PASCO, WA - Community leader, Daishaundra Loving-Hearne is calling on Pasco Police to reevaluate the way officers' respond to calls, asking them to practice de-escalation after what she calls an "infuriating" run in with the department.
On Saturday around four in the morning in Pasco, local Black Lives Matter activist, Daishaundra Loving-Hearne and her family were finishing up celebrating her birthday.
According to Hearne her brother was sitting in their car as they loaded equipment from the party into their vehicle parked outside her home.
Hearne has a very large dog, which was in the car with her brother.
Pasco Police tell NBC Right Now they were responding to a neighbor's phone call complaint about the dog.
Hearne says when Pasco Police arrived they approached her brother….. that's where the story begins to differ in views.
Pasco Police told NBC Right Now the person sitting in the vehicle was "not cooperating" when they began to question him and ask for identification.
According to Hearne Pasco Police started to get very aggressive, soon all the family left at the party came outside, and Hearne says she was trying to deescalate the situation.
In a social media post she wrote:
"Our entire family walked outside at this point shocked and scared to find 7 more patrol cars surrounding my siblings in the car. The officer had called for backup, and deemed the situation dangerous. I calmly reasoned with the officer for over 30 minutes to see how we could be more cooperative, yet nothing came of it."
However, the situation did calm down, but, only after a Pasco Officer, Pruenda arrived on scene and told everyone who she was.
Hearne tells NBC Right Now she wants more accountability, and has this message for Pasco PD.
In a statement she wrote in part:
"What happened to my family on Saturday night has happened to many black families across this country and here in Pasco, but how many times does this happen to people who are all alone?"
She goes on to say, "we did more deescalating of them in fear for my brother than they did the whole night. Our black skin is not a threat… and to the neighbor, stop calling the police on black people for existing!"
Officer Pruneda says being transparent with the community is something he works hard at, and said he reviewed the body camera footage which showcased the scene before he arrived, he went on to say "we are doing a thorough investigation because of her complaints."
Pruenda also says the department followed mandated protocols and handled the situation in the right way, and because of this the situation ended in peace with parties "shaking hands" afterwards.
Below is Hearne's full statement about the events that transpired:
"I realize that Pasco P.D. feels as though they were following protocol. But the protocol is what we are challenging. You have implicit bias training, but does that training ever prompt you to challenge the bias written INTO the protocol?
Does anyone ever stop to question the institutionalized issues that we are facing or is it always blind trust and following of the system? I feel like they won’t see the problem until it’s their son or daughter being surrounded by 7+ patrol cars in the middle of the night. Until their wives or families sit in fear wondering if simple calls about dogs etc. will end in violence or death.
I’ve seen the police respond to raving groups of white teens over excited and aggressive after football games with less officers on hand. Yet when 7 unarmed Black people in formal wear ask questions barefoot on the grass they fear for their lives with guns on their hips. This is the issue, we did more deescalating of them in fear for my brother than they did the whole night.
And as much as I am thankful to have known an officer, it shouldn’t have taken him showing up to let everyone know “we are some of the good ones” for them to have practiced empathy and understanding. Even in that there is racism, to have to be vouched for, or to have my worth examined or explained. Our Black skin is not a threat."