Tag Archives: Carolyn Bick

BREAKING: Email Reveals Even City Officials Fell Victim to 2020 Proud Boys Hoax 

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

The Emerald has received an email that appears to show that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) distributed false information about the Proud Boys moving through Seattle internally among various City departments on the evening of June 8, 2020.

The email from Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Emergency Manager Chad Buechler, timestamped at 6:39 p.m. on the evening the lie was perpetrated, states that “I was asked by the [Seattle Office of Emergency Management] EOC director (Kenneth Neafcy) and Seattle Police for this information not to be distributed further than for operational needs,” and goes on to list the following (emphasis by the Emerald): “SPD is preparing for a possible counter protest at Volunteer Park that could lead to significant volatility in the area. Intelligence reports that the Proud Boys group may be active in the area.

Continue reading BREAKING: Email Reveals Even City Officials Fell Victim to 2020 Proud Boys Hoax 

Renton Man’s Arrest Further Belies OPA’s Version of Labor Day 2020 Events

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

In early December 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington announced that several cooperating law enforcement agencies had arrested a man suspected of taking part in a plot to burn down the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) during the 2020 Labor Day protest.

The man, Justin Christopher Moore, is the person the Emerald refers to as “Tan Gloves” in this story about the 2020 Labor Day protest in front of SPOG. The complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Nov. 23, 2021, confirms not only what the Emerald laid out for readers in that story — specifically that Moore was never at any point during the protest targeted for arrest — but also provides new details about the events of that day. 

Continue reading Renton Man’s Arrest Further Belies OPA’s Version of Labor Day 2020 Events

Investigating OIG Complaint in City Council’s Court — but SCC Isn’t Acting

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


In August, a former high-ranking staffer from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) resigned from their position as investigations supervisor. At the same time, the whistleblower and now former investigations supervisor filed what was then an ethics complaint against the office, alleging that Inspector General Lisa Judge and Deputy Inspector General Amy Tsai have actively tried to silence any pushback against the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) — the fellow police oversight entity the OIG is supposed to oversee and audit — creating, in effect, a squad of rubber stampers in the OIG itself. The complaint alleged that OIG’s efforts to avoid criticizing the OPA were in part engineered to “appease” OPA Dir. Andrew Myerberg, stating that OIG leadership didn’t want to “anger” Myerberg. The complaint also alleged that the OPA had committed malfeasance of its own.

Continue reading Investigating OIG Complaint in City Council’s Court — but SCC Isn’t Acting

Auditor Under Investigation Continued to Certify Cases After OIG Became Aware of Problems

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


The Emerald has learned that Office of Inspector General (OIG) auditor Anthony Finnell, who appeared to have been found to have fully certified Office of Police Accountability (OPA) cases without fully reviewing evidence — including not opening any files at all, in some cases — had been allowed to continue certifying cases up to at least the end of October of this year, despite the fact that Inspector General Lisa Judge and Deputy Inspector General Amy Tsai were aware that he had not been properly reviewing cases prior to certification for at least several months, if not more than a year.

Continue reading Auditor Under Investigation Continued to Certify Cases After OIG Became Aware of Problems

The Morning Update Show — 11/10

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Wednesday, Nov. 10

Councilmember Mosqueda Proposes a $10 Million Cut From SPD Budget | Carolyn Bick on OIG Investigation | Cartoonist Brett Hamil | LIVE — Eric Huffman , Actor (Mean Girls) | Asian Hall of Fame

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 11/10

OIG Auditor Certified Cases Without Reviewing Evidence, Investigation Reveals

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


Based on a preliminary internal quality control investigation conducted in July 2021, it appears that Office of Inspector General (OIG) auditor Anthony Finnell failed to thoroughly review more than 30 protest case findings issued by the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), before issuing either full certifications or approving cases as “Expedited” — cases in which the OPA determines that findings can be issued mainly on intake investigations. These are far from the only cases he has certified that fellow staffers have raised concerns over and represent just a sampling of the cases he has certified. Finnell also serves as vice president on the Board of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).

The preliminary investigation found that Finnell appears to have only sporadically reviewed the Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers’ body-worn video (BWV) associated with the cases for which it was available. In some cases, Finnell appears to have opened files containing tens of pages of evidence, opened a couple of documents, and certified the cases just minutes later — but in other cases, he appears to have fully certified them without opening any of the case files at all, despite the fact that fully certifying a case means confirming that it is timely, thorough, and objective. 

In some of these cases, Finnell never even opened the Report of Investigation (ROI) — the very document upon which the OPA bases its investigatory findings, as its purpose is to represent the totality of available evidence the OPA investigator has examined and from which they have drawn conclusions.

Continue reading OIG Auditor Certified Cases Without Reviewing Evidence, Investigation Reveals

Officer Allegedly Behind Abusive Tweets Has History of Discipline for Problematic Behavior

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

Content Warning: This story and the tweets linked within contain strong language and fairly graphic descriptions of violence towards protesters. Some of the tweets themselves also contain the apparent celebration of murder.


“Do you have the go fund me for #FreeDawitkelete?” a tweet from @1SteelerFanatic asks. The person behind the account posted the tweet last July in response to a GoFundMe page for Black Lives Matter protester Summer Taylor, who was alive when the GoFundMe page was created. By the time the tweet asking about a fundraiser for Dawit Kelete — the man who severely injured Taylor and another protester, Diaz Love, by hitting them both with a car last summer — had been posted, Taylor was dead. The same person behind the account would go on to use the #FreeDawitkelete hashtag in several other posts.

“Haha he even admits he was trying to be an annoying fuck by verbally harassing the cops and staff.  He deserves every bit of those missing teeth. Hope he learned to STFU,” a more recent tweet from @1SteelerFanatic reads. It was in response to this story about a video the Emerald obtained that appeared to show King County correctional officers who, according to jail video, appeared to have slammed a young man’s face into a pre-booking counter at the King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) last summer.

“Naw, rest in piss bitch,” still another tweet from @1SteelerFanatic reads. This one was in response to a Portland, Oregon, mother asking black bloc members to show up for a rally in memory of her dead son. Posted on Oct. 7, 2021, it was one of the last tweets @1SteelerFanatic — using the display name “Bruce Wayne” — would make before an Oct. 8 thread surfaced alleging that the person behind the account is Seattle Police Department (SPD) officer Andrei Constantin, taking on a life of its own and eventually garnering thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets.

Less than an hour after the thread had been posted, the @1SteelerFanatic account was deactivated — but not before the account and its tweets had been archived in various ways, including in Archive Today, the Wayback Machine, and in screenshots shared on Twitter. The account is littered with tweets that mock the dead, promote extreme violence against protesters, suggest that people should arm themselves to shoot protesters, and suggest that the murder of George Floyd was “justice” (and later mock the way Floyd was murdered, as well). One tweet even claims that “fake vets” (veterans) showed up to decry police brutality and violence, while another celebrates the police shooting death of a robbery suspect.

Continue reading Officer Allegedly Behind Abusive Tweets Has History of Discipline for Problematic Behavior

KCSO Sergeant’s Anti-Vaccination Email References ‘Hint’ of Ongoing Vaccination Exemption Process in Department

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


A King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) sergeant in charge of the department’s property management unit said that he would be willing to “lead the charge” — for the department against mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 — in a lengthy email sent to the entire department that the Emerald obtained. In the email, the sergeant claims that there are “thousands of us” who have requested vaccination exemptions and that KCSO Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht has “hinted” at an “ongoing process” of obtaining vaccination exemptions for KCSO officers who request it. He also threatens legal action against the County.

The sergeant, Cameron Lefler, sent the email on Monday, Oct. 4, in response to KCSO Chiefs Jeff Flor, Jesse Anderson, and Troy Olmsted, who had collectively sent an email to department officers to notify them that the department will “continue to plan for the possible separation” — meaning termination — “of employees due to the vaccine mandate” but that the chiefs hoped “that most of you [officers] will continue to be part of the KCSO, even if you do not agree with the mandatory vaccination decision.”

“Our planning process is hampered by lack of complete information because some have not yet provided evidence of vaccination,” the chiefs’ email reads. “Again, we are hopeful that you have the required information but have not yet shared it with HR. One of our goals is to plan for possible separation in a way that is least likely to disrupt your city or precinct and it is hard to do that without all the information.”

Continue reading KCSO Sergeant’s Anti-Vaccination Email References ‘Hint’ of Ongoing Vaccination Exemption Process in Department

OPA Decision Answers Some Questions About East Precinct Evacuation, Raises Others

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


The City’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) has determined that neither former Police Chief Carmen Best nor Assistant Chief Thomas Mahaffey of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is at fault for SPD’s decision to leave the East Precinct in Capitol Hill last June. The decision and its root cause have been the topic of significant public discussion and speculation, particularly since the East Precinct was a major focal point in the George Floyd protests last year.

Following more than a week of escalating tensions and violence between police officers and protesters, on June 8, 2020, someone within SPD made the decision for the department’s officers to leave the East Precinct. This contentious decision came on the heels of SPD refusing to allow protesters to walk past the precinct, even erecting a barrier around the precinct to protect it against perceived threats from protesters. The decision to remove personnel — allegedly made by a small group of officers led by Assistant Chief Thomas Mahaffey, according to KUOW — was allegedly not shared with then-Police-Chief Carmen Best. Just before officers left the building, Mahaffey told officers in a June 2020 email obtained by Crosscut that he wanted to “address a rumor” about SPD plans to abandon the building and that “[i]t is the strong position of both Chief [Carmen] Best and myself that we will not abandon one of our facilities to those who are intent on damaging or destroying it.” According to KUOW, Mahaffey and this small group of officers at some point determined that remaining inside the precinct wasn’t safe.

While the basis for that decision has been widely speculated upon for the last year, the OPA today released a Closed Case Summary (CCS) that appears to shed some light on the matter. An investigative OPA interview with Mahaffey and an email the OPA obtained and used as evidence also raises the possibility that Best knew exactly what Mahaffey had decided to do, contrary to what she has claimed to both police officers and the public in the 16 months that have passed. However, this very same investigative interview appears to show that Mahaffey was not entirely forthcoming in his first interview with the OPA — an issue the OPA does not discuss or touch upon, despite explicitly saying in the CCS that SPD employees may face termination if their statements to OPA investigators are not “truthful and complete” or if they are “withholding or misrepresenting information.”

Continue reading OPA Decision Answers Some Questions About East Precinct Evacuation, Raises Others

The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Dec. 17

Today on the show:

LIVE

#SeattleSweep at Cal Anderson Update | Local & National Headlines

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20