Developments in the bombing case

Like most of you I was surprised and pleased to hear of a break in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade bombing case yesterday. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all local, state, and federal law enforcement officials who have contributed to the arrest in this matter. I would also like to thank all those who have contributed to the ongoing dialogue on racism and violence that this incident has inspired in our community, particularly the local NAACP whose forum I attended a few weeks ago. Let justice now take its course.

Please see the links below for statements and further information about the case:

Mayor’s statement
Governor’s statement
US Attorney office press release
Spokesman Review article
Spokane NAACP

While this event has garnered national attention I think it is important to remind everyone of the real Spokane, a Spokane that embraces diversity in its citizens and variety in culture. We are, in fact, getting more diverse according to the latest census. Just days after the MLK Jr. parade I had the pleasure of attending the Act Six scholarship ceremony at Rogers High School. Act Six provides full-ride scholarships aimed at but not limited to students of color in the area who want to attend Gonzaga or Whitworth and will commit to training to make themselves future leaders in our community.

I can’t forget the words of one Latino student from Spokane Valley recounting when he heard news of his scholarship award. He would be the first in his family to attend college. He rushed up stairs to tell his Dad. “In 18 years it was the first time I had ever seen my father cry,” he said. It was one of many moments that night where you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. It’s also the kind of moment we need to remember and produce more of in our city. One incident, no matter how ugly and distasteful, will not change that.

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