Following up on its announcement yesterday, this afternoon the City of Seattle officially filed with the U.S. District Court to withdraw its motion to terminate part of the 2012 consent decree related to the Seattle Police Department’s policing practices.
The earlier motion to terminate was filed jointly by the city and the Department of Justice, the plaintiff in the case. Today’s filing also speaks for both of them, explaining to the Court the reasoning for the withdrawal:
Since that time unprecedented levels of protests have occurred in the City that engaged the Seattle Police Department (“SPD”) in significant crowd management actions. These actions are governed by policies implemented under the Consent Decree, including crowd management and use of force. Further, these actions will be subject to review through many of the processes put in place by the Consent Decree, including the Force Investigation Team, Force Review Board, and Office of Police Accountability. The Parties make no assumptions regarding the propriety of SPD’s actions during these protests, or what the appropriate outcomes of these processes will be, but, at this time, believe additional time is necessary to ensure that termination of Paragraph 69-168 remains appropriate. Accordingly, under L.C.R. 7(l), the City files this Notice to advise the Court that it is withdrawing from the Joint Motion to Terminate Paragraphs 69-168 of the Consent Decree (Dkt. 111) and withdrawing the supporting Memorandum and Declarations (Dkts. 612 through 614). The Parties intend to jointly apprise the Court of the status of this litigation at an appropriate time in the future.
In the motion that was just withdrawn, the city also committed to delivering by August 1st its plan to come back into compliance on issues related to police accountability and discipline — two systems that are now enduring a major stress-test dealing with the events of the past week. SCC Insight has asked the City Attorney’s Office whether the city is still committing to the August 1 deadline,
and will update this story with the response. UPDATE 6/5: Mayor Durkan said this afternoon that there is no longer a timeline for the city’s plan to come back into compliance on police accountability and the disciplinary system. The city had promised to deliver a plan by August 1 based upon a review of the current system that was completed early this year, but has now backed away from that date. Durkan said that given what is happening on Seattle’s streets, in the country, and in “our relationships,” she wanted to “take a hard look at everything in that review, not just the four areas the court identified, but other areas.” She said that she wanted to talk to community members, the City Council, and the OPA, OIG and CPC, “to see what we should come back to the court with.”
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