YMCA of Greater Seattle leaders meet with City of Kirkland officials

Published: December 20, 2019, at 12:09 p.m. PT

Last updated: December 20, 2019, at 12:51 p.m. PT

Earlier this week, the YMCA of Greater Seattle leadership met with the City of Kirkland and the Kirkland Police Department to review and discuss the findings of the investigative report related to the events that occurred on September 5th at the KTUB facility operated by the Y. In this meeting, city leaders and the Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris shared that they have completed the investigative report. The report concludes that the officer’s use of force was found to be within Department Policy and Procedures and professional training. The Chief has also determined that one officer's use of profanity violated department policy and this officer has been dealt with in accordance to the Police Guild Collective Bargaining Agreement.

On behalf of our staff, the young people we serve and Kirkland community members, we are troubled by the results of the investigation. The investigation revealed that the officer involved acted within protocol when he took down a 14-year-old boy, shoved our staff and pointed a service Taser in the face of another teen.

The city acknowledges that while within the bounds of policies and procedures, the outcome of the events of September 5, was not the outcome they wanted and should be prevented in the future. In bringing this matter to the attention of the City of Kirkland, they have agreed to review police practices to prevent events like this and the resulting unrest, emotional damage, and trauma. Because of the Y’s commitment to safety of all people that enter our doors, we are collaborating with the City of Kirkland to improve processes and approaches that foster improved relationships between young people – especially marginalized communities and Kirkland law enforcement. We appreciate that the City of Kirkland and the Kirkland police department have been willing to partner and committed to acting to create better future outcomes.

It is through courageous conversations by all parties that allow culture change to happen. We remain committed to our mission, our equity statement, and for ALL of the communities we serve, especially those who need us most.

This commitment means that we will speak up when incidents happen that are inconsistent with our mission and equity statement to ensure that we are building a community where all people – especially youth – can reach their fullest potential in mind, body, and spirit. While we are disappointed by the findings of the investigation, we must continue to speak up for the community we serve. We are committed to working with the City of Kirkland and other community organizations, to build improved practices and culture change that ensures that if an event like this were to happen again, the outcome can be different.

You can find the complete reports here.

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About KTUB

The Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB) is owned by the City of Kirkland and operated by the YMCA of Greater Seattle as a teen center for the past nine years. The Y serves 200 to 300 teens each week, ages 13 to 19. Majority of teens visiting the center reside in Kirkland. KTUB offers teens a safe and inviting space for teens to explore music production, technology, arts, games, live teen concerts, and spoken word performance. KTUB also offers counseling and GED completion services through partnerships with other regional agencies.

About the YMCA of Greater Seattle

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the Northwest’s leading nonprofit organization strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Founded in 1876, the Y reaches more than 265,000 people of all backgrounds, abilities, and financial circumstances annually through 14 branches, two overnight camps, and more than 200 program sites throughout King and south Snohomish counties. We nurture more than 137,000 kids and teens to develop their gifts and give back to our community and engages thousands of volunteers who contribute hundreds of thousands of hours of service each year. Visit seattleymca.org. 

YMCA of Greater Seattle Mission Statement

Building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in mind, body, and spirit.

YMCA of Greater Seattle Equity Statement

The Y actively promotes a culture free from bias and injustice. We are dedicated to removing institutional and systemic barriers that result in oppression and racism. We will be accountable to marginalized communities for creating equitable and sustainable environments where social justice is woven into every facet of our programs, and by caring for our communities in a culturally versatile and respectful manner.

Category: Press Release