OPA releases first set of findings from investigations into SPD officers’ misconduct at protests

This morning, the Office of Police Accountability released its first set of “closed case” summaries for five cases lodged against SPD officers related to misconduct during this past summer’s protests — including two incidents from May 30 that went viral on social media. Also: here is my in-depth Q&A with OPA Director Andrew Myerberg, where we touch on the issues raised by these cases, the status of OPA investigations into police misconduct at the protests, and many other topics related to police accountabilty.

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Q&A with OPA Director Andrew Myerberg

In anticipation of today’s release by the OPA of its first batch of findings from complaints arising from this summer’s protests, OPA Director Andrew Myerberg graciously sat down with me yesterday for an interview. Here is the full interview, lightly edited for clarity.   Kevin Schofield: How do you feel that the investigations are going so far? Andrew Myerberg: I think they’re going well. As you can imagine the cases, they kind of range in complexity. Using the pepper spray case for an example, it was an easier case in some respects to start to isolate the video, because there …

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Recommendations on ‘less lethal” weapons highlight difficult policy tradeoffs for SPD in use of force and crowd control

On Friday, the three accountability bodies that watchdog the Seattle Police Department — the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), the Office of the Inspector General for Public Safety (OIG), and the Community Police Commission (CPC) — released their written recommendations on SPD’s use of so-called “less lethal” weapons such as tear gas and blast balls. Taken together, the reports make it clear why it’s so difficult to make policy around the use of these weapons for crowd control and other purposes.

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Breaking: OPA, OIG and CPC issue recommendations on SPD crowd-control weapons

As expected, this afternoon the Office of Police Accountability, the Office of the Inspector General for Public Safety, and the Community Police Commission issued their reports and recommendations on SPD’s use of “less lethal” weapons for crowd control such as tear gas, blast balls and pepper spray.   Here are links to the reports: OPA report OIG report CPC report The reports are lengthy, as is approporiate for the topic, and their recommendations are complex and nuanced. I will have a full report after I’ve read them all through and analyzed their recommendations. In the meantime, I caution against believing …

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CHOP: a tragedy of errors, now entering its final act

After a weekend of late-night violence in the CHOP, today Mayor Jenny Durkan and SPD Chief Carmen Best signaled that their hands-off approach to the protest area on Capitol Hill is changing, and “it’s time for people to go home.” It’s been nearly a month since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, surrounded by other officers who stood by and did nothing. The ensuing weeks here in Seattle — the protests, the violent police response, the looting and destruction, the abandoning of the East Precinct, and the occupation of a small section in the heart of Capitol …

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Mayor, SPD Chief, SFD Chief meet with protesters, hold press conference on protests

This afternoon Mayor Durkan, SPD Chief Best, and SFD Chief Skoggins were scheduled to hold a press conference at 4:15 to discuss the ongoing demonstrations in response to last week’s police killing of George Floyd. However, that play went awry when thousands of protesters showed up at the location at 4pm and demanded to speak with the Mayor. After consulting in private with the organizers of the march, Durkan, Best and Skoggins went outside and addressed the crowd. Q13 has video of the event.  Durkan promised the demonstrators that she would meet with their representatives, as well as with the …

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Interview with Council member Morales: on protests, police, oppression, and sweeps

Editor’s note: last Friday morning I was asked by the Council’s communications staff whether I wanted to speak with Council member Tammy Morales about her proposed legislation restricting the removal of homeless encampments, because in the aftermath of last Wednesday’s committee hearing she felt that there was more that needed to be said. I agreed to speak with her, and the interview was scheduled for midday today (Sunday). Obviously a lot has transpired between then and now, and after thanking her for still doing the interview in the midst of so much else happening, I gave her the option to …

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