‘You Don’t Make a Lot of Friends’: The Uphill Battle for Oversight in King County

by Carolyn Bick

This is the third in a series of articles examining the pushback and internal pressure former Office of Law Enforcement (OLEO) director Deborah Jacobs appears to have faced during her tenure at OLEO. This pushback appears to have mainly stemmed from within the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), the very law enforcement entity OLEO is tasked with overseeing, as well as the King County Police Officer’s Guild (KCPOG), some of whose members belong to the KCSO. Multiple sources have alleged that certain members of the KCSO and the KCPOG mounted an internal campaign against Jacobs and said that the main goal of the campaign was Jacobs’ ouster. The King County Council decided not to renew Jacobs’ contract, after an independent investigation found that Jacobs had violated King County discrimination codes. Jacobs has since filed a tort claim against King County. You can read part one of this series here and part two of this series here.

Author’s Note: Several sources requested anonymity over concerns of retaliation or professional repercussions. These sources are noted as such throughout the piece. Their real names have not been used.

“Designed to Frustrate the Work of OLEO” 

When Deborah Jacobs was hired as the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight’s director in mid-June of 2016, “she took her job seriously,” one of the Emerald’s anonymous sources, Dan, said. But the critical eye the office cast over law enforcement at the King County Sheriff’s Office meant that Jacobs made few friends, he said.

“[OLEO] actually started going through the cases, the investigations, and then asking — as is their right — for follow-ups,” Dan said. “Like, ‘You did not do a good job on this interview. Why did you not ask these questions?’ And if there is nothing cops hate more, it’s being told they don’t know how to do their jobs.”

Dan said that this “also started to sort of change the temperature when it comes to her. Because it was happening a lot. There were a number of people [at the KCSO] that OLEO had deemed were not thorough and complete” in their investigations or processes.

“Then, you start getting into the pride issue, and ‘Who are you to know what police work is?’ And all that BS,” Dan continued. He told the Emerald that he believes that there was a way for Jacobs to have approached this work in a way that would not have “gotten a knee-jerk reaction … but it just didn’t happen. 

“All of a sudden — boom, there was this drop of some number of cases that got kicked back [to officers], wouldn’t get certified. And investigators would say, ‘I’m not doing that. I don’t work for OLEO,’” Dan said. “Meanwhile, you have officers blowing in the wind on whether or not their cases are going to be done. It was ugly.”

So, when Jacobs tried to obtain records related to both Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens’ and Tommy Le’s 2017 deaths at the hands of KCSO officers specifically in order to commission an independent investigative review of the two shootings — in other words, to perform critical reviews of both the KCSO and the KCSO officers involved in those cases — both Dan and Jacobs told the Emerald that the KCSO dragged its feet on getting OLEO the information it requested. Dan said that the KCSO threw up what he termed “bogus” barriers meant to make Jacobs’ and OLEO’s job as difficult as possible, and Jacobs shared emails with the Emerald that show the two-and-a-half years-long process it took to get all the information that the KCSO presumably had at its fingertips.

This process began in April 2018. Then-senior law enforcement analyst with OLEO Adrienne Wat — who currently serves as OLEO’s interim director — sent two successive emails to Undersheriff Scott Somers in early April 2018. 

In the first email, sent April 5, 2018, Wat asked Somers to please call her back and indicated that she had left a voicemail for him. The second email, sent April 9, 2018, appears to indicate Wat never spoke with Somers, as Wat specifically said in the email, “I was hoping to talk with you, but it might just be easier for me to email.”

In this second email, Wat specifically requested investigative records related to the shooting deaths of both Le and Dunlap-Gittens, as well as for one other person. This marked the first time OLEO had requested records. She closed the email by asking, “has the Use of Force Board been scheduled for the Tommy Le shooting?”

By the time Wat had sent this email, about 300 days had passed since then-KCSO Deputy Cesar Molina had shot and killed Le. However, due to certain loopholes regarding use-of-force reviews, a Critical Incident Review Board (CIRB) — then called a Use of Force Board — meeting had not been convened.

It appears that Somers never responded to Wat or to any other member of OLEO. Jacobs told the Emerald in a May 22, 2021, email that she could not recall if he had responded to anyone — she didn’t have any other email records indicating that he had — “but if he did it was just delays.”

In a May 18, 2018, email — more than a month after Wat’s initial requests to Somers — Jacobs told Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht that she and other OLEO staff had “followed up several times” with both Somers and Capt. Rodney Chinnick. Chinnick was, at the time, head of the KCSO’s internal investigations unit (IIU). Jacobs said in her email to Johanknecht that “[l]ast we heard, Captain Chinnick said that the files are with the public disclosure unit, though I’m not sure why. I’m wondering if you can do anything to expedite our access to them?”

Jacobs told the Emerald in a May 19, 2021, email that someone had sent OLEO’s requests for documents to the KCSO’s public disclosure requests (PDR) unit. She still does not know who it was but said that, in general, OLEO “had a principle in place of NOT using PDR.

“What on earth does oversight have to offer if it can’t get timely access to information and its request is treated the same as a member of the public?” Jacobs said in her email to the Emerald.

In July 2018, OLEO released a report that was highly critical of the IIU and the way it was run. Though the report was based on IIU operations between 2015 and 2016, and Jacobs noted in the King County Council meeting at which the report was presented that operations within the IIU had improved under Johanknecht (and, by extension, Chinnick), OLEO still believed that the report had merit. In the meeting, Jacobs said that OLEO was “proposing significant changes that can bring the Sheriff’s Office closer to the fair and transparent treatment of complaints that the public expects.”

In other words, OLEO was telling the entire IIU that it could do its job better.

Jacobs told the Emerald in her email that Chinnick was one of the officers who appeared to chafe against OLEO’s authority and oversight. While she said she didn’t think Chinnick was being “any more obstructive than he would otherwise be,” he was “a yes man” and would do everything Johanknecht told him to do.

Johanknecht wrote back to Jacobs on May 19, 2018. Johanknecht said that she was “extremely disappointed” that OLEO hadn’t gotten access to those files and assured Jacobs that she would speak with Somers “to ensure release to you on Monday,” May 21, 2018.

When the Emerald asked Jacobs if she ended up getting the records any more quickly, she answered in her email with an emphatic, “NO!

“We *still* didn’t get the completed files for many months. As you might remember, the final documents we received just a couple weeks before actually releasing the report,” Jacobs said, referring to the OIR Group’s independent investigative review into Tommy Le’s death. 

As noted above, OLEO’s initial request for the release of documents related to Le’s death was dated April 9, 2018. But OLEO would not receive the final documents until Aug. 17, 2020. OIR Group delivered its investigative report in September 2020. 

Jacobs sent the Emerald both the first and last emails in which OLEO asked the KCSO for documents, as well as some of the repeated requests in between, but said that “finding all the reminders and requests I sent would take a long time because we [OLEO] regularly checked in” with the KCSO to ask for said documents.

Some of the emails Jacobs sent the Emerald show that the KCSO sent OLEO redacted documents. In a July 24, 2020, email from KCSO legal advisor and labor negotiator Diane Taylor to Jacobs and OLEO’s Adrienne Wat — by then, Deputy Dir. Wat — as well as KCSO legal advisor Erin Overbey and KCSO Communications Chief of Staff Liz Rocca, Taylor said, “I believe we have included here all the documents you’ve requested. Some have been redacted for work product and privilege. Below is a link to the IAPro [case management software] file portion of your request.”

Attached to this email is a list of documents from 2018 that include recordings of KCSO officer interviews, force review memos, and more. But, as Taylor noted in this original email, and as Jacobs explicitly asked about in a follow-up email on Aug. 10, 2020, some of these documents were redacted. The documents that were redacted appear to have been pertinent to Le’s autopsy — the report of which was not included in the documents Taylor sent in her original email. 

Jacobs said in her Aug, 10, 2020, follow-up email that both she and OIR Group investigator Michael Gennaco wondered “why the information about the lab reports is all redacted. Is there some reason that OLEO is not entitled to the unredacted information?” 

Taylor responded in an Aug. 11, 2020, email that she would get back to Jacobs with that answer, as she did not work on that part of document production. It also appears that Jacobs’ Aug. 10, 2020, email was not the first response Jacobs had sent to Taylor after Taylor’s July 24, 2020, email: Taylor mentioned in her Aug. 11 email that she would address some of Jacobs’ other questions in a follow-up email. 

In an Aug. 12, 2020, email, Taylor said once again that certain documents related to Le’s lab reports were redacted “for privileged material.” She did not explain why these documents were redacted, as Jacobs had asked.

Taylor also said that there were no recorded transcripts of the interviews with KCSO officers that she had included in the July 24 email. However, it is unclear why this would be, as Taylor herself appears to deem those interviews “significant.”

“With regard to the recorded statements, there are no transcripts in the file. We presume that no transcripts were prepared, which is not unusual in some IIU cases, but I have requested that in [Administrative Review Team] ART investigations going forward all significant interviews by (sic) transcribed,” Taylor’s email read.

Jacobs also included an email thread showing that Rocca — one of Jacobs’ primary points of contact within the KCSO — remained mostly unresponsive to her with regards to trying to coordinate work matters, such as presentations to the King County Council’s Law & Justice Committee. Jacobs sent two emails to Rocca, one on March 8, 2019, and a second on March 28, 2019. In the first email, Jacobs asked for Rocca’s input on “positive updates” that Jacobs could present to the King County Council in a quarterly update meeting that coming April. She included some possible topics for Rocca to weigh in on.

“Assuming we’re meeting for our regular coffee next week, can we talk about next steps on this? I have some updates for your (sic) related to backgrounding. If Wednesday isn’t good for you, can we find another time next week?” Jacobs wrote.

Jacobs told the Emerald in a May 22, 2021, email that she has no record of Rocca responding to this email.

“My calendar says that I met with Mitzi [Johanknecht] on March 11[, 2019,] at Noon,” Jacobs wrote to the Emerald. “I believe that Liz [Rocca] was present for every meeting I had with Mitzi, so she would have been there. I mentioned our need for the Tommy Le files on every opportunity I had with Liz Rocca – so many many times.”

Jacobs repeated her request to Rocca in a second email on March 28, 2019, saying that she hoped “that we can present some progress to the Councilmembers when I present to Law & Justice [Committee]. 

“I suggested topics below,” Jacobs wrote, referring to the topics she had suggested in the email she had sent on March 8, included in the thread with Rocca. She also said that “[w]ith respect to access to information in particular, I think we have some challenges to work through,” and attached a document that had language from OLEO’s charter and ordinance that was relevant to OLEO’s power to access KCSO information.

“While, indeed, the ordinance is still under bargaining, I don’t think that it will impact the agreement that OLEO and KCSO need to come to with respect for access,” Jacobs wrote. “For us [at OLEO], these issues have come up under the new [sheriff’s] administration regarding records/documents, critical incident scenes, access to personnel, and a few other areas. Perhaps we can pick three to five such topics to tackle this year?”

Rocca responded with (published here exactly as written):


We continue to be puzzled by your claim of lack of access to our documents, etc.

Since you were quoted in an article today with the Renton Reporter, again with vague claims about “issues with access,” I’m going to renew my request that you put these alleged “access” issues in writing.

Ultimately, you have had — and do have — access to everything … including documents, scenes, and personnel.

As we have conveyed in the past, a good working relationship is built on honesty and trust.

Please forward your allegations, in writing, and we will address them. If we discover there is actually a case where your access has been hindered, we will make sure it is remedied.”

In an email response on April 10, 2019, Jacobs wrote a lengthy message that began with an apology for potentially “causing frustration with respect to my public comments concerning OLEO’s access to information from KCSO.”

However, Jacobs said in that email, her apology and acknowledgement of the frustration her public comments may have caused within the KCSO did not negate the issues she said OLEO faced. Jacobs laid out several access-to-information problems that OLEO was still running into, more than a year after OLEO had originally requested documents regarding Tommy Le’s shooting death.

Jacobs said that she was aware that “sometimes delays or issues are caused by miscommunication, human error, or concerns by those in the Sheriff’s administration that our offices have not addressed,” and proceeded to detail OLEO’s problems accessing information.

One major issue Jacobs noted was that, at some point in mid-July 2018 — the same year OLEO began asking for information related to Tommy Le’s shooting death — “OLEO became aware that members of the Sheriff’s command staff had been advised not to directly interact with OLEO without approval.

“This impacts our operations as meeting with Sheriff’s Office personnel is an important way for OLEO staff to learn from the perspectives, training, and expertise of King County’s law enforcement professionals on the ground,” Jacobs wrote. “The advisement also seems to have generated some ‘fear’ around interacting with OLEO. 

“Since [the advisement not to speak with OLEO without approval] went out, OLEO has been turned down for meetings by several people on this basis,” Jacobs continued, adding that one person who turned down OLEO’s request for a meeting told her that it was “too political” to meet or request to meet with OLEO.

Jacobs also said in this email that OLEO had been waiting for files about the shooting deaths of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens and Tommy Le since December 2018 — an apparently generous statement, given that OLEO had first requested documents related to Le’s shooting death in April 2018.

“We’ve talked about some reasons for the delay and OLEO has asked KCSO prioritize (sic) the Dunlap-Gittens file. Nevertheless, it’s hard to conduct a timely review when facing these kinds of delays,” Jacobs explained.

“One related issue that we should discuss is whether OLEO can obtain files from KCSO without the request being processed as a public records request,” Jacobs said, referring to the issue she had already asked Johanknecht to help with a little less than a year prior.

A little more than a year after this exchange, in which Rocca emphasized “honesty and trust,” the KCSO apparently floated a deal to ensure Jacobs lost her job in exchange for the body camera pilot program Johanknecht had publicly said was a priority for her, as reported by the Seattle Times (and noted in the second article in this series).

Jacobs also sent the Emerald a text conversation with Rocca, in order to demonstrate the perceived frosty attitude she was generally met with from Rocca, both when trying to coordinate plans and when it came to getting documents from the KCSO related to Le’s shooting.

Jacobs sent the Emerald an instant messaging exchange between she and Rocca from July 7, 2020, at around 2 p.m. The exchange appears brief and curt. It reads as follows:

“[Jacobs:] Hi Liz – I see you just canceled for us tomorrow. Is there another time this week we can meet?

Rocca, Liz: 

No, thank you.

[Jacobs:] OK is there another avenue I can pursue to check-in on status, such as the Tommy Le docs we’re still waiting for?”

Rocca did not respond.

That same day — July 7, 2020 — Jacobs sent Johanknecht an email asking to meet with her to discuss culture within the KCSO, following now-fired KCSO Det. Mike Brown’s Facebook post that appeared to mock a hit-and-run of a group of protestors a few days earlier. The hit-and-run left one protestor dead and another severely injured. Brown was fired in February 2021.

“This request relates to the allegations against Mike Brown for a Facebook post, but we would like to discuss concerns about the broader issue of culture within the Sheriff’s Office,” Jacobs wrote. “[OLEO Deputy Dir. Adrienne Wat] and I will do our best to accommodate your schedule if you can identify some openings.”

Johanknecht never replied. In an email on July 22, 2020, Jacobs wrote to Johanknecht again: “I am writing to follow-up on my note below. Can we set a time to meet? I think it would be valuable for us to talk about culture issues following the FB post by Mike Brown, as well as other issues.”

Johanknecht responded with a one-line message: “I will contact you when I return from vacation to set up a discussion.”

“She never contacted me after that email exchange, though I did follow-up verbally with her chief of staff [Rocca],” Jacobs wrote in a Nov. 24, 2020, email to the Emerald, in which she had shared the brief email exchange she’d had with Johanknecht.

Susan Hutson, president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), told the Emerald in an April 27, 2021, interview that it is not unusual for law enforcement to stonewall civilian oversight entities by not giving them the information they need “to do our job,” and not getting it to them “in a timely manner.” Hutson currently works as the Independent Police Monitor for New Orleans, Louisiana. She has 17 years of experience in the field of civilian oversight and also worked in law enforcement oversight in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, California.

“One of the things we experience all over the country are delays in getting information, or we have to ask multiple times, and then you get part of it, or some of it, but not everything that you need to do your job. It happens in almost every city,” Hutson said. “I do think it is a form of professional gaslighting — ‘Why would you need information to do your job?’ kind of thing.”

Grant, one of the Emerald’s anonymous sources, said that he didn’t have any direct experience dealing with the King County Police Officer’s Guild (KCPOG), but that he had seen enough memos, emails, and other documents the Guild had written “that I thought were obstructive, that were designed to frustrate the work of OLEO.

“Certainly, their response on OLEO’s subpoena power [seemed obstructive] — OLEO was granted subpoena power by the Charter amendment, and the Guild essentially categorically refused,” Grant said, referring to the voter-approved measure that granted OLEO expanded oversight powers in November 2015 and how the Guild allegedly felt about it.

Grant said that he also saw that, in some OLEO interviews with KCSO officers, “Guild reps treated the whole process of [OLEO] reviewing their [the officers’] work, when there was a complaint made, as unimportant or as offensive.

“They sort of had this attitude that they could do no wrong — like it was outrageous that anyone would even consider some of this behavior to be problematic,” Grant said. “There were a lot of times … where a citizen … alleged bias [on the part of an officer], that [the Guild representatives] never really could imagine that there was any actual bias operating.”

“You Don’t Make a Lot of Friends Doing the Work”

Former King County Office of Labor Relations (KCOLR) labor negotiator Peter Nguyen corroborated Grant’s recollection about the KCSO’s and the KCPOG’s attitudes towards Jacobs and OLEO. Nguyen said that from his personal experience and interactions with the KCPOG’s and KCSO’s leadership, it was very clear that neither the Guild nor the Sheriff’s Office wanted anything to change. Nguyen said that they did not welcome anyone questioning their work, much less anyone from a civilian oversight agency.

Nguyen recalled attending a National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) conference in the autumn of 2019. He said that KCPOG leadership and higher-ranking officers — including current KCPOG President Mike “Manny” Mansanarez and former KCPOG president, Steve Eggert — also attended the conference. But they didn’t attend because they wanted to be part of the push for more law enforcement accountability.

“Through conversations at the conference, I ascertained that they were there to study the accountability models that were proliferating around the country, mostly in order to prevent or thwart similar reforms in King County,” Nguyen said. “We had conversations to that effect. So, I don’t think they made it a secret at all that they were not interested in moving in that direction. And they also thumbed their noses at the much more extensive accountability system that is present for the Seattle Police Department.”

In a May 6 interview, former KCOLR senior labor negotiator David Topaz supported at least some of what Nguyen said he had recalled but said that he only talked “a little bit” with Eggert and the Guild members present at the 2019 NACOLE conference in question. Though Topaz now works as a labor negotiator, he served as a police officer for nearly two decades until the early 2010s.

“Well, I’m saying — look, there is a very, very, very old saying of, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” Topaz said. “I do believe there is some truth to what he was saying.”

He continued: “I think that the police have — police groups, labor groups — have a long history of trying to be involved in those things that could negatively affect them. I just always adopted the more diplomatic tact of … just being there and asking questions and not planning somebody’s demise,” Topaz said with a laugh.

Former KCSO Sheriff, John Urquhart, said in his May 10 interview with the Emerald that he couldn’t remark on why this group went, but that he believes they went to better understand “what was going on with civilian oversight, because it did affect them directly.

“I think the reason they went, as much as anything, was to see what the plans were, and to make sure there weren’t contract violations occurring, and to figure out what they were going to have to negotiate, during the next contract session, which was coming up, I believe,” Urquhart said. “[They were] trying to figure out what was going on with civilian oversight and how they could mitigate the negative effects on their members.”

Urquhart said that the KCPOG “didn’t have a problem with civilian oversight, per se, especially Eggert.

“I don’t think [Eggert] had a problem with the concept of civilian oversight. It was how it was implemented that he was concerned about,” Urquhart said and added that he didn’t think Mansanarez had a problem with the concept of civilian oversight either.

“We were all pleasant,” Mansanarez said of his and the Guild’s relationship with Jacobs in a May 14, 2021, interview with the Emerald. “We had gone to conferences with her, the NACOLE conference, numerous times throughout her tenure there [at OLEO]. We go every year — the Guild does, and some representatives, to the conference, just to see what’s going on, see what the happening is amongst the OLEO community across the nation.”

In his March 22 interview, Topaz also corroborated the account that Dan, one of the Emerald’s anonymous sources, and Urquhart laid out for the Emerald in the second article in this series. Dan said that the KCPOG and KCSO saw Jacobs as “a tick too far to the left” — more of an activist than an ally who would work with law enforcement to help bring the department and the Guild into, as he put it, “the 21st century.” Urquhart said that at least one email Jacobs sent helped to paint the internal picture of her as an activist, rather than a neutral reformer. Topaz said that this was not “a prescription for an easy ride.

“She was not perceived by the police to be neutral in any way, shape, or form, and of course they are going to use whatever abilities they have, whether it be threats of legal action, grievances, or making her a bargaining card to try to dissuade her and everybody else from doing some of the things that she was trying to do,” Topaz said. “It was a very, very tough place to be for her.”

Mansanarez told the Emerald that “a lot of the Guild board members felt that she was not an impartial director — as in playing the middle and keeping balance on both sides, both the Guild and the Sheriff’s Office, that we’re doing the right thing and being transparent.

“It was more of, ‘What cause can I take up,’ more of an activist role,” Mansanarez said of the Guild board’s perception of how Jacobs approached her job. Mansanarez was on the Guild’s board during Jacobs’ tenure at OLEO and became Guild president in 2020.

Mansanarez went on to say that the Guild board saw OLEO under Jacobs as only taking on specific cases.

“They weren’t doing 100% of the investigations on all IIU complaints — more the ones that” would make us look bad, Mansanarez said. “That was our take as a Guild board at the time. … There were times, for having to be a referee, [Jacobs] tended to go … off on her own tangent.”

The OLEO’s role is not to investigate every single complaint made against KCSO officers.

“I don’t think this is unusual. It’s a nationwide problem — you’re going to have this kind of conflict,” Dan told the Emerald in his April 2, 2021, interview. “You are trying to get into an influential position over the only job in this country where we allow people to legally take other people’s lives, if necessary. … [The KCSO] had a chance and … blew it, quite frankly.”

It’s not just Dan — and NACOLE’s president, Susan Hutson — who think law-enforcement resistance to oversight is a nationwide problem. Before this series was published, the Washington Post put out an extensive piece on the resistance civilian oversight officials face.

Additionally, according to Cameron McElhinney, director of training and education at NACOLE, such treatment is not unusual for civilian law enforcement oversight officials. While McElhinney could not speak to Jacobs’ specific situation in great detail, in a March 22 interview with the Emerald, she said that “over the last 20-plus years I have been involved with [NACOLE], I can tell you that civilian oversight is a tough job.

“You don’t make a lot of friends doing the work, particularly if you are doing it well, and a lot of the time, because of the nature of how directors are appointed … they are easy targets for campaigns to discredit them or make the job more difficult,” McElhinney said, “and, in the end, sometimes be removed from their position. And I think you see it more often in those that are working to make significant change.”

Hutson echoed McElhinney’s sentiments, saying that “nobody is doing this because we want to be loved.

“We are in between the community and the police a lot, and people want us to be able to do more than what we have the power to do,” Hutson said.

Speaking of her perspective of OLEO’s work under Jacobs, McElhinney said that “they did a lot of good work and tried to make significant progress and change. … It seems there was a constant blocking of those efforts.”

However, she also echoed Dan and Urquhart, saying that, as a civilian oversight director, “you don’t necessarily want to be an advocate for one side or the other. You want to be an advocate for the process. And it’s really hard for people outside the immediate process” — both law enforcement and the general public — “to understand how important that is.”

She also said that the way these oversight entities are sometimes structured may hurt oversight directors’ abilities to be independent in their position — that “doing their job right” may “put them at risk of not having a job.” 

As described in the second article in this series, OLEO’s existence and powers are bound up in the labor contract of the law enforcement they are supposed to oversee.

“Those contracts so often really impede the authority … beyond the way a director is hired and fired but what an oversight agency can actually do,” McElhinney said. “How its authority is administered is so dependent on what is written in the union contract or a statewide bill of rights. … It can really impede effective civilian oversight.”

For example, the job description for the OLEO director has always contained language stating that the OLEO director may be fired for “a determination that the Director failed to comply with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA] between the King County Sheriff’s Office and the King County Police Officers Guild.”

As the Emerald previously wrote in its second article in this series, the KCPOG filed a grievance against Jacobs in February 2020 that claimed, among other issues, that Jacobs had broken the terms of the CBA by commissioning OIR Group to prepare an investigative report into the shooting death of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens. In the first article in this series, Topaz said that he believed that once Jacobs had announced that she would be commissioning both this report and another report into the shooting death of Tommy Le, she became “enemy number one” to both the KCSO and the KCPOG.

Though the King County Council did not decide not to renew Jacobs’ contract over the decision to commission these reports or the allegation that Jacobs had violated the CBA, McElhinney said that Jacobs’ decision to commission these reports was “courageous.

“Decisions like that, if they are unpopular or if they are a series of decisions — it stacks up,” McElhinney said.

The KCSO did not respond to request for comment.

This concludes part three of this series of articles. Look for part four coming soon.

Carolyn Bick is a journalist and photographer based in South Seattle. You can reach them here and check out more of their work here and here.

Featured image from the Emerald archives.

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