Dunn takes heat, apologizes for Molotov cocktail post

The Snohomish County Councilwoman deleted the Facebook post of a cross-stitched bomb, saying she meant no harm.

Megan Dunn’s post on social media. (Screenshot)

Megan Dunn’s post on social media. (Screenshot)

EVERETT — Snohomish County Councilwoman Megan Dunn rebuffed allegations this week that she endorsed violence against law enforcement when she shared a post on Facebook featuring an embroidered Molotov cocktail.

She also deleted the post and apologized for it, leading the Everett police union to rescind a demand for her resignation.

Dunn, a Democrat, initially republished the image on her personal profile last week: a cross-stitch of the incendiary device bearing the slogan, “Be the light you want to see in the world.” She called it “a good reminder.”

Widely shared screenshots drew criticism from local police, conservative pundits and others, who called for her to step down.

She later said it was misinterpreted.

The post did not mention police. It did include a second image of a pro-choice author’s book, about “how conservative political operatives intentionally targeted abortion as a rallying cry for their followers as their other prejudices fell from favor,” according to a synopsis on the book’s website.

“My post of a counter-culture cross-stitch project was in no way intended as a call for violence or encouraging violence. It does not reference police or violence against police and has no imagery of police,” Dunn said on Monday at a County Council meeting.

“And it’s not representative of the council as a whole or my sentiment towards law enforcement officials,” she added. “I do not condone or support using violence.”

The controversy ignited and spread on social media, with the backdrop of months of tense Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality across the country. The vast majority of demonstrations have been peaceful. Some have been marked by violence, including in Seattle and Everett.

Local tensions over policing have risen as the county has considered spending cuts to law enforcement to offset the fiscal toll of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent tax revenues tumbling.

Megan Dunn

Megan Dunn

Dunn, a vocal proponent of racial justice, recently signed a resolution with other council members declaring support for Snohomish County law officers in the wake of a shooting that severely wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

A union representing Everett police officers called on Dunn to step down because of the Facebook post, but rescinded that demand Monday after her apology. She should instead “work closely with line level Law Enforcement officers for solutions and understanding,” the Everett Police Officers Association said.

“The counter culture of violence against our law enforcement and law abiding citizens that we are witnessing daily can never be accepted,” the union said in a post to its Facebook page on Monday. “You MUST lead in a manner that represents ALL of US. No easy task.”

An online petition, demanding that Dunn to publicly condemn “the ongoing violence in Seattle” or resign, had garnered more than 190 signatures.

The Snohomish County Republican Party promoted the petition on its Facebook page and alleged Dunn supports “mass violence.”

Five residents who addressed the County Council on Monday maintained that she should still step down, even after her apology.

Dunn told The Daily Herald she sees the backlash as “an attack from the radical right” conflating the embroidered craft project and violent civil unrest.

“We stand behind Megan Dunn and are appalled at the harassment and the abuse that has been levied against her,” said Hillary Moralez, chairperson of the Snohomish County Democrats. “She apologized. She owned it. And she removed (the post).”

County resident Jasmine Jarrell said the fallout over Dunn’s post was meant as a distraction from conversations about whether the taxpayer money spent on policing could be better used elsewhere.

“I implore the council to stand behind the council member in this baseless attack,” Jarrell told the council Wednesday. “But more importantly, I beg you all to see the bigger picture.”

Dunn has spoken out about the need for the council to address recent calls for criminal justice reform. In step with the national “defund the police” movement, a group of public defenders called on the county over the summer to redistribute half of Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney’s budget into housing, counseling and other social services that promote community well-being.

The sheriff’s office is the largest part of the county’s general fund budget, accounting for over 40% of spending. The county jail is run by the sheriff.

County Executive Dave Somers in June announced plans to establish a community police oversight board, reform the cash bail system and equip sheriff’s deputies with body cameras. Achieving those goals will take years of cooperation with the council and other local criminal justice officials, he has acknowledged.

All county departments need to reduce expenses somewhat to offset the impact of the economic downturn on county coffers, Somers has said.

But wholesale cuts to the sheriff’s office budget aren’t likely any time soon. In the county resolution supporting police, Dunn and her colleagues pledged to “make public safety a top priority,” when devising a spending plan for next year.

Rachel Riley: 425-339-3465; rriley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rachel_m_riley.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Closing this bedroom door during an apartment fire in Everett helped contain flames, smoke and carbon monoxide, firefighters say. (Everett Fire Department) 20220120
Crucial move during Everett fire: Closing the bedroom door

Two residents were rescued from a bedroom at the Riverdale Apartments. In all, three were injured.

An alleged impaired driver hit and killed two adults Thursday morning at the intersection of 204th Street NE and Highway 9. (Arlington Police Department)
2 pedestrians die after being hit by allegedly impaired driver

The two adults were struck in Arlington around 2:30 a.m. Thursday at an intersection on Highway 9.

Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Police respond in downtown Everett after a man collapsed with a gunshot wound Nov. 27, 2021. He later died. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Everett police continue to investigate November killing

Jerome Burnett, 48, died at the hospital. A suspect fled, according to police.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Regulators OK doubling of composting operation in Stanwood

Lenz Enterprises can now handle 150,000 tons a year. Residents worry odors will be a problem.

Providence Medical Center Everett, where The Washington National Guard has been deployed to free up staff. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
How many ICU beds open in Snohomish County? One.

The omicron surge appears to be cresting here, but hospitalizations are expected to keep rising.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democrats ready to ditch the other ‘grand bargain’ of 2021

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Darrell Cain, Pierce College Puyallup president and incoming Everett Community College interim president
Pierce College Puyallup president picked to lead EvCC for now

Everett Community College’s board chose Darrell Cain as its interim president.

Ballots sent for special election on public schools’ funding

Levies to pay for staff, programs, computers and capital projects are on the Feb. 8 ballot across Snohomish County.

Most Read