This morning the Community Police Commission signaled their unhappiness with the tentative labor contract with Seattle’s police officers, voting unanimously to urge the City Council to reject the contract and to investigate asking the judge overseeing the consent decree to enjoin the city from implementing it.
Today the Mayor’s Office transmitted to the City Council the new contract negotiated last month with the Seattle Police Officers Guild, in the process releasing it to the public for the first time.
This afternoon it was announced that the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild has “overwhelmingly” approved a new proposed contract with the city.
When Judge James Robart found the City of Seattle in initial compliance with the consent decree earlier this year, it started a two-year countdown for a “sustainment period” before the consent decree is lifted. During that period, the city agreed to provide quarterly reports detailing status of reform efforts, statistics on policing and use of force, and continuing efforts to reform the police department’s practices.
The first of those reports was filed with the court on Tuesday. The department also submitted some proposed changes to its “use of force” policy for Robart’s approval.
This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued a ruling in the police use-of-force case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that led to the consent decree and several years of police reform efforts.
Today Mayor Tim Burgess and Council member Lorena Gonzalez announced that the city had reached agreement on a labor contract with SPMA, the union for SPD’s lieutenants and captains, and SPMA’s members had ratified it.
“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.
The Mayor’s big announcement yesterday that he’s cutting off the District Councils tops this morning’s news.
This morning’s news roundup covers yesterday’s busy news day related to police reform and changes in the leadership of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild after some ill-advised social media posts.