Families impacted by police killings travel to Seattle for June 18 gathering

Nationwide list includes Kent, Auburn victims

Giovonn Joseph McDade. COURTESY PHOTO

Giovonn Joseph McDade. COURTESY PHOTO

Families impacted by police killings from New York, California, Detroit, Maryland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Texas, Virginia, Ohio, DC, and Jamaica will join Seattle and other local families impacted by police killings to hold a press conference Thursday morning, June 18, in downtown Seattle.

They will stand in solidarity with Charleena Lyles’ family, and other families who have lost their loved ones at the hands of the Seattle Police Department and other Washington state law enforcement agencies, according to a press release from the Public Defender Assocation on behalf of Las Vegas-based Forced Trajectory Project.

Sonia Joseph, the mother of Giovonn Joseph McDade, killed in 2017 by Kent Police; and Elaine Simon, the foster mother of Jesse Sarey, killed in 2019 by Auburn Police, plan to speak at the event.

Families will join together to refocus on local efforts for justice and accountability. At 6 p.m. Thursday in Magnuson Park, families will attend the three-year Angelversary Vigil for Charleena Lyles where they will memorialize her name, life and legacy as the community bears witness.

The families present will include:

The cousin of Seattle police homicide victim, Charleena Lyles;

The sister of Tacoma police homicide victim, Bennie Branch;

The cousin of Seattle police homicide victim, Iosia Faletogo;

The mother and father of Lakewood police homicide victim, Leonard Thomas;

The foster mother of Auburn police homicide victim, Jesse Saray;

The mother of King County Sheriff’s Office homicide victim, Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens;

The mother of Virginia Beach police homicide victim, India Kager;

The mother of Kent police homicide victim, Giovonn Joseph McDade;

The mother and daughter of Baltimore police homicide victim, Korryn Gaines;

The mother of Detroit police homicide victim, Adaisha Miller;

The sister of Woodland police homicide victim, Michael Barrera;

The brother of NYPD police homicide victim, Delrawn Small;

The mother of Las Vegas Metropolitan police homicide victim, Keith Childress Jr;

The mother of Prince George County police homicide victim, Amir Brooks,

The mother of St. Paul police homicide victim, Cordale Q. Handy;

The sister of Kingston Jamaica police homicide victim, Nakiea Jackson;

The mother of Columbus police homicide victim, Henry Green;

The daughter of Las Vegas Metropolitan police homicide victim, Joseph Justin;

The mother and sister of Nassau County police homicide victim Matthew Felix.

The girlfriend and stepmother of Thurston County Sheriff’s Office homicide victim Joel Nelson

Families will join to reclaim the memories of their loved ones. For too long the struggles of families whose loved ones have been killed by law enforcement agencies have gone unnoticed and unrecognized, according to the press release. Families struggle to cope while police spread false narratives, criminalizing and damaging the memories of lives lost too soon. These narratives isolate families, turning away any opportunity for community engagement and support.

“As we have learned in far too many cases, the community plays an integral role in the delivery of justice (or lack thereof),” according to the release. “Every year 1,000-1,500 new families across the nation are inducted into a cohort forced to live with the all too devastating reality of state-sponsored terrorism. Most of these killings receive little to no media attention. Without support, families are left stigmatized and isolated. On the other hand, the few nationally-known cases receive all of the public’s attention, only for families to be tokenized and exploited for one of the most traumatic events of their lives.”

Families will illuminate killings overlooked and mischaracterized by narratives written without their involvement. In solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter, families call on the community to demand justice and accountability for those most directly impacted by police violence.

About Forced Trajectory Project

Established in 2009, Forced Trajectory Project (FTP) is a long-term multimedia project documenting the rippling effects police violence has on communities beginning with the families who have lost their loved ones to police murder. Utilizing moving pictures, stills, and sound, the project’s goal is to paint an intimate and accurate portrait of the “forced trajectory” these family members find themselves on after their loved one is killed. Since 2018, FTP has developed into an independent media outlet reporting on policing issues nationwide with a special focus on the Las Vegas Valley.


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