Catching up with the Mayor’s task force and the Black Brilliance research project

As you may recall, over the past few months two parallel efforts were created to guide multi-million dollar investments in community safety: the Mayor’s Equitable Communities Initiative (ECI) task force to guide $30 million of investments; and King County Equity Now’s “Black Brilliance” research project, commissioned by the City Council, to identify priorities for community investments and make recommendations for a participatory budgeting process to allocate another $30 million of investments. There have been some recent developments, so it’s time to check in on both efforts. (I also encourage you to read PubliCola’s recent coverage of the Black Brilliance research …

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SPD budget changes, revisited: some corrections, a better explanation, and a last-minute change in the works

Last Friday I posted a summary of the Council’s budget deliberations last week, including where they landed on SPD’s 2021 budget. Since then I’ve had several email exchanges with the Council’s staff, as they pointed out some inaccuracies in the numbers I posted (and they humbly admitted that they didn’t really explain it all very well). The Council’s unwillingness to try to impose a hiring freeze on SPD in 2021 was widely (but not always accurately) reported over the past few days, and it has created blowback from advocacy groups over the notion that SPD might actually grow in size …

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City responds to BLM contempt allegations

Earlier this week, the City of Seattle filed its response to allegations from Black Lives Matter and the ACLU that it should be held in contempt for violating a preliminary injunction placing restrictions on SPD’s use of crowd-control weapons. The city’s response is a strong defense to the contempt charge, but it raises many additional questions about the way that SPD handles protests.  

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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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OPA releases first set of findings from investigations into SPD officers’ misconduct at protests

This morning, the Office of Police Accountability released its first set of “closed case” summaries for five cases lodged against SPD officers related to misconduct during this past summer’s protests — including two incidents from May 30 that went viral on social media. Also: here is my in-depth Q&A with OPA Director Andrew Myerberg, where we touch on the issues raised by these cases, the status of OPA investigations into police misconduct at the protests, and many other topics related to police accountabilty.

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Q&A with OPA Director Andrew Myerberg

In anticipation of today’s release by the OPA of its first batch of findings from complaints arising from this summer’s protests, OPA Director Andrew Myerberg graciously sat down with me yesterday for an interview. Here is the full interview, lightly edited for clarity.   Kevin Schofield: How do you feel that the investigations are going so far? Andrew Myerberg: I think they’re going well. As you can imagine the cases, they kind of range in complexity. Using the pepper spray case for an example, it was an easier case in some respects to start to isolate the video, because there …

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