It took five, not a couple, or three or four, but FIVE allegations of sexual assault before Ed Murray was forced to resign as Seattle mayor. There’s just too much smoke for there to be no fire. And what about the possibility that there may be more victims who are too scared to come forward?
One accuser, Lloyd Anderson, said, “I feel victory, but saddened that it required another victim to come forward for him to resign. I wonder how many other victims are out there.” Anderson claims Murray abused him in Portland in the early 1980s.
I can’t even imagine how traumatizing it must have been as a survivor of sexual abuse to watch the entire city debate for months if a predator should be allowed to be mayor. Add to that — being attacked publicly and vilified, for being called a liar after coming forward … the story of how all of these men denied the truth to try and cope is heartbreaking.
This resignation is a win for the victims who have had to witness Murray’s rise to fame, while they are still dealing with the repercussions of the abuse they suffered.
Most children are not in position to protect themselves and it is wrong, especially as a grown adult, to take advantage of that.
I don’t know what really happened, but the fact that Murray’s own cousin has raised this publicly and Murray is not fighting hard against it, leaves me to believe there has to be some truths. And it leads me to wonder… if you’re that good at keeping this many abuses secret, what else are you hiding?
Some say that sexual abusers were likely abused themselves. If that’s true in Murray’s case, I’m sad that that happened. But it doesn’t make it okay to perpetuate the cycle of abuse. And just because you did something long ago, doesn’t mean that it is forgotten. Denial never works. Only by accepting responsibility can you heal and move forward.
Seattle, we are not a “progressive city” if we don’t believe survivors enough to take power away from predators, especially after it was revealed in July that an investigator in Oregon found in 1984 that Murray did indeed abuse his foster son, Jeff Simpson.
The victims deserve our thoughts, sympathy, prayers, and justice.
Council President Bruce Harrell will temporarily serve as mayor and will decide within five days whether to take on the role of acting mayor.
That’s the one bright side of this sordid tale. Harrell will be the first Asian American in that role as Seattle mayor, even though it may only be temporary. And he will be the city’s second Black mayor.
If Harrell decides he does not want to continue serving, the nine-member council will choose another one of its members to be acting mayor. If Harrell decides to stay, he won’t be able to return to his council seat.■