Federal judge says Seattle Police ‘out of compliance’ over misconduct and discipline

The judge on point for reform of Seattle Police after Department of Justice findings of bias and improper use of force has taken aim at the department’s new contract with the city’s officers and said Wednesday that the “accountability issues” will need to be solved if federal oversight is to be lifted.

U.S. District Judge Robart is calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD to “fix deficiencies in the closed-door appeal process for officers who have been fired or disciplined before it can be released from federal oversight,” the Seattle Times reports.

The ruling echoes criticism of the new contract raised by the Community Police Commission last year as the deal was coming together. The commission and critics of the deal said the contract agreement gave up many of the reforms won in the landmark Police Accountability Legislation (PDF) passed by the city council in 2017.

Robart’s opinion opens the likelihood Durkan, the city, and the Seattle Police Guild will need to renegotiate portions of the contract dealing with misconduct and discipline.

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