Seattle - In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Charleena Lyles’ death at the hands of Seattle police, a consortium of University of Washington groups and partners, including the UW’s Health Alliance International (HAI), Town Hall Seattle, UW Students of Color Affinity Group, UW Concerned Faculty, UW Department of Global Health, Red May and Elliott Bay Book Company, have invited a panel discussion on Community and Legal Strategies to Stop Police Violence on Thursday, May 24 at 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

The event, to be held at Kane Hall 110, the University of Washington, Seattle, will discuss Charleena Lyles’ case from the viewpoint of her family, explore what measures and progress the Seattle police have made in the past year toward addressing police violence, and explore community and legal strategies to stop police violence.

Panelists will include:

Nakeya Isabell, spoken word artist (and cousin of Charleena Lyles)

Katrina Johnson, first cousin of Charleena Lyles and family spokesperson, community activist

Jorge Torres, leader of Seattle Black Lives Matter protests

Jesse Hagopian, teacher, Seattle’s Garfield High School

Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police Chief

Alex Vitale, Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College

David Correia, Associate Professor at University of New Mexico

Michele Storms, Deputy Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state (ACLU-WA)

The panel will be moderated by Clarence Spigner, faculty of the UW School of Public Health, who teaches on police violence. The panelists will explore legal and community-based strategies that can help reduce police use of violence.

Clarence Spigner noted, “The event aims to build community resilience against police violence in Seattle and beyond. The panelists will discuss how to improve police accountability, and ways to reduce racism as a driver for police violence.”

HAI Executive Director James Pfeiffer said, “Many professionals in the public health community now argue that aggressive policing and police violence in the U.S. should be considered as urgent public health challenges.”

For further details and to register for the event, see:

Media inquiries and for more information:

UW Faculty members

James Pfeiffer, PhD: office, 206-543-8382

Amy Hagopian, PhD: cell, 206-551-5313

Notes to editors:

  • Many professionals in the public health community now argue that aggressive policing and police violence in the U.S. should be considered as urgent public health challenges. According to, a web-based tool that uses US Census Data to identify which states have the highest and lowest levels of police violence, and how police violence disproportionately impacts black people in many states, more than 1000 have died in the U.S at the hands of police nationwide in 2017. Black people were 25% of those killed, despite being only 13% of the national population. Black victims of police killings (as a proportion of representation in the population) outnumber white ones in Washington state by a factor of 4. More than a dozen of the 100 largest U.S. city police departments, including Spokane, kill black men at higher rates than the U.S. murder rate. Fewer than a third of black people killed by police were suspected of a violent crime. Further, black victims are much more likely to be unarmed than white victims. Extremely few officers are ever charged with these killings, and fewer than half of those charged are ever convicted.
  • About HAI: Health Alliance International (HAI) is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization and Center of the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.  HAI advocates locally and abroad for policies that support social, economic and health equity for all. 
  • Town Hall Seattle is a nationally unique artistic and civic hub located in the heart of Seattle, offering a gathering place to explore city-wide conversations about important ideas.
  • UW Concerned Faculty formed two years ago to promote racial equity in hiring practices and working conditions on the UW Campus.
  • UW Student of Color Affinity Group offers graduate students of color a network of students, faculty, and administrators linked by shared experiences and willing to support each other in their cultural identity. SOCAG provides a platform for the development of resilience skills at both the academic and professional level while centering the academic and interpersonal needs of marginalized students.
  • The UW Department of Global Health (DGH) bridges the schools of Medicine and Public Health. Its mission is to improve health for all through research, education, training, and service with partners around the world.
  • Red May offers an annual forum for radical art and thought in Seattle each year in the month of May.
  • Elliott Bay Book Company, in the heart of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, is a full service bookstore, home to over 150,000 titles, set on cedar shelves in a multi-level, inviting unique atmosphere.

Stamper, Vitale, Correia and Hagopian have all authored books, which will be for sale by the Elliott Bay Book Company at the event.