Contempt charge against SPD for violating crowd-control weapon injunction inches toward evidentiary hearing

This morning U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones held a status conference with attorneys for the ACLU, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and the City of Seattle. They met to hammer out some of the details of an evidentiary hearing on whether the city should be found in contempt of Jones’s preliminary injunction restricting SPD’s use of crowd-control weapons. But those details, as it turns out, are messy.

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City, DOJ formally sweep SPD’s crowd-control controversy into consent decree process

This summer there have been two legal threads related to SPD’s use of crowd-control weapons:  two similar lawsuits asking for restrictions; and the Department of Justice asking for and receiving a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking implementation of the City Council’s ordinance prohibiting the police department’s use of crowd control weapons. Earlier this week there was activity in the first thread; today there was an important update in the second.

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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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BLM lawsuit over crowd-control devices shelved for now after parties agree on updated injunction

This morning, the City of Seattle and plaintiffs Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and the ACLU jointly asked Judge Jones to approve an update to his earlier order on SPD’s use of crowd-control devices. Judge quickly approved it. His order also dismisses the plaintiffs’ contempt allegation, and stays the case until Judge Robart rules next month on the validity of the City Council’s ordinance banning crowd-control weapons.

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