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Black Lives Matter Activist Castill Hightower’s Public Testimony Calling on Democratic Party Councilmembers to “Stand with the Movement & Sawant & Not Water Down Seattle’s First-In-Nation Ban on Police Use of So-Called ‘Crowd Control’ Weapons”

Castill Hightower has spearheaded the Justice for Herbert Hightower Jr. campaign. She is a leading voice among the Seattle activists calling for an elected civilian oversight board with full powers over Seattle police, including hiring and firing, policies and procedures.

My name is Castill Hightower. My brother was killed by Seattle Police in 2004 while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. My family has still not gotten justice.

Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement won the first-in-the-nation ban on police use of the so-called “crowd control” weapons last summer, during the height of the street protests. 

Councilmember Sawant brought this forward in solidarity with the BLM street protests, and we won a unanimous vote because our movement fought for it. Many activists will remember how over 200 people called in to fight to win the strong ban.

Day after day, BLM peaceful protesters were attacked by Seattle police, showered with tear gas, pepper spray, blast balls and other military grade weapons, some weapons deemed unfit even for war!

In contrast, less than a week ago, we saw police in Washington D.C. coddling a violent far right mob as they took over the Capitol building, in a blatant attempt to overturn a democratic election result.

We have seen over and over that these weapons, this police violence, is reserved for left-wing protests, for BLM, not for the far right mobs.

I urge the Democratic Party Councilmembers to do the right thing, to uphold your own vote from last June! Stand with our movement, stand with Kshama Sawant, and reject any watering down of the ban.

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