Police accountability legislation gets stuck in the mud, thanks to the police officers’ union

“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.

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Council debates structure and independence of police accountability system, but not really

Last Friday the City Council’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee met again to continue its deliberations on the proposed police accountability legislation. They considered amendments related to work plans, reporting, evaluations and budget. Threading through all of that was a recurring theme of “independence” and freedom from political pressure. But that wasn’t really what they were talking about.

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