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Hate Crime in Seattle Area City Spurs Community Outpouring for Victim's Family
Incensed by racially motivated hate crimes and death threats directed at one of their residents, the citizens of Edmonds, Washington plan a demonstration in this seaside town north of Seattle in support of the victim, an emigrant from Gambia.
“Edmonds Embraces Diversity” demonstrators will gather at Brackett’s Landing – a waterfront park adjacent to the city’s ferry-loading dock as the City of Edmonds police department continue their investigation into lethal threats and racially motivated slurs that were screamed at Edmonds resident, Dembo Sanneh, who was strolling the Edmonds waterfront along Sunset Avenue this past month.
In his statement to the police Sanneh states, “that at about 7:10 p.m. that day, the family was approached from behind by a white man driving a vehicle described as a maroon mid-1990s Toyota Camry-style vehicle. The man began yelling at them and shaking his hand. “He called us niggers and asked what we were doing walking on the trail,” Sanneh said. “He said he did not want to see any black people on the waterfront. He said he had a gun and was going to come and kill me and my kids if we didn’t leave.”
The driver, described as about 40 years old and “chubby,” with reddish hair and a clean-shaven round face, also accused the family of carrying the Ebola virus, AIDS and HIV, Sanneh said. The suspect drove around the block three times, stopping each time to threaten the family and calling them names, Sanneh added.”
Sanneh, who emigrated from Gambia, Africa fifteen years ago has lived in Edmonds for the past six years and is employed by the Department of Social and Health Services in Lake City, Washington.
The “Edmonds Embraces Diversity” demonstration was formed in support of the Sanneh family by Edmonds resident Emily Hill who admits that she was the victim of racism during her childhood in a pre-Civil Rights Louisiana and states that she could not read through accounts of the incident without being compelled to organize the demonstration.
She says that she hopes the news of the rally will travel to Mr. Sanneh who has stated his reluctance to ever return to the popular waterfront path along Sunset Drive. In her efforts Ms. Hill has established a Facebook page for the event on which she originally invited 40 of her Edmonds friends to share. In the first 24-hours the page was shared over 250 times. Visit https://www.facebook.com/
Ms. Hill has also called on the Facebook group “Edmonds Moms” which is over 4,000 strong reminding the members that, “attending the rally with their children would afford a teachable moment that neighbors stand up for each other against injustices.”
She is also counting on the support of her personal Facebook friend who reside in Edmonds to spread word of the demonstration, and dozens of them have. Jeff Baum, manager of Harbor Square Athletic Club, is promoting flyers of the demonstration, as is The Cheesemonger’
Ms. Hill contends, “The criminal in all of this, and driver of the maroon automobile, is very likely not even an Edmonds resident. I believe those who gather Sunday evening in support of Mr. Sanneh reflect the real Edmonds. We’re neighborly, our debates are lively, and we share civic pride, civility and demeanor that certainly rise above the crimes that Mr. Sanneh and his family suffered.”
Soon after hearing of the demonstration Edmonds City Councilmember, Strom Peterson, who has ties to the local Gambian community volunteered to contact the leadership and extend an invitation that representatives walk with the Edmonds diversity group which will rally at 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at Brackett’s Landing along Edmonds Marine Walkway, on the north side of the ferry terminal in Edmonds.
Page Updated Last on: Sep 06, 2014