BELLEVUE GROUP QUESTIONS STALL BY CITY ATTORNEY IN JAMES KELLY GUN CASE

Thursday, June 27th, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA – A month has passed since Seattle Urban League President James Kelly was accused of flashing a concealed handgun during an argument with another man on the grounds of Rainier Beach High School, yet the Seattle City Attorney’s office claims it has not finished an investigation and, as a result, has taken no action.

Kelly, a leader in the African-American community, is a well-known advocate of extremist gun control measures, including this state’s Gun Free School Zone law, which he allegedly violated the night of May 29. Newspaper accounts of the incident indicated that Mr. Kelly also possesses a Concealed Pistol License, further evidence of his philosophical hypocrisy.

Today, Joe Waldron, executive director of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, accused the city attorney of stalling and stonewalling on this case.

“James Kelly is an outspoken proponent of strict gun control, and has been quick to demand that gun law violators be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Waldron stated. “So, what’s taking so long for the city attorney to move on this case? Is the city applying a double standard of justice? Is the city attorney afraid Kelly might accuse that office of racism?

“It would not be surprising,” Waldron continued, “to learn Kelly expects special treatment. He has recently been exposed as a hypocrite following the shooting of a King County sheriff’s deputy by an African-American man. Kelly has been quick to draw the race card in several shootings of black suspects by white police officers, but when a black man murders a white cop, suddenly Kelly says race is not an issue.

“James Kelly obviously lives by the dual standard,” Waldron stated, “on race and guns. He carries a gun for personal protection, while supporting laws that would deny others that same right. He allegedly carried that gun on school property, in violation of a law he supported, and reportedly flashed it to intimidate another man during an argument, violating yet another state gun law.

“James Kelly is not above the law,” Waldron concluded, “and his position in the community should not prevent the city attorney from holding Kelly to the same standard he would establish for everyone else. Enough time has passed for a case review. The city attorney should either charge Kelly and prosecute him, or explain to the public why not.”