Capitol Hill Pride to move forward with event despite lack of traffic control from SPD
Directors of the Capitol Hill Pride March announced Friday that their event scheduled for this weekend will take place despite not being permitted by the city’s special events office.
According to the event’s directors, the march is not being permitted because the Seattle Police Department has declined to provide traffic control, citing low staffing levels.
“We are stunned as we have been always [been] informed by the city that police are required to provide traffic control for marches per Seattle code 11.25.110 which requires police to conduct traffic control for safety,” said Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, directors of Capitol Hill Pride, in a statement. “And even with low staffing we find it hard to believe SPD cannot conduct simple traffic control for a two-block long march route which includes an intersection at the East Precinct. We consider this a gross violation of duty and responsibility by SPD to the community especially with escalated incidents of attacks on the LGBTQ community in recent weeks.”
LeFevre and Lipson say they met with Capt. Pierre David of SPD on June 17 and David “made no mention of denying traffic control but other officers made comments they may have to draw or ‘draft’ staff from other police departments.”
The directors say they have received insurance for the event and plan to request assistance from the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Fire Department if needed. They expect more than 2,000 attendees.
“We feel the best way the police can provide security is on the perimeter watching for violators, hate groups and potential disruptions and uphold the new Washington state ban of open carry firearms at demonstrations instead of creating an intimidating police presence,” they said in the statement.
LeFevre and Lipson did note that the ban doesn’t prohibit off-duty officers from attending the event out of uniform.
Earlier this week, Seattle Pride, a separate organization that puts on the larger Pride parade downtown, announced that officers are not allowed to participate in uniform in this year’s festivities. It’s the first time since 1994 that Seattle police will largely be absent from the event.