This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued a ruling in the police use-of-force case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that led to the consent decree and several years of police reform efforts.
On November 20th, Judge James Robart, who oversees the implementation of SPD’s consent decree directing police reform, issued an order asking the parties in the case to submit briefs on how two issues should influence his ruling on whether the city is in initial compliance with the consent decree: the shooting last June of Charleena Lyles, and the recent signing of new collective bargaining agreement with SPMA. The deadline to file those briefs was last Friday.
Today the Department of Justice and the Community Police Commission both submitted briefs to Judge Robart urging him to find the Seattle Police Department in “full and effective compliance” with the consent decree.
The City of Seattle has so many high-profile court cases underway, it’s hard to stay up to date with them all. Here’s what’s been happening recently…
“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.
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.
The City Council had a two-part conversation this morning on the proposed police accountability legislation, passing an “omnibus” amendment that incorporated consensus views from their last discussion, and beginning discussion of the complex budget issues.
This week the court-appointed monitor for the implementation of the Consent Decree filed a report on how the Seattle Police Department is doing on its goals to eliminate excessive use of force. There was a lot of good news, though a few areas of concern remain. Let’s dive in.
In a stunning ruling today that raises all sorts of separation-of-powers issues, U.S. District Judge James Robart inserted himself into the middle of the process of drafting and adopting legislation establishing a system of accountability for the Seattle Police Department.