On Saturday, really the final day, I informed the deputy mayor I would be resigning as police chief, to de-politicize the debriefing, the critiquing, the hand-wringing, and teeth-gnashing over the events of that week.
I left on February 19. The next day I started growing my beard and writing.
Stamper now lives on Orcas Island and works with LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, to reform drug laws.
I ended up firing one deputy for the pepper—spray incident [spraying two women in a car videotaping the Capitol Hill melee on Tuesday night]. For that and kicking—now described as “tripping over”—a woman with a first-aid cross on her arm who was a member of one of the peaceful protest groups. We conducted an investigation, and in my mind it was clear his conduct was not acceptable.
An arbitrator directed me to hire him back because the evidence wasn’t clear that there was misconduct. I appealed it through courts, the judge found the same, and I had to hire him back.
Otherwise, I have tremendous respect for the officers’ restraint and professionalism in dealing with overwhelming odds and a violent, chaotic situation.
Reichert is now a U.S. congressman representing the Eastside.
It comes up a lot as you travel, when people find out you were one of the organizers of the WTO. A lot of people today still want to hear about it. You can see the attention focused on world trade, how it has slipped just this year. The need to have worker rights and human rights as part of the discussion was just clearly poured in concrete in Seattle.
I had to leave everything I wore that day in Seattle, there was just so much tear gas on your clothes. That’s how close we were, rubbing elbows.
O’Brien is now organizing director of Unite Here, which represents immigrant, service, and hospitality workers.
As a community I think we did ourselves proud. It was a very difficult event and I think we came through it in pretty good spirits. Everyone from the newspapers to the parking garages to the businesses donated time and help to make it a good holiday season.
One thing I learned, which is good for any business: I came into the office and I was a totally useless CEO. I couldn’t take messages off the phone. As a result we and a lot of other businesses developed emergency plans.
Joncas remains president of the Downtown Seattle Association.