Durkan returns City Council’s ban on less-lethal weapons unsigned, with a litany of critiques

(story updated below) On August 27th, with the City Council in recess, Mayor Durkan quietly returned unsigned the Council’s ordinance restricting SPD’s use of so-called “less lethal weapons,” allowing it to pass into law unchallenged at least for the moment. But she did take the opportunity to attach a scathing letter detailing a litany of complaints about the legislation, calling it “of doubtful legality,” and claiming that the Council knows that “significant parts of the bill will never go into effect” because of its flaws.

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Council updates SPD budget, says “yes” to several of police department’s proposals

Today the City Council’s finance committee finally got down to voting on a proposal from the Seattle Police Department on how to spend $15 million of salary savings accumulating due to the high officer attrition over the past year. And in the end it gave the department much, but not all, of what it wanted while also funding a few of the items on its own community safety wish-list.

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OPA investigation finds two SPD officers participated in January 6th insurrection

This afternoon the Office of Police Accountability released its long-awaited and much-anticipated report of its investigation of six SPD officers who were in Washington D.C. on January 6th, the day of the Trump-inspired insurrection. It concluded that all six officers joined the rally at which then-President Trump spoke, but it only found evidence that two of them participated in the illegal storming of the Capitol that followed. It found conclusive evidence that three of the other four were elsewhere at the time, and its investigation of the fourth was inconclusive. Omari Salisbury and I discussed today’s OPA report with OPA …

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SPD Chief Diaz demotes assistant chief for role in protests, “pink umbrella” incident (updated)

Two weeks ago, SPD Interim Chief Adrian Diaz announced that he was overruling a disciplinary recommendation by the Office of Police Accountability for a supervisor who had a central role in the “pink umbrella” incident during last summer’s protests. Diaz came under fire for asserting that he would not punish the supervisor for decisions that were made above him, while not providing any more details as to what those higher-up decisions were nor holding anyone else accountable. At the time, a spokesperson for SPD said that further actions would be forthcoming. Today, Diaz announced that he has demoted one of …

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911 call center moves to new civilian public safety agency, while SPD budget cut still on hold

This afternoon the City Council passed an ordinance transferring the employees of SPD’s 911 call center to the newly-created Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), a civilian-led sister organization to the police department. But after a last-minute amendment, SPD’s parking enforcement officers were left in place until consensus can be reached on the right place to move them.

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