“We had hoped that today would be the final thumbs up from Judge Robart to allow us to continue to move forward with the implementation of the accountability legislation,” said Council member Lorena Gonzalez this afternoon in a hastily-arranged press conference. “And obviously we did not get that final approval.”
A hearing that began this morning with U.S. District Court Judge James Robart kindly joking with Gonzalez, Council member Tim Burgess, and SPD Deputy Chief Carmen Best quickly turned into an opportunity for all parties — and especially the judge himself — to vent their frustrations.
Continue reading Police accountability legislation gets stuck in the mud, thanks to the police officers’ union
This afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray issued an executive order directing the rollout of body-worn cameras on all Seattle Police Department officers.
Continue reading Mayor defies union, pushes ahead with body cams for police officers
This afternoon, the Council will vote on enacting a “bias-free policing” ordinance into law, with one last-minute amendment to settle an argument from last week.
Continue reading Bias-free policing bill comes up for final vote this afternoon (UPDATED)
The City of Seattle’s parking enforcement division uses automated license plate readers to identify cars (and drivers) with multiple parking tickets so they can boot or impound the vehicles as necessary. SPD uses that same data to identify stolen cars, as well as those wanted in relation to specific criminal activities. Back in 2012, New York City took it further: they used cameras on street light poles to track people coming and going from mosques — an act that most people think stepped over the line of acceptable surveillance.
How the City of Seattle acquires and uses surveillance technology — and the data gleaned from it — was the topic of a Council hearing this morning, one of a series in the ongoing process of updating the city’s laws on surveillance.
Continue reading Council continues discussion of surveillance technologies
This morning, the Council voted out of committee an ordinance on bias-free policing, an effort almost a year in the making.
Continue reading Bias-free policing bill passes out of committee
Today was the deadline for the DOJ and the current CPC to file comments with the District Court on the new police accountability legislation. They both did, and both recommended that the judge approve it.
Continue reading Police accountability legislation gets two thumbs up, needs one more
Today a coalition of activists and stakeholders launched a statewide ballot initiative to “improve officer training and accountability in Washington State.”
Continue reading Coalition launches voter initiative to reform police use of deadly force
Yesterday afternoon, Council member Lorena Gonzalez announced that she would be hosting a “town hall forum” to discuss the killing of Charleena Lyles at the hands of two Seattle police officers last Sunday.
Continue reading Gonzalez to hold public hearing on shooting of Charleena Lyles
Here’s a quick summary of notable things from today’s City Council meetings.
Continue reading Notes from today’s Council meetings
Recently there has been a cluster of gun-related incidents in Seattle, which have captured the attention of the media, the community, and the City Council. This morning, the Seattle Police Department briefed the Council on what they know, what they are still investigating, and how they are responding.
Continue reading SPD briefs Council on recent gun violence