Seattle police union board votes to immediately oust Ron Smith as union president
SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild board voted Thursday to immediately expel union President Ron Smith rather than accept his resignation, effective July 31.
On Tuesday night, Smith had announced he would resign at the end of the month following a controversial media post about the Dallas shooting in which five officers were ambushed and killed.
In the Facebook post after the Dallas shootings, Smith wrote that “hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting” and signed off with “#weshallovercome”.
The post drew immediate criticism. According to a @ source, some union members pressured Smith to resign following the backlash over the social media comments.
In an email to his fellow officers Tuesday night, Smith said he would step down on July 31. But the union’s board called an emergency meeting for Thursday and voted to expel him immediately. The union issued the following statement afterward:
“Effective July 14, 2016, Detective Ron Smith is no longer the President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Detective Smith submitted his resignation from office on July 12, 2016. However, due to recent comments to the media given by Detective Smith, the Seattle Police Officers Guild Board of Directors voted unanimously to remove him from his role as President of the organization immediately. The Board of Directors determined that Detective Smith has been acting against the interest of the Guild and the Guild Membership. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to immediately remove Detective Smith from the Board of Director and end his term as President immediately instead of July 31, 2016 as previously announced.
“Detective Smith was not removed from office because the Board of Directors is against reform in the Seattle Police Department. This misrepresentation of facts may have led the Guild Membership and the Seattle Community to believe that the Guild is against reform. The Seattle Police Officers Guild has always and will continue to work collaboratively with the Seattle Police Department and the City of Seattle in the reform process.
“Detective Smith no longer has authority to speak on behalf of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Any statements or comments he makes from this point forward are his own,” the statement concluded.
In a phone interview with Q13 News Wednesday night, Smith apologized again for his Facebook post but admitted he had been “taken aback” by the strong criticism of his comments.
Smith said “I deeply regret” offending anyone by words that were written “in a moment of extreme passion, extreme pain” while police officers in Dallas were being killed in an ambush shooting. “I meant no offense … no disrespect” to anyone, he said, adding, “I would ask for your forgiveness.”
He added that he resigned his union position Tuesday because he wanted to take responsibility for his action.