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…
Just over one week into Mayor Tim Burgess’ term, he has signed his first executive order: creating an internal, civilian-run office to oversee secondary employment of off-duty police officers.
Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Seattle Police Department’s “use of force” policy for its officers is constitutional, in a major win for the city and its efforts to enact police accountability reforms under its Consent Decree with the DOJ.
After several months of work, this morning the Council moved forward an update to the city’s ordinance regulating use of surveillance technology by SPD and other city departments.
What started out as a fairly simple task, extending the current rules beyond hardware to include software and web services, turned out to be a nearly intractable set of complex issues. In the end the ordinance’s sponsor, Council member Gonzalez, settled for addressing just a subset of the issues in what she referred to this morning as “phase one.”
This afternoon, Mayor Ed Murray issued an executive order directing the rollout of body-worn cameras on all Seattle Police Department officers.
The City of Seattle’s parking enforcement division uses automated license plate readers to identify cars (and drivers) with multiple parking tickets so they can boot or impound the vehicles as necessary. SPD uses that same data to identify stolen cars, as well as those wanted in relation to specific criminal activities. Back in 2012, New York City took it further: they used cameras on street light poles to track people coming and going from mosques — an act that most people think stepped over the line of acceptable surveillance.
How the City of Seattle acquires and uses surveillance technology — and the data gleaned from it — was the topic of a Council hearing this morning, one of a series in the ongoing process of updating the city’s laws on surveillance.
Today a coalition of activists and stakeholders launched a statewide ballot initiative to “improve officer training and accountability in Washington State.”
Recently there has been a cluster of gun-related incidents in Seattle, which have captured the attention of the media, the community, and the City Council. This morning, the Seattle Police Department briefed the Council on what they know, what they are still investigating, and how they are responding.