A standoff between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City that started after a string of videotaped incidents involving SPD “use of force” — including the August 2010 John T Williams shooting – has ended with a deal that will bring significant changes to the way the Seattle Police Department is regulated. Below is a round-up of coverage of the deal and coming changes to the way police officers work in Seattle.
- Seattle Times — SPD faces new oversight, scrutiny of use of force:
A hard-fought settlement agreement announced Friday between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Seattle reaches into almost every aspect of how police officers interact with citizens, from casual contact to the use of deadly force.
The settlement, finalized just days before a July 31 deadline, was hailed by city and federal officials as an innovative breakthrough that will bring in a federal monitor to oversee many of the changes.
- Associated Press – Feds, Seattle announcement police reform deal following critical report about use of force:
The settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge, requires the Seattle Police Department to revise use of force policies and enhance training, reporting, investigation and supervision for situations involving use force. Police also would have to change policies and training concerning “bias-free” policing and stops, and create a Community Police Commission, which would be a civilian oversight body.
Court oversight would continue for five years, but the city could ask to end the scrutiny earlier if it has complied with the agreements for two years.
Perez rebuked the talking point held by some officers that reforms are tantamount to tying their hands. Effective policing and constitutional policing can go “hand in hand,” he said, adding that after Los Angeles implemented a similar policing reform plan, “crime went down, and the quality of policing went up, and public confidence in the police department shot up.”
- Publicola — City, DOJ Announce Police Accountability Plan:
Here are some of the basics from the agreement:
- Use of Force — Officers will be trained on which weapons to use in what situations and the SPD will develop a team of investigators who will delve into the cases using force.
- Supervison — Supervisors, along with the outside monitor, will review any investigatory stops and detentions to ensure there was reasonable suspicion before the stops were made.
- Bias-free Policing — The SPD will further clarify its unbiased policing policy and will have specific training catered to teaching officers to be unbiased in their investigations.
- Accountability — the SPD will revise policies to establish what constitutes prohibited retaliation and will identify officers who will be in charge of handling those matters in their own precincts
- Associated Press – Revamp of New Orleans PD comprehensive, expensive:
A court-backed plan to excise corruption, discrimination and a frequent use of deadly force from the long-troubled New Orleans Police Department will last at least four years and likely cost the financially strapped city $11 million annually.
The annual Seafair Torchlight Parade brought out flag flyers, toe-tappers and motorcade maneuvers. There, too, were Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz.
“It was the chief’s idea to come out,” says McGinn. “We made this DOJ announcement on Friday, which was a big deal.”