SEATTLE - Editor's note: The story below contains profane language from Tweets.
Abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy has been on the defensive over a series of Tweets she sent in 2020, before she launched her campaign for Seattle City Attorney.
Tweets calling police officers "pigs" and "serial killers" and celebrating property destruction drew strong condemnation from members of both parties. So much so that two former Democratic Governors – Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke – endorsed Thomas-Kennedy’s opponent, Republican Ann Davison.
Gregoire told FOX 13 News that Thomas-Kennedy's tweets were part of the reason for endorsing Davison.
When asked about a tweet calling property damage a "moral imperative," Thomas-Kennedy attempted to pass it off as a joke. Pressed again in an interview Wednesday, Thomas-Kennedy said she was a private citizen when the tweets were sent.
"I was not running at the time," she said. "Do I think it's appropriate to tweet that way now that I am running for office? No. And that's why I don't do it."
But Thomas-Kennedy is not the only one whose tweets are being called into question.
Her campaign manager Tye Reed also sent a series of troubling tweets in 2020, throughout a period of unrest following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
While Thomas-Kennedy’s tweets were filled with hate, Reed’s 2020 tweets are filled with violence.
"That b**** Mayor Durkan … is gonna get her a** beat one day," Reed wrote on June 3, 2020.
"Prayers the victim is a kkkop," she wrote on Oct. 2, 2020, in response to a tweet about a shooting in South Seattle.
Reed even suggested then-presidential candidate Joe Biden should die following a June 2020 speech on race and social justice.
Reed also turned her rage to then-Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, calling her an "Uncle Tom motherf***** benefiting off the suffering of black folks."
While the tweets were sent before Reed worked for Thomas-Kennedy's campaign, statements suggestive of violence have continued.
In a picture posted to Nicole Thomas-Kennedy’s campaign Facebook page on Sept. 16, 2021, Reed is seen wearing a t-shirt depicting a burning Seattle Police Department SUV and the words "This is a policy proposal." In the picture, she’s standing next to current City Councilwoman Tammy Morales, who has endorsed Thomas-Kennedy’s campaign.
Asked Wednesday to respond her campaign manager's tweets, Thomas-Kennedy told FOX 13’s Hana Kim "she can speak for herself."
"I think that she’s a Black woman in America that has seen a lot of people that look like her being killed by police and she was probably pretty angry about that."
When Hana attempted to press the issue, a staffer for Thomas-Kennedy threatened to end the interview if the line of questioning continued.
The Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, Tina Podlodowski, has been critical of Thomas-Kennedy's opponent, Davison, and urged voters to stand for their "values" in the November election. Asked for comment Wednesday about the violent tweets directed at Democratic leaders, a spokesperson for the party said Podlodowski's criticism of Davison does not equate to an official endorsement of Thomas-Kennedy.
"To be clear: we don't believe people should wish violence upon elected officials or anyone else. But the individual whose tweets you've screenshotted doesn't appear to have much affection for the Democratic Party or our elected officials and doesn’t work for us, so I'm not sure how or why our party would answer for inflammatory and irresponsible statements they might make," State Democratic Party Spokesperson Alex Bond wrote.
FOX 13 has emailed Tye Reed to request comment.
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