As promised by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner at last month's kickoff to the annual Martin Luther King diversity march, local civic and law enforcement leaders are holding a forum on violence in the community tonight from 6-8 pm at the Spokane City Hall council chambers, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Verner's remarks last month were prompted by a cluster of officer-involved shootings that have left six people dead in Spokane County. (One more fatal shooting occurred during a traffic stop by an Idaho State Police trooper near Coeur d'Alene last night.)
Little did Verner know, however, that even as she urged people to talk about the violence, a bomb hidden in a backpack had been discovered just a block away from the Opera House, right along the route of the MLK march.
Tonight's event is being called a community conversation, entitled "Preventing Violence — Our Responsibility."
Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich will participate.
A press release from the city says the event is "intended to consider the causes of violence and its effects on citizens and law enforcement officers. Citizens will be able to ask questions, express their opinions, and hear about law enforcement protocol and procedures that govern law enforcement response. The goal of the forum is to develop a better understanding of this complex issue and how it affects our community."