Observation Deck

Eric Rosane, Co-Editor

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Hey Wildcats, hope your week has been going well and that your classes have been running smoothly. First off, I want to thank you for picking up this week’s issue of the Observer. As you know, 4/20 is at the end of this week; I’m sure many of you are pleased as a button to take the Friday to unwind with friends and enjoy the, erm, higher things in life. Whether you dab, smoke or craft your own edibles – this issue is for you. To the left of this column, you’ll find some deals and events that will be going on around the Burg this friday. Make sure you don’t miss out on those.

I think it’s important to also take the time to mention that our new section, Engagement, will be launching this week. Everything we write, shoot photos of and cover is for you – the avid Wildcat. So we thought it would only be appropriate to give a little back to the excellent community that we serve. On page 12 (that’s the back page, for those of you who don’t know), you’ll find student art, poetry, facts, events, academic deadlines and, yes, even a crossword puzzle.

I want to thank our fearless online editor Mariah Valles and copy desk chief Alexa Murdock for being the minds and direction of this new amendment to the Observer. Without their talent, expertise and willingness to adapt, this section would have never seen the light of day.

 

EPD’s Use of Force

Now that I’ve taken the time to update you all on what has been going on in the newsroom, I think it’s time to have a talk on what’s been going on in our community. As some of you know, last Saturday night a video surfaced on Twitter that showed the Ellensburg Police Department using excessive and unwarranted force on a young black man outside of Club 301. This young black man was Keiwuan Miller and he was here with a group of friends.

The video shows two police officers holding each side of the detainee before both officers slam him to the ground to put on handcuffs. Keep in mind that during this incident, the video shows that Keiwuan was NOT resisting arrest and was not attempting to harm the officers. This use of force was unwarranted. According a statement provided by the doorman in the police report, this incident began because Miller cut in line at the door of 301. The doorman then asked Miller and his friends to leave the premises of the business.

In a narrative by Officer Stephanie Druktenis, she called the group of 60 that surrounded Miller’s arrest an “angry-mob like group, yelling and screaming about Miller’s arrest,” despite no reported harm being done to the police officers.

Was Miller’s arrest justified? Most likely. Was the procedure that EPD set out to do it ethical? Most definitely not.

Racially profiled situations like these have reverberations not only around the community, but also here on campus. CWU constantly praises their abundance of diversity and uses the fact as a pedestal to be recognized in the larger regional community, but are they looking into how they’re going to implement resources into a growing diverse community? Is the university doing enough for people of color, or are we simply doing the bare minimum? Is the community and their powers building relationships with our students or are they cutting them off? This is what we, as a united community, need to take inventory of.

We also need to listen to the needs of the students across campus. We need to listen to MEChA. We need to listen to BSU. We need to listen to our Filipino brothers and sisters. We need to listen to our Muslim constituents. And more importantly, white people (like myself) need to learn to shut up and listen.

 

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Observation Deck