by Carolyn Bick
A new report by the King County Auditor’s Office has revealed that the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) faces serious problems within its adult jails, including deaths that the department “could do more to prevent,” excessive uses of force that go under-reported, and subjecting Black people — particularly Black women — to discipline and distinctly higher levels of security based on faulty risk-assessment systems. At the same time, the report noted that the DAJD’s response appears to suggest that while the department agreed with the report’s findings, it may not change its policies or implement any recommendations made in the report. In some cases, the report said, it does not appear as though the DAJD understands why it needs to change these policies.
Continue reading DAJD Could Do More to Prevent Deaths in Jails, Disciplines With Racial Bias, Report Finds
by Carolyn Bick
When they read the OIR Group report commissioned by King County’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight that looked into how the King County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation into Tommy Le’s death, the Le family was surprised to read how much appeared to be working in favor of the sheriff’s department and the involved deputies, Tommy Le’s aunt Uyen Le said.
“When we received the report and the findings, it’s very obvious to us — I feel like it’s common sense that a lot of these things should be in place … but they obviously were not. And it just didn’t create a fair and just situation for Tommy. I think everything seemed to be working more in the favor of the sheriff’s department,” Uyen Le told the Emerald in an interview, referencing the report’s recommendations based on its findings.
The findings — compiled into a comprehensive, 42-page-long report that was released in early September — appeared to have a similar effect on at least one King County lawmaker, when report authors Michael Gennaco and Stephen Connolly presented it at the Sept. 2 meeting of the King County Council’s Law and Justice Committee. Upon learning of the findings, Committee Chair and District 2 Councilmember Girmay Zahilay — himself an attorney — said the way in which the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) handled the investigation into Tommy Le’s shooting would appear to be “a clear obstruction of justice.”
Continue reading No Records Exist of the Review Board Interviews Conducted With the Deputies Involved in Tommy Le’s Shooting