Tag Archives: Consent Decree

Despite Roles, CPC, Federal Monitor Not Kept Abreast of OIG Ethics Complaint Developments

by Carolyn Bick

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


Despite the serious allegations contained within — including clear allegations of conflicts of interest — Seattle’s Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) has decided not to investigate the ethics complaint against the Office of Inspector General (OIG) filed in August of this year. And based on responses to community members at the Oct. 12 Community Police Commission (CPC) meeting, as well as an email the Emerald received the following day, neither the CPC nor the fairly new federal monitor, Dr. Antonio Oftelie, had been informed of this decision as of the Oct. 12 meeting — despite both the CPC’s and federal monitor’s oversight roles in the almost decade-old Consent Decree.

In addition to confirming that he had not heard about the SEEC’s decision until Oct. 13, Oftelie told the Emerald in an Oct. 13 email response that, even though he had not “researched” the complaint’s associated evidence (and it is unclear whether he has read the complaint itself), he felt the complaint was without merit. He said he based this opinion on “accounts relayed to me.” This would appear to undermine the messages of assurance he gave community members at the Oct. 12 CPC meeting. 

Continue reading Despite Roles, CPC, Federal Monitor Not Kept Abreast of OIG Ethics Complaint Developments

Open Letter to PHX Alleges OPA Dir. ‘Dangerous,’ Urges City to Reject Him

by Carolyn Bick


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

At least two private citizens who cite professional experience working with current Office of Police Accountability (OPA) Dir. Andrew Myerberg have signed an open letter addressed to the people of Phoenix, Arizona, urging them to “carefully consider his candidacy and whether to allow him access to your community.” Myerberg is one of the City of Phoenix’s candidates for its recently established Office of Police Accountability and Transparency.

“We believe he is dangerous, and predict that, if hired, he will harm your people,” the letter alleges.

Continue reading Open Letter to PHX Alleges OPA Dir. ‘Dangerous,’ Urges City to Reject Him

Durkan Won’t Sign Crowd-Control Weapons Bill, Raises Specter of Court Challenge

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan refused to sign the City Council’s recent ordinance restricting the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) use of crowd-control weapons, allowing the bill to become law while the City awaits a federal district court’s go-ahead to implement changes to SPD’s tactics and arsenal.

In a letter to the council during their August recess, Durkan heaped criticism on the bill and the yearlong process that produced it, calling it a “knee-jerk reaction” to last year’s protests that overstepped the council’s authority, undercut SPD policy change procedures enshrined in the City’s agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and made promises that the City can’t keep.

Durkan has routinely allowed legislation to take effect without her signature, though not always because of a difference of opinion: Certain land use ordinances, for instance, don’t necessarily go to the mayor for a signature before becoming law. The mayor can also return legislation to the council unsigned when she has concerns about a bill’s impact or legality but believes that the council would vote to override a veto.

Continue reading Durkan Won’t Sign Crowd-Control Weapons Bill, Raises Specter of Court Challenge

Council Reviews New Version of ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Ban

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold introduced the latest version of legislation intended to restrict the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) use of so-called “less-lethal weapons” against demonstrators during a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, more than a year after the council first began its efforts to limit SPD’s crowd control arsenal. The proposal would restrict the use of tear gas, pepper-ball launchers, and pepper spray by SPD officers responding to protests and outright ban five other less-lethal weapons, including blast balls.

Continue reading Council Reviews New Version of ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Ban

Federal Judge Concerned about Future of Seattle’s Consent Decree

by Paul Faruq Kiefer


(This article was originally published at PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart convened a hearing Thursday to address how Seattle’s path to compliance with the federal consent decree has changed in the wake of last summer’s racial justice protests. The consent decree — the agreement between the City and the Department of Justice (DOJ) that empowers the federal court to oversee reforms to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) — dates back to 2012, when the DOJ investigation found that SPD officers frequently used excessive force without consequences.

In Thursday’s hearing, Robart made clear that Seattle’s path toward an end to federal oversight is still murky and that SPD’s response to protests last year added another obstacle. To end federal oversight, the City first needs to achieve compliance with the terms of the consent decree and remain in compliance for two years; Robart uses input from the City, accountability experts, and a court-appointed monitoring team to decide what “compliance” entails.

Continue reading Federal Judge Concerned about Future of Seattle’s Consent Decree

OPA, OIG Heads Seem to Acknowledge SPD, City Out of Compliance With Consent Decree in Letter to Fed Oversight Officials

by Carolyn Bick


Though they do not say it outright, both Inspector General Lisa Judge and Office of Police Accountability Director Andrew Myerberg have written a letter to federal oversight officials and Seattle’s Chief of Police that appears to acknowledge that the police department and the City may be out of compliance with the Consent Decree.

The Oct. 15 letter to United States Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, Federal Monitor Anthony Oftelie, and Seattle Police Department (SPD) Chief Adrian Diaz contains two recommendations for policy revision and follows about a month after the Emerald published a story in mid-September that outlined how the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the City might currently be out of compliance with the Consent Decree.

Continue reading OPA, OIG Heads Seem to Acknowledge SPD, City Out of Compliance With Consent Decree in Letter to Fed Oversight Officials