Durkan returns City Council’s ban on less-lethal weapons unsigned, with a litany of critiques

(story updated below) On August 27th, with the City Council in recess, Mayor Durkan quietly returned unsigned the Council’s ordinance restricting SPD’s use of so-called “less lethal weapons,” allowing it to pass into law unchallenged at least for the moment. But she did take the opportunity to attach a scathing letter detailing a litany of complaints about the legislation, calling it “of doubtful legality,” and claiming that the Council knows that “significant parts of the bill will never go into effect” because of its flaws.

Continue reading

Council updates SPD budget, says “yes” to several of police department’s proposals

Today the City Council’s finance committee finally got down to voting on a proposal from the Seattle Police Department on how to spend $15 million of salary savings accumulating due to the high officer attrition over the past year. And in the end it gave the department much, but not all, of what it wanted while also funding a few of the items on its own community safety wish-list.

Continue reading

State Supreme Court clarifies rules for King County inquests, allows pending inquests to move forward

This morning the Washington State Supreme court issued a powerful 49-page unanimous ruling resolving a fierce, multi-year, multi-party battle over how inquests should be conducted in King County. The ruling upholds portions of the changes that King County Executive Dow Constantine enacted through a series of executive orders, but wipes out other parts.

Continue reading

OPA investigation finds two SPD officers participated in January 6th insurrection

This afternoon the Office of Police Accountability released its long-awaited and much-anticipated report of its investigation of six SPD officers who were in Washington D.C. on January 6th, the day of the Trump-inspired insurrection. It concluded that all six officers joined the rally at which then-President Trump spoke, but it only found evidence that two of them participated in the illegal storming of the Capitol that followed. It found conclusive evidence that three of the other four were elsewhere at the time, and its investigation of the fourth was inconclusive. Omari Salisbury and I discussed today’s OPA report with OPA …

Continue reading