Native Lives Matter-Puyallups Take the Lead in Washington State
It is a bright morning, and we are in a small crab vessel in Puget Sound, north of Tacoma, Washington. Puyallup tribal member James Rideout is baiting and tossing overboard some dozen wire-mesh crab pots. As we navigate the sound, with its forested islands and peninsulas, Mount Rainier’s massive snow-covered peak seems to glide around the horizon, slipping behind one hilly shoreline then another. Toward evening, Rideout will return to collect the crabs. They’ll be cooked for one of the regular family meetings that has followed the police shooting of his niece, Jackie Salyers.
Shortly before midnight on January 28 of this year, Tacoma patrol officers killed Salyers during a failed attempt to apprehend her boyfriend, who was wanted on drugs and weapons charges. Minutes after the officers approached the couple, one of them had shot Salyers in the head, and the boyfriend had escaped into the night. A mother of four, Salyers was pregnant at the time of her death.