Kshama Sawant is calling on the Seattle City Council to call a special public hearing “to compel testimony and records from the Seattle Police Department” and investigate city cops who traveled to Washington D.C. on January 6th, the day a deadly mob stormed the Capitol.
“To date, there has been no accountability or transparency from either the Mayor’s office or from the Seattle Police Department about these officers, who traveled 3,000 miles to Washington D.C. to participate in a rally that was an attempt to overthrow a democratic election, a rally led by the far right and fascist elements that led to widespread destruction and the deaths of five people at the U.S. Capitol,” Sawant says in a statement released Wednesday as the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump moves forward in D.C.
Sawant says the council has the authority to conduct the hearing under the city charter.
“To be credible, this must be an open public hearing, with the public given the ability to ask questions of witnesses and review subpoenaed documents independently,” Sawant said in the statement.
The Seattle LGBTQ Commission and The Seattle Human Rights Commission have also called on the council to investigate.
In the days following the January 6th assault on the Capitol, SPD announced it was placing two officers on leave and launching its own investigation into their participation in the deadly day of protest, riot, and sedition. The department later said three more officers had come forward to admit traveling to D.C. but would remain on duty during the investigation. A sixth officer has since come forward to SPD officials.
None of the officers have been publicly identified. The Office of Police Accountability is investigating any officer involvement in illegal acts during the events at the Capitol.
In her statement, Sawant expressed her lack of confidence in the OPA.
“The past record of investigations by OPA of officer misconduct is dismal, to say the least,” Sawant said. “The public deserves answers that can only come from an open, public, and transparent investigation, and I am absolutely confident that no Office of Police Accountability (OPA) investigation will accomplish that.”
Any hearing on the matter would likely come through the council’s public safety committee chaired by Lisa Herbold, the body’s West Seattle representative. Sawant chairs the council’s Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee.
Council president and mayoral candidate Lorena González has said she was “deeply concerned” about the revelation that SPD officers had been in attendance in Washington D.C. but there have been no actions yet taken by the council related to the investigation.