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Mayor Kartak issues message regarding Sunday's activities

SNOHOMISH — Mayor John Kartak issued the following statement Monday regarding Sunday's activities:

Snohomish Strong was in full spectrum over the weekend, and I am so proud of my community today.

On Saturday, May 30th, hundreds of residents of our City came together to peacefully condemn the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Like many in our community, I am outraged at his treatment and death. I was not surprised that so many Snohomians would want to stand for hours in the rain to show their support and denounce the individuals (not institution) who committed Mr. Floyd’s death. This is who we are as a community. Resolute in our belief that racism and violence is never okay.

On Sunday, May 31st, we received notification that opportunistic punks had chosen Snohomish as a target to deploy mayhem and violence. Their only intention was to cause destruction to our Historic Downtown Snohomish in order to further their own agenda. Their intentions had nothing to do with protesting the horrible death of Mr. Floyd, but to take advantage of the situation to loot, riot, and destroy. Our Snohomish Police Department, with the help of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, took immediate action to protect our City--and so did our residents. Over 500 people came together, of all races, ethnicity, ages, and genders, to deter the violence and vandalism that had been threatened to occur to our small businesses. Instead, the outsiders left. No one was hurt, no windows were broken, no looting occurred, and nobody’s rights were trespassed upon. I am honored to say the men and women of our community came together to protect the City they love. This, too, is who we are as a City--resolute in our belief that protecting our neighbors is the cornerstone of our values.

There will always be some bad actors on all sides trying to hijack an opportunity for their own motives. Don’t let that overshadow the good that happened in Snohomish this weekend, or besmirch the most open and welcoming community on Earth. Help me spread the message that Snohomish does not condone racism and violence, and that we will protect our neighbors always.

Mayor John T. Kartak


During the Tuesday night City Council meeting, where there were two and a half hours of public comments, the statement was largely panned. The largest criticism was that Kartak did not directly address the white power symbols used by some of the people who came on Sunday. Some speakers called it "tone deaf" and one called it "whitewashing" the situation.
The organizers of Snohomish For Equity verbally asked Kartak to retract part of the statement.
At the meeting, Kartak did not, and read the previously posted public statement above before making further comments about Sunday's situation.


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