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Council committee to hear briefing on Seattle Police’s ‘improper ruse’ at CHOP

Tuesday, the Public Safety and Human Services Committee of the Seattle City Council will be briefed by Andrew Myerberg, director of the city’s Office of Police Accountability, and Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell on the findings released last week that police leadership signed off on a dangerous disinformation ploy targeting demonstrators as the CHOP protest zone formed in the summer of 2020.

The morning session will also include the first opportunity for public comment on the scandal in front of the council.

As newly sworn-in Mayor Bruce Harrell and SPD Chief Adrian Diaz consider what actions should be taken over the findings, committee chair Lisa Herbold has called for “increased oversight of SPD’s use of deceptive tactics, or ruses” in the wake of the report even as those directly responsible are unlikely to face punishment.

The investigation lays the blame for the disinformation effort with two supervisors including an assistant chief who have since left the department, according to the report. Four officers who also participated should not be punished for their actions, the OPA concluded.

CHS reported here on the findings from the oversight office that two Seattle Police commanders including an assistant chief and four officers shaped an “improper ruse” targeting demonstrators, the media, and the public in June 2020 with faked police radio reports describing a group of 20 to 30 armed right wing extremists roaming the streets of city and headed to Capitol Hill for a fight.

The report confirmed allegations from activists and media that began to take shape even as the phony broadcasts were underway but has spawned greater concerns stemming from the involvement of high ranking officials in SPD who have since left the department.

Tuesday’s session is described as a 30-minute “briefing and discussion” including OPA head Myerberg and Monisha Harrell, the mayor’s niece and part of the administration’s new team at City Hall.

All council sessions are currently conducted via videoconference as the body takes up a new schedule in 2022.

Those who want to participate in public comment scheduled to begin at 9:30 AM can learn more and register here or can send comments to West Seattle representative Herbold’s office here.


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Phil Mocek
10 months ago

To focus on the hoax SPD staff perpetrated via police radio about white supremacists on the march toward Capitol Hill is to miss the broader disinformation campaign of which that incident was part. Police department employees repeatedly fed false information to the public, and these falsehoods were amplified by local and national news media.

Much background and context can be found in this thread:

10 months ago
Reply to  Phil Mocek

Thanks for compiling this information (then and now). Pretty poor showing all around by SPD. I hope the CC and public comments make it clear this was not just bad police work, but totally unnecessary and deliberately inflammatory.