Seattle Seahawks

Baldwin demands review of police policies

Doug Baldwin
Doug Baldwin AP

The top wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks is demanding the top legal authority in every one of the 50 states review police policies and training programs.

A day after cornerback Richard Sherman spoke out similarly, Doug Baldwin used his weekly press conference to talk not about Sunday’s game against San Francisco, “blah, blah, blah,” as he put it.

The Stanford graduate and National Honor Society inductee who grew up in Florida – the son of a police and homeland security officer – instead quoted the U.S. Constitution, the Department of Justice and Martin Luther King Jr., while he said this:

“I’m demanding that all 50 state attorney generals call for a review of their policies and training policies for police and law enforcement to eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management measures.”

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson responded on Twitter, with an invitation.

“.@DougBaldwinJr Watched your press conference today with interest. I’ll be reaching out soon to see if you’d like to sit down and chat. -BF” Ferguson posted.

Thursday was six days after a white, Tulsa, Okla., police officer shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed, 40-year-old black man, while responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle in a road.

Wednesday was the second consecutive night of violent protests between protestors in Charlotte, N.C., where its police used tear gas. That was after a black father of seven in that city was shot and killed Tuesday by police, who said he was carrying a gun. The man’s family disputes that.

“Obviously, we know the national attention is what’s going on in our communities and in our society right now, specifically pertaining to black people, minorities, and how they’re being treated by some members of our law enforcement across the country,” Baldwin said. “You’ve seen the protests. You’ve heard the message. And now I think it’s time for us to hold each other accountable, and when I say hold each other accountable I mean to the preamble of the United States Constitution, which states, and I quote, that ‘in order to form a more perfect union, we must establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility.’ 

Baldwin was asked if he and fellow athletes who have spoken out, kneeled or sat during national anthems before games, have noticed a change in society since this movement began with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last month.

“The conversation has gotten to the point where, yes, the situation that’s upon us right now, what’s going on in our country, it’s devastating,” Baldwin said. “But now, it has to reach a point of intolerable.

“We cannot tolerate this. Lives are being lost and there are questions that need to be answered, and people deserve an answer and I think that’s where we’re at right now.”