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 …

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911 call center moves to new civilian public safety agency, while SPD budget cut still on hold

This afternoon the City Council passed an ordinance transferring the employees of SPD’s 911 call center to the newly-created Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), a civilian-led sister organization to the police department. But after a last-minute amendment, SPD’s parking enforcement officers were left in place until consensus can be reached on the right place to move them.

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Annual SPD public safety survey provides interesting insights, if you dig enough

Last month the Seattle Police Department’s annual public safety survey report was released. It is a timely reflection back on a tumultuous year for the community’s relationship with the police, as we approach the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police to be followed by months of violent clashes between protesters and SPD on the streets of Seattle and other cities. The 147-page report provides the results of a survey taken in October and November 2020 of over 11,000 Seattle residents. The results are detailed; the analysis is not. Let’s take a look …

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SPD pushes back hard on Council’s proposed budget cut, declares “staffing crisis.”

“SPD is in a staffing crisis.” That is how Deputy Mayor Mike Fong kicked off a Council hearing this morning on a proposed $5.4 million cut to SPD’s 2021 budget. According to Fong, SPD has lost more than 200 officers over the past thirteen months, leaving patrol shortages in nearly every precinct and jeopardizing the city’s compliance with the 2012 Consent Decree. “We are not budgeted or staffed to sustain an acceptable level of community safety services in the city,” he stated, requesting that the City Council give careful consideration to SPD Chief Adrian Diaz’s plea to hold onto the …

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Comments from Deputy Mayor Washington on public safety in Seattle

Editor’s note: This morning in a Seattle City Council public safety committee meeting, Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington preceded two agenda items — a $12 million spending plan for community safety investments, and a $5.4 million cut to SPD’s budget — with some powerful and blunt comments that speak directly to the tensions in balancing the needs to improve community safety, reform SPD, address long-standing issues of racial equity, and continue to deliver essential services in the city.  I asked Washington for a copy of her remarks, in order that we may all reflect upon them — not necessarily to agree …

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Black Brilliance Research Project wraps up with allegations, recriminations, but no city investigation

In the final days of the $3 million Black Brilliance Research Project, the wheels came off the wagon. King County Equity Now, the organization that fought for and spearheaded the project, found itself on the outside looking in, and despite making allegations that its fiscal sponsor had committed financial improprieties and contract violations, it was unable to convince the City Council to intervene before the clock ran out.  

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