News Words of Peace
posted by July 18 at 11:51 AMon
Police accountability activist Anwar Peace has been a thorn in SPD’s side for the last few years. So much in fact, that SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske took out a restraining order against Peace.
Three weeks ago, Peace allegedly broke his no-contact order and is now sitting in King County Jail.
After an NAACP police accountability rally at city hall on June 28th, Peace ran into the Chief downtown. According to a police report, Peace followed Kerlikowske through city hall and hopped on an elevator with him. Eventually, a security officer intervened and Peace left.
Two days later, Peace allegedly called Kerlikowske’s office phone and left 17 messages, which, according to court documents, stated “I’m not afraid of you, I’m not afraid of your officers. Cap me because I will only become stronger if you kill me, and that’s the only way that I will leave you and your mother alone. You are a scandalous motherfucker, I will take you out. I will be the most slanderous mother fucker you’ve ever met and I will go up to your motherfucking place every goddamn day [and] violate this shit. You’ve already fucked up my life so why won’t I fuck up yours?”
On June 30th, officers showed up to Peace’s home and arrested him on a domestic violence charge after he got into a fight with his girlfriend. While in jail, the DV case was dropped—his girlfriend says it was an argument that got out of hand and that she actually attacked Peace— but Peace has since been charged with harassment and “intimidating a public servant.”
Last Sunday, I went down to the King County Jail for a brief Q&A with Peace.
Do you have any intention of hurting the Chief?
Peace: I am a very peaceful individual. I’ve never had any violence in my life. I’m not about violence, I’m about peace. The restraining order has been a thorn in my side for the last few years. It has limited me from going into downtown. Every time a police officer sees me, they harass me; they play mind games with me.
Does this hurt your cause? Are people just going to think you’re crazy?
Even though some of my tactics and techniques are a little outlandish, nothing I do, or have done, is out of hate or vengeance. I would just like officers to step up and clean house. For the [police] department to not be able to clean itself up is really disheartening. I’m kind of being framed as the next Omari Tahir-Garret [but] I’m finally getting attention from the mainstream media.
Why were you arrested two days after your initial contact with the Chief? Why didn’t they arrest you at city hall?
This is the game we’ve been playing. It is interesting that they didn’t arrest me. I gave them lots of opportunities.
Did you think there would be consequences for showing up to city hall for the rally?
Did I think I’d catch a case? Yes. [A lot of] great men have spent time behind bars.
After all of this, what would you like to say to the Chief?
I’m sorry for the concern for his family. I understand, but there are families out there in Seattle that feel about the SPD the way [Kerlikowske] feels about me.
I wish him a relaxing retirement.
On Monday, Peace was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty. I tried to contact Kerlikowske about the incident, but my calls weren’t returned.