Northwest Asian Weekly
There was a community meeting to provide an update on the murder investigation of Donnie Chin, held Nov. 25 at the Nagomi Tea House in the International District.
International District icon and Seattle resident Donnie Chin was shot and killed in the early hours of July 23, 2015. As the investigation continues, members of Chin’s family and community requested more information about the status of the investigation.
The meeting was held to update the public about progress of the search for suspects and to address questions about the status of the investigation. The meeting was moderated by Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-Seattle). Also in attendance were King County Councilmember Joe McDermott; City of Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell; and Richard Marr from the International District Emergency Center. Representing the Seattle Police Department (SPD) was Deputy Chief Carmen Best.
During an initial statement, when asked to summarize the investigation, Best said much of the information was not able to be released to the public, and there were regrets that the SPD was not able to release that information, due to the concern that it would jeopardize the ongoing investigation. She also stated that “communication with the community will be better” and there was a heightened awareness of crime in the International District.
Community members in the audience expressed frustration about the lack of information about the case. There were questions about letting the community know the actual progress, any information that can be shared, where the case is going, if it was active, and if it was a priority.
Best replied that the SPD had accurate leads and the investigation was active. When asked for specifics, she explained that the SPD couldn’t reveal any specific information or testimony during the investigation due to the possibility it would be tainted. Best emphasized that what could be shared with the public was limited.
The other issues wanting to be addressed by community members focused around issues of safety in the International District. These concerns included: the increase in homelessness; blatant drug dealing; lack of safety; the need for more attention to be paid to Little Saigon; a perception of disparity between the SPD’s attention paid to the East precinct and the West precinct; and the overall need for more police patrol.
At the end of the meeting, Councilmember Harrell proposed another meeting in several weeks with the SPD, focusing on more details about the case and establishing better communication with the community about Donnie Chin’s murder.
“His death left a gap,” one audience member stated. (end)
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