Gee: ‘Police cannot be the cure for gun violence’
Oct 21, 2022, 3:14 PM
D’Vonne Pickett Jr., a prominent Central District business owner, was shot and killed Wednesday evening. The suspected gunman was arrested Thursday around 12:30 p.m. and is believed to be connected to multiple other shootings in the area.
Homicide detectives have yet to determine what led up to the shooting.
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An outpouring of support for Pickett’s family followed, with a memorial service, flowers left at the front of his business, The Postman, and even Mayor Bruce Harrell sending his condolences in a statement.
“The profound impact he had on the Central District and Seattle will not be forgotten. I am praying for his wife KeAnna, his children, and everyone in the community who had the privilege of knowing him,” Harrell said in his statement. “We know gun violence affects our communities every day in different forms and disproportionately impacts communities of color and young Black men. We cannot allow a senseless tragedy like this to be the norm in our city.”
The family said they plan to continue his legacy and continue to run his business.
With crime rates taking center stage in the minds of many Seattleites, especially going into the November midterm elections, some have called for an increase in police funding. Mayor Harrell, in his 2022-23 budget, has increased funding for the Seattle Police department by $20 million as he looks to address one of the largest staffing shortages in the county.
On The Gee and Ursula Show, host Gee Scott said this mentality ignores the real issue that police are built to address, while not giving enough attention to actionable solutions to the problems posed by gun violence.
“Right now, we are looking to police to solve the gun violence problems in our communities,” Gee said. “Something happens, where are the police? Every story in the news about the increase in violence mentions the need for more police. Police cannot be the cure for gun violence. Police are the response when someone is hurt, but no matter how fast a police response is, that does not deter someone from committing that crime.”
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Guest host Spike O’Neill agreed with the statement, saying, while second amendment rights are important, all too often people are alienated from each other to the point where horrific killings like these are allowed to happen.
“I don’t think that the law enforcement community is the answer to the problem. To be completely blunt, law enforcement response to incidents of any crime, especially gun violence crime, [was] not going to get guns off the street … There are laws on the books that need to be enforced. But the cure for gun violence has to start with the people that you see day after day that you look in the eye in your home, that you look in the eye in your community,” Spike said.
The death of Pickett is a tragedy, but it highlights that gun violence can affect anyone, specifically the Black community, according to Gee.
“If there isn’t some type of change here in the Seattle area after one of its own, who was a community man, leader, business owner, married, coach, father,” Gee said. “He wasn’t in the streets. He wasn’t about that life. And gun violence came to him. So if this does not change, if there isn’t something that happens now, it’s not just a statistic that happens in a newspaper. When it happens to you and your family, it’s different.”
Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.