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Joint Information Center | | Preparedness | King County

Sept. 11, 2001

Excerpted text transcription of
Sheriff Dave Reichert's and
Executive Ron Sims' media briefing

SHERIFF REICHERT: "We don't know who is responsible for the actions that have been taken today, so to retaliate against one particular ethnic group is certainly wrong. At this point we have no idea who has committed these horrific acts. So I guess we would ask for people to just remain calm. If there are threats of course in any community here in King County, please call their local law enforcement agency and we'll take immediate action. If it's in areas that the Sheriff's office is responsible for, we will respond immediately and take action. If they're within the city of Seattle or any local municipality, certainly they should call their local police department."

EXECUTIVE SIMS: "We made calls this morning to the various mosques that are here asking them what their concerns would be. Our position will be that anybody who attempts in this county to retaliate against a person because of their faith, we will go after them aggressively. We will arrest them. Threats are inappropriate here because of one's belief.

"These were terrorists. People here of Islamic faith are not terrorists. They go to work here, they're our neighbors, they're friends and they're citizens, and we will not tolerate in any way, anyone, at any time, retaliating against a person because of their faith or their perceived ethnic or cultural background. It's unacceptable to us.

"A person who does that is no better than the person who flew those planes into those towers this morning. They're no better. We don't want anyone to stoop to that level. This is a grand region with people who strive to get along with their neighbors, to respect the faith and cultural background of their neighbors, and that's what we're going to ask for.

"We're not going to ask for people to engage in stereotypes and demagoguery. It's inappropriate here. It makes us uncivilized. We are a civilized democratic nation, and we're going to ask the citizens here to live up to that high creed. We're an extraordinary place to live, and we want to remain an extraordinary place to live.

"So if anyone decides to retaliate against a person because they're Islamic, I can assure you that the resources of this government will be used to find them and track them down, arrest them and prosecute them."

Updated: Sept. 11, 2001

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