Do black lives matter to King County Sheriff John Urquhart?
“Absolutely, there’s no question about it,” Sheriff Urquhart said. “Black lives matter.”
The sheriff told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don that black lives matter in the days after the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles, an African-American mother. She was shot by two white police officers when she allegedly confronted them with a knife. Mental illness may have played a factor in the incident.
Sheriff Urquhart’s comment that black lives matter echoes that of his counterpart in Pierce County. Ron and Don also asked Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor the same question. He affirmed that black lives matter and further noted that saying “blue lives matter” is an inappropriate response to the sentiment.
Urquhart also echoed that argument.
“I don’t need to say that (blue lives matter),” Urquhart said.
Urquhart’s comment runs parallel to his assertion that all of King County’s law enforcement agencies have never been more professional and well-trained.
“I tell my officers not to pay attention to the newspapers, do your job,” he said. “We all know what the right thing is to do, and how to do our job.”
While that may be true and Urquhart doesn’t waver on his belief that black lives matter, there’s no doubt that communities distrust police.
“There’s a reason they don’t trust the police,” Urquhart said. “There’s 150 years of a history as to why they don’t trust the police … it’s up to us. It’s up to police to allay those fears. It’s not going to happen today, it’s not going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to be years and years until we get to a situation where a vast majority of the population trusts the police.”
Listen to Urquhart’s full interview with Ron and Don here.