During a recess in the Mountlake Terrace City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, a Mountlake Terrace man confronted a police department commander attending the meeting, verbally abused the commander, and refused to leave the council chambers when asked. The confrontation escalated, leading to the man’s arrest.
Julius Waldkirch, 52, was booked into Snohomish County Jail Tuesday night for felony Assault 3 and disorderly conduct; bail was set at $10,500.
According to a Mountlake Terrace Police Department report, as the police commander and an assisting officer were taking Waldkirch to the ground in an attempt to subdue him, Waldkirch kicked the commander in the thigh.
The report also states that when police searched Waldkirch, they found a handgun in his pocket.
The confrontation during a break in council proceedings, when Waldkirch walked over to the commander “and began asking him questions in a very confrontational manner while standing very close to him,” the police report stated. “Waldkirch continued his aggressive tone asking questions about e-mails that had been sent to the police department.”
The police commander responded to Waldkirch “that this was not the time and venue for such discussion,” and when Waldkirch continued the altercation the commander “asked him to please return to his seat.” After Waldkirch “continued to be confrontational” and refusing to sit, the commander “distanced himself from Waldkirch” and told Mayor Jerry Smith that he would be asking Waldkirch “to leave if he continued to be disruptive.”
The commander “radioed dispatch and requested another unit to assist in the event Waldkirch had to be asked to leave.” Upon arrival of the backup officer, Waldkirch was again told if he continued to be disruptive he would be asked to leave. “Waldkirch became even more vocal at that point and was yelling that he was not going to leave,” the report continued.
When told that he now had to leave the council chambers, Waldkirch refused and sat in a chair. The commander and officer attempted to escort Waldkirch out of the chambers, but he resisted, continued to yell and struggled against the officers, the report said. Waldkirch was eventually handcuffed and escorted out of the building.
Waldkirch had been a regular attendee of recent city council meetings, taking advantage of public comment periods to address his concerns of alleged practices of racial discrimination in the Mountlake Terrace Police Department. Earlier in Tuesday’s meeting, Waldkirch had told the council that “white supremacy” thrives in the ranks of the police department, and that members of the city leadership “are notorious for retaliating against their co-workers and fellow citizens.”
In December Waldkirch claimed that the Mountlake Terrace Police Department is comprised of only 4.9 percent minorities, citing “the photo on the city’s website featuring only two persons of color among 41 police employees.”
— By Doug Petrowski