Grieving Seattle family visits Bothell police memorial to show unity between BLM, law enforcement
BOTHELL, Wash. – A community memorial for Bothell Police Officer Johnathan Shoop continues to grow larger outside city hall. The 32-year-old was shot and killed in line of duty Monday night after a traffic stop.
Among those who visited the memorial Wednesday to express their condolences is a Seattle family who knows what it is like to lose a loved one to violence. Margie Haywood’s brother was shot to death in Skyway in October of 2018. The case remains unsolved.
She says it broke her heart to hear about the death of Officer Shoop.
“My brother was killed by gunfire, and that’s what made me come out here because I said, he has two brothers, parents and a fiancée,” said Haywood.
She and her husband also wanted Bothell Police to know that not all people who support Black Lives Matter hate law enforcement.
“I still grieve the same way when it comes to this officer, because to me, I’m gonna be real with everybody, they’re still like my family, regardless of the good, the bad,” said Jeff Haywood.
What makes their visit to the memorial to show their support for law enforcement even more remarkable is that they say they’ve experienced a few cases of racism recently in their own neighborhood that were very upsetting. So, she’s trying to turn it into a positive to let her kids know that everyone isn’t like that and to love people, no matter what.
She and her young sons, or “kidpreneurs,” even created a wristband project to promote unity. The wristbands read, “I commit to love, not hate, unite not divide” on one side and “I will listen to learn, build up and speak up” on the other.
They sell for $5 with all of the money going back into making more wristbands.
“It’s just a fun, practical way that you can wear it that just says every day I get up, I’m committed to love no matter what’s going on, no matter what happened. I’m committing to love,” said Margie.
At the memorial, Margie’s son gave Bothell Police Chief Ken Seuberlich wristbands for himself and for Officer Shoop’s family.
“Thank you so much. You went out of your way to come out here to talk to me and that means the world,” Chief Seuberlich said.
Their visit to the memorial and other neighborhood drive-by events they’ve held called “Standing for Love Not Hate” are part of her long-term mission to bridge communities. That includes finding ways to bring black communities and law enforcement together.
“People are hurting. The officer’s families are hurting, their law enforcement community is hurting. There’s a black community that’s hurting for a really, really, long time in this country and sometimes all it takes is to listen to learn. If we don’t make a choice to unite and not divide, we will continue to go like this over political stances and that’s not relevant, love applies to all,” said Margie.