Many Questions on Police Killing in Wenatchee Washington
Thursday night Wenatchee police killed Matt Folden in the parking lot of an Albertson's grocery store.
Suspecting he had a knife, and with only seconds of warning, police opened fire, and shot Folden three times.
Police released a statement saying that Folden was "confrontational" and "armed". Local media outlets printed the statement, without any investigation into the events, with headlines reading, "Police shoot, kill screaming man with knife", and "Police: Wenatchee officer fatally shoots 31-year-old 'confrontational' man with a knife." Witness accounts and Facebook videos, at this time, all contradict the WPD statement.
"We were there, there was no knife and the cop had no reason to fear for his life," Rich Summers, one of the eye witnesses said. Summers posted a video of the aftermath showing police pointing their guns at Foldens unconscious body before handcuffing him. Other witnesses can be heard discussing whether or not they saw a knife after police told them they shot Folden, because he was in possession of one. "It looked like he was holding his necklace," one man said in the video. "I didn't see a knife."
"We were there, there was no knife and the cop had no reason to fear for his life," Rich Summers, one of the eye witnesses said. Summers posted a video of the aftermath showing police pointing their guns at Foldens unconscious body before handcuffing him.
The officers then turn around pointing their gun at another person who was running toward Folden's body. Witness facebook accounts say that it was his girlfriend. The two men talking in the video question whether the cops were trying to shoot her as well.
Another witness, gave her detailed account of the events that led up to the shooting. That witness said that Folden had been stumbling around the parking lot of the shopping complex, and that his girlfriend was looking for him. The witness said she saw a man, presumed to be a semi truck driver, and that he was on the phone when Folden said something to him. She said Folden then walked right in front of her car, at which time she noted that she saw no knife on him.
The husband of the witness and her 10-year-old daughter then came out the Albertsons doors as police pulled up, slowing down as her daughter ran toward her car. An officer then got out of the car, telling Folden to put his hands in the air. Folden was heard saying something as he is headed in the officer's direction and the officer opened fire, killing him.
The police statement seemed purposefully vague describing Folden as "confrontational", and "armed". As I understand it, that could mean anything including that he yelled something and had something in his hand.
With everything shown in the video, and everything the witnesses reported so far, it seems fairly evident that Mathew Folden did not need to die. Even if the police account of the events were true, Folden was at a safe enough distance to taze, or back away from before resorting to fatal measures resulting in the taking of his life.
Friends, along with concerned citizens and others who have lost someone to police violence, are calling for justice and working together to organize for change. It is my hope that this Web Site will help to facilitate that call for change.