It’s been almost two months since my last catch-all posting on the status of the City of Seattle’s various outstanding legal battles. Stuff has happened, so it’s time for an update.
“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.
This afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray issued an executive order directing the rollout of body-worn cameras on all Seattle Police Department officers.
This afternoon, the Council will vote on enacting a “bias-free policing” ordinance into law, with one last-minute amendment to settle an argument from last week.
The Seattle Times has published a 45-page memo from SPD to the City Council, responding to the 34 questions they submitted following the death of Charleena Lyles at the hands of two SPD officers.
The answers are lengthy, and for the most part defy quick summaries as they dive into the nuances and complexities of the situation. SPD also refuses in many cases to speculate on what the outcome of the ongoing investigation will be. But the memo is an interesting and informative read.
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.
Today a coalition of activists and stakeholders launched a statewide ballot initiative to “improve officer training and accountability in Washington State.”
Yesterday afternoon, Council member Lorena Gonzalez announced that she would be hosting a “town hall forum” to discuss the killing of Charleena Lyles at the hands of two Seattle police officers last Sunday.
This morning the Council made its final amendments to the police accountability legislation and sent it on its way to final approval at next Monday’s full council meeting.
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.