SEATTLE — Members of Seattle’s rideshare community are wondering when they will see safety improvements in their industry, almost a month after a driver was shot and killed in the Denny Triangle area.
It was also a month ago when Mayor Bruce Harrell told rallying rideshare drivers outside of city hall that leaders will work to craft policy focused on driver safety,
Ahmed Mumin, who helped organize that rally, is also the executive director of the "Seattle Rideshare Drivers Association." Mumin does not believe city leaders, including the mayor are taking this conversation seriously.
He also questions why it has taken Seattle police so long to release info about the shooting death of his colleague Mohamed Kediye, who was killed while working as a rideshare driver.
On the night of Sept. 11, police said Kediye was stopped at a light at 7th and Lenora, when a vehicle pulled up next to his and someone shot into his vehicle.
So far police have only released pictures of a car they are looking for: a blue 2012 to 2014 Toyota Prius C.
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"This crime happened at the corner of 7th and Lenora, at the heart of downtown. If you cannot solve crime there, where can you solve a crime? Where there is cameras, there is all kinds of activities going on within that range,” Mumin said.
Two weeks ago, Seattle Police officials told KOMO’s Paul Rivera that at this time, records requested by Rivera, could not be released due to the ongoing investigation.
On Thursday, they gave a similar response: “This is an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives are very careful with the release of case information, to avoid jeopardizing an investigation.”
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“Many drivers feel that the mayor doesn't care about this issue as much as he was supposed to," Mumin added.
Since Kediye’s murder, Mumin also said they would like help in creating a rideshare driver safety taskforce and are looking for city council and the mayor's help to do so, but when reaching out, he said they have not gotten very far.
Mumin shared a letter with KOMO News, which he said was sent to Mayor Harrell’s office on Oct. 5. Part of that letter reads:
“We are still holding our breath, hoping that we will be able to make it through this very difficult time. Crime has taken a heavy toll on many of our drivers. Due to safety concerns, many of our members have been very hesitant to drive following the death of Mohamed Kadiye. As a result of our last protest, more crimes have been committed against rideshare drivers in Seattle, including two incidents of carjacking and one incident of gun threats. Furthermore, no one has been charged with the murder of Driver Mohamed Kadiye.
Our goal as an Association is to bring this matter to your attention and find an amicable solution to keep our drivers safe so that they may continue to provide this essential service to the public. It remains our top priority to work with your office to make sure we give you suggestions that will be effective in reducing crime on our streets. As of now, our association has set up a driver's safety committee, which is comprised of seven individuals who meet regularly in order to find solutions to our safety issues. A safety task committee made up of community members is one of the ideas we would like to share with you. Your office must provide us with the necessary support so we can continue our efforts. It is imperative we hold protests again and share our outcry with the community in order to get swift action that will be beneficial to drivers and to see Justice served in the killing of our drivers.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Office of Mayor Bruce Harrell told KOMO News they are meeting with Mumin’s organization, adding:
“We are currently working on both short-term and long-term actions to support victims who are rideshare drivers, immigrants, and impacted families. Developing meaningful, effective, and sustainable policies takes time. Seattle has led the nation with innovative labor and wage protections for rideshare drivers, and Mayor Harrell believes we need to bring that same approach to protecting their safety. The City and Mayor's Office will continue to collaborate with drivers and create policy with their input,” adding that “our Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Hamdi Mohamed has been in contact with Mohamed Kediye’s family. Director Mohamed is also meeting with members of the immigrant community and crime victims as we develop policies to best meet their needs.”
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Mumin also stated on Thursday that he would like to hear from Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s office. KOMO reached out on Thursday but has not yet heard back.