captain monica alexander

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

When the highest ranking African American woman in the Washington State Patrol abruptly retired in August, she was lauded as a “trailblazer” who had risen to become the first black woman sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the history of the nearly 100-year-old agency.

Molly Solomon / Oregon Public Broadcasting

Washington state Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, still remembers the day in 2014 that she toured a police evidence facility and saw stacks of white boxes on the shelves. She asked what they were and the answer shocked her. They were untested rape kits.