Courtesy family of Jacqueline Salyers
A shrine commemorating the life and passing of Puyallup tribal member Jacqueline Salyers and her unborn child.

Family of Native Mother Shot by Cop Plans Peaceful March, Wants Justice

Stephanie Woodard

“I want everyone to know that this will be a peaceful march,” said Leslie Salyers, sister of Jacqueline Salyers, a Puyallup tribal member who was shot dead by a Tacoma, Washington, police officer on January 28. “We don’t want to stop violence with violence. We just want answers.”

The slain woman’s family has planned a march that will begin at 11 a.m. (PST) on Wednesday, March 16, on the Puyallup Tribe of Indians homeland. After gathering at 3009 East Portland Avenue, in Tacoma, family members and supporters will process to a federal courthouse and police station. For more information, go to the family’s Facebook page, Justice for Jackie.

Since the shooting, Jacqueline Salyers’s family has struggled with grief that was compounded by the gruesome manner of her death, by sensational local media coverage that reiterated the police account of the shooting without questioning its inconsistencies and by the unresponsiveness of the Tacoma Police Department.

Jacqueline’s mother, Lisa Earl, told ICTMN, “I obviously cannot get what I want, which is my daughter back. So I want police accountability. They seem to have already dismissed the whole thing. They put the officers [who shot my daughter] back on the streets, where they can bully people into keeping their dirty secrets and stop the truth from coming out. I want those officers off the streets. I want them to understand what protect and serve means. I have four grandchildren who will never again feel the love of their mother’s touch.”

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Another heavy blow came when family members learned after the burial that Jacqueline, a mother of four, had been pregnant. “Why was such injustice done to my sister and her unborn baby?” asked Leslie.

RELATED: Native Woman Shot By Cop Was Pregnant, Family Learns After Burial

Family members have also been moved by accounts of police misconduct from other Tacoma residents who attended the march-planning meetings. “There has been too much police brutality,” said Earl. “I didn’t realize how much until now.”

“We didn’t ask to be a part of this,” said Jacqueline’s uncle, James Rideout, “but now that we are, we want to be sure some good comes out of it.”

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