers will continue to demonstrate our utmost professionalism and genuine caring for the people of this city on every contact they have with a citizen. SPOG members strive every day to be worthy of the badge they wear, and they are true public servants. We are proud to be part of this city and we believe we are a police force this city can be proud of in return.

As officers, we must speak out against injustice, but our actions will speak even louder than words. We will not let this tragedy define our noble profession.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2020
Contact: Mike Solan
Email:  Mike@seattlepoliceguild.org

 

May 1st Food Bank Friday: Seattle Police Officers Collect Over 2,000 lbs of Food

Seattle Police Officers Guild partnered with Grocery Outlet Bargain Market and Red Apple Market to support the Food Bank at St. Marys. Officers brought their own personal food items as well. Officers collected and delivered well over 2,000 lbs of food in support of our community during this difficult time. This effort is part of the on-going Seattle Police Officers Guild Emerald Protection Plan. The Emerald Protection Plan is dedicated to helping our community and those most in need. If you want to participate, send us a message through our contact form!

 

 

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Statement on Officer-Involved Shooting

Seattle, WA – On April 29th, 2020, just before 2:15 PM, south precinct officers received initial reports about a man and woman arguing at the Rainier Playfield near 37th Avenue South and South Oregon Street. The woman involved flagged down a passerby and asked them to call 911 on her behalf. She reported the man had fired a gun at her and then fled with her child. With this initial information, officers believed they were looking for an armed kidnapper with an infant hostage.

Due to the severity of the crime and the innocent life at risk, dozens of officers from a variety of units – including K9, SWAT and the King County Guardian One helicopter – scoured the neighborhood in search of the armed suspect.

Officers located the suspect, confronted him, and ultimately shot him to save the life of the child.

Officers began life-saving measures and called for medics, who transported him to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Thankfully, the child was rescued and unharmed in the incident.

The officers on scene had a split-second to react to a deadly situation that threatened the life of an innocent child.

We are proud of the heroism displayed by our officers who risked their lives to capture an armed felony domestic violence assault suspect. Our officers did exactly what is asked of them: they acted to stop a person who they believed posed an immediate, deadly threat to our community – specifically, one of its most vulnerable members.

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild understands and appreciates the public’s interest whenever it is necessary for officers to use deadly force. This incident, as with all deadly force encounters, will be thoroughly investigated. We respectfully request our community reserve judgement until the investigation is complete.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2020
Contact: Mike Solan
Email:  Mike@seattlepoliceguild.org

 

Seattle Police Officers Collect Food For “Food Bank Friday”

A Project Within Seattle Police Officers Guild Emerald Protection Plan

Seattle, WA- On Thursday April 30th, officers will be placed at two local grocery stores to collect food donations from the public so our community can team up with our police officers to donate food items to food banks. Food Bank Friday is an innovative concept within SPOG’s broader community engagement plan called the Emerald Protection Plan.

“The past few weeks SPOG has collected food donations for local food banks from our officers when they’ve participated in our “Say NO 2 COVID Grab & Go” program at our union hall. We decided we could enhance our already tremendously successful haul of food donations from our officers by teaming up with local grocery stores and our fantastic community. If anyone in our community would like to help our police officers in donating their food items, they can visit our members at the local grocery stores we’ve partnered with for this week or they can visit our website www.seattlepoliceofficers.org for more details.” said SPOG President Mike Solan.

SPOG officers will be standing in front of our identified stores with clearly marked collection signs and a list of food items that are in most demand. This week, SPOG is pleased to announce that all food donations will be dropped off at The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s.

To download a copy of the advisory [Click Here].

Seattle Police Officers Save Baby & Mom from Domestic Violence Attack

So PROUD of our professional, caring Officers who successfully and safely rescued a mom and her baby from a Domestic Violence attack. The person who took the video said, “Police officers were holding her, you know as gently as possible and then another officer took her and patting her on the butt, like you would as a dad,” Quick thinking and decisive action, difficult as it always is to shoot, saved this baby. THIS is what we do. THIS is who we are. #SeattleCopsCare#StandingWithSeattle #Community

https://www.king5.com/article/news/seattle-police-shoot-man-accused-of-taking-baby-in-domestic-violence-dispute/281-0cc37af4-3376-4fa1-8873-bccb82fdb60e