Projecting Justice: Matthew Folden and Patrick West

May 25 marks the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, a watershed moment that has re-energized an ongoing nationwide movement and sparked an urgent conversation about the role of policing in our state. In Washington, about 40-50 members of our communities, disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian American Pacific Islander, are killed each year by police officers. That must change. With Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, we projected names each night, beginning with George Floyd on May 25, 2021.

Matthew Folden was killed in Wenatchee in a grocery store parking lot in July 2017.  Matt was agitated and is alleged to have threatened people with a pocket knife.  He was killed within 13 seconds of the police arriving on the scene.  Matt was 31 years old, had a history of drug use and co-occurring mental health issues, was a local musician and tattoo artist, and was a father and part of a loving family. 

Patrick West was a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend who suffered from bipolar disorder.  Police were called to his home in Montesano in April 2019 for a welfare check when he was experiencing a mental health crisis.  Patrick was alone in his own home and had not committed any crime.  The local police activated a multi-jurisdictional tactical response team, which surrounded his home with armed officers, snipers, and an armored vehicle.  Patrick was shot in the back and shoulder after tactical officers breached the door to his home with a battering ram.  He was holding a piece of steel from his workshop.