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Seattle Police Guild president reacts to King County Labor expelling union

Police officers behind a barricade watch as protesters fill the street in front of Seattle City Hall on Wednesday, June 3. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The King County Labor Council voted to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild from its coalition of over 150 unions. They represent a little over 100,000 workers within King County, and SPOG joined in 2014. Mike Solan, the SPOG president, joined the Jason Rantz Show with his reaction.

“We’re committed to pushing a positive narrative of police officers and our community because we are a part of the community. … We want to engage in conversations with our community, in particular labor partners, because they have perspective that we might not hear as often as we should,” Solan said.

“But the decision like that last night doesn’t get us anywhere to continue conversation.”

What were the demands coming from the labor union?

“They wanted us to say that — in their view — SPOG was a racist organization,” Solan said. “… Being the president of this organization, our people are amazing and we’re quality human beings, and we have such a diverse group of people across all racial spectrums that we firmly believe encompass Seattle values.”

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Above all, Solan believes painting all cops as one thing is damaging, but says they will continue to do their jobs regardless.

“Politically now, it’s a very, very serious situation we’re in to isolate a certain group of people, to paint them as something that they’re not,” he said. “And to me, that smacks of hypocrisy when they’re claiming that we are an entity that exudes that type of behavior as far as being racist, which is completely against what we stand for.”

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“It’s disingenuous, it’s discriminatory, but we’re not victims here,” Solan added. “We’re professionals, and we will continue to engage the reasonable community in this city.”

In terms of practical purposes, what does this decision mean for SPOG?

“Well, I think it’s an opportunity for us to cultivate stronger relationships within the labor community that’s in support of police being labor and recognizing that we are human beings,” he said.

“For us, it’s engaging the reasonable crowd in our awesome area to move the ball forward in conversations … we can transcend the normal political discourse that’s dividing us and really come together as one and figure this thing out.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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