1,000 signatures reached
To: Seattle Office of Police Accountability, Seattle City Council Members, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
Seattle police union leader blames the Capitol riot on Black Lives Matter. He needs to go - NOW
Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan has falsely blamed Black Lives Matter and the political left for the violence at the US Capitol, promoting a bogus and dangerous conspiracy theory about the riot and attempted coup. His attack makes it impossible to trust that he will protect and serve everyone without bias. His attempt to deflect responsibility from those who actually attacked the Capitol—violent, anti-government, and white supremacist extremists—shows that his sympathy lies with them, and that he has no real commitment to the rule of law. Mike Solan cannot effectively serve as a police officer or lead the police union, and his continued presence puts public safety at risk. We call on you to use your power to force his firing as a police officer and his removal as president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild.
Why is this important?
The day after the violent attack and coup attempt at Capitol Hill, Mike Solan sent a tweet blaming Black Lives Matter for what happened. When he was challenged, he doubled down, saying that both the left and the right were responsible. By making these claims, Solan is lifting up a false and dangerous right-wing conspiracy theory that attempts to confuse the story of what happened and redirect blame towards people of color and the political left.
It’s outrageous, but not surprising. Solan has consistently made appearances on right wing media to attack Black Lives Matter, defend violent and abusive police, and encourage a violent, authoritarian crackdown on anti-racist protesters.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability is already investigating 11 current Seattle police officers who attended the Trump rally that led to the attack on the Capitol. If that investigation finds that some officers participated in the attack, it’s likely that Solan will defend those officers and try to keep them in their jobs.
The Seattle Mayor’s office issued a strong statement condemning Solan’s comments and calling on him to apologize or resign:
“The SPOG President’s statement is wrong, immoral, and a lie. The violent and seditious actions we all witnessed were done by anti-government mobs, inspired and directed by President Trump and his legion of enablers. His statements do a huge disservice to the hundreds of police officers who work daily to serve the public and the rule of law, believe in equality, and were disgusted by Wednesday’s events. His statements do not reflect the values of the City of Seattle but instead echo the failed lies of a failed presidency. In fact, every officer at the Seattle Police Department has an obligation to not ‘post-speech that negatively impacts the Department’s ability to serve the public.’ As we expect this incident to be investigated by OPA, Solan should retract his statements and apologize or resign.”
It’s a step in the right direction, but city leaders should push in no uncertain terms for Solan to be fired or removed from his positions as a police officer and police union leader. An apology would be meaningless, and not believable coming from Solan. If the city of Seattle wants police leadership it can trust, Solan needs to go.