Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mourners Gather To Remember Man Fatally Shot By Police Near 'The Jungle'

About a dozen people gathered Friday near the former site of a homeless camp known as The Jungle to remember Michael Taylor, a 44-year-old man who was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer near the camp.

The gathering was convened by the Women's Housing, Equality and Enhancement League, a non-profit comprising homeless and formerly homeless women.

Allene Steinberg is one of the Women in Black who perform these ministries when homeless people die.

"We're there because every human being on this planet matters," she said. "When they die, regardless of how they died, they need to be remembered with dignity.

The Rev. Linda Smith is a pastor at Mary's Place, an organization that runs homeless shelters throughout the city. She leads the group in prayers, remembrances, and a cleansing ritual.

According to police, two officers saw Taylor pull out a knife during a fight with another man while the camp was being cleared on Oct. 11. One of the officers pulled out her weapon and shot Taylor, who later died at Harborview Medical Center.

Smith said Taylor's death hit on two difficult topics: homelessness and police-involved shootings.

"Could there have been other means in which they could have apprehended him and he'd still be alive today? Did his homelessness impact them shooting him? Did they see him not as a person of value?" Smith said.  "[Those] are the questions that I have"

The police department's Force Investigation Team is investigating the shooting.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.