Mayor sends police reform legislation to judge

This afternoon Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he has sent proposed police reform legislation to U.S. District Court Judge James Robart for his review.

Robart is the judge overseeing the consent decree that the City of Seattle signed with the Department of Justice mandating police reform measures.

Earlier this summer, Robart ruled that all legislation must be submitted to him for review first before being sent to the City Council for consideration. He promised he would respond within 90 days, so if he finds the Mayor’s proposal acceptable the Council may have it in front of them by early January — or possibly sooner. But if Robart finds issues with the legislation, i.e. that it violates a provision of the consent decree, it will take further iterations between the Mayor’s Office and the judge to arrive at an acceptable result.

In his announcement, Murray said that the proposal:

  • Creates of the Office of Inspector General, empowered to review and report on any aspect of SPD’s policies and practices.
  • Increases the independence of the Office of Professional Accountability, replacing sworn SPD officers with civilian staff tasked with overseeing all investigations and complaints against officers.
  • Makes the CPC a permanent body, ensuring community input is institutionalized into Seattle’s police services.

I haven’t had a chance to read through the Mayor’s proposed bill yet, but will do so over the weekend.