This afternoon Judge James Robart held a status conference with the parties in the consent decree between the city and the Department of Justice over police misconduct. The issue at hand: now that the city has negotiated a new police contract, how and when to put that in front of Robart for his blessing.
This morning, the Mayor’s Office announced that the Trump Administration had backed down from its threats to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” and moved forward with a 2017 grant of $252,000. “Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions blinked, Seattle won, and public safety prevailed,” Durkan said.
The fine print suggests otherwise.
Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Trump Administration in its attempt to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” Though the case was brought by San Francisco and Santa Clara, it’s good news for Seattle too.
Last week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide permanent injunction that prohibits the Department of Justice from withholding federal grants to police departments in jurisdictions with so-called “sanctuary city” policies.
Back in January, the Department of Justice sent letters to several cities and counties, including King County, expressing concern over sanctuary city policies, demanding further documentation of existing policies, and threatening consequences if its demands are not met. Yesterday the DOJ sent the same letter to the City of Seattle, with the same demands and threats.
Back in January, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled that the City of Seattle was in “full and effective compliance” with the consent decree that it signed with the Department of Justice over police misconduct. That declaration kicked off a two-year “sustainment period” in which the city must show that it can fully implement the remainder of its plan and remain in compliance with the consent decree. Last Friday, the City submitted its plan for what will happen over the next two years.
Yesterday the US Department of Justice sent another round of threatening letters to select cities and counties, pushing back on so-called “sanctuary city” policies.
This morning U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo rescinding Obama-era guidance on federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it relates to marijuana. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes had sharp words in response.
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.
This morning, Mayor Durkan, City Attorney Holmes, King County Council President Joe McDermott, and City Council member Lorena Gonzalez held a joint press conference to double-down on their support for the city’s “welcoming city” policies, to release a letter sent to the DOJ on the topic, and to announce funding for programs to support Seattle’s immigrant community and DACA recipients.