Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

‘The Knives Come Out’: The Uphill Battle for Oversight in King County

by Carolyn Bick 


This is the first 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.

Sitting at the table with other King County officials, Deborah Jacobs watched then-Sheriff John Urquhart gesture towards his side as he answered questions in a private 2017 meeting at the Asian Counseling and Referral Services’ headquarters, just before a public one for the community at the same location, regarding Tommy Le’s death, only weeks after it happened. Urquhart was talking about where King County Sheriff’s Office then-Deputy Cesar Molina had shot Le.

It’s unclear whether Urquhart knew at that point that Molina had shot Le in the back. But Jacobs knew. And it was then, said Jacobs — the director of the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) at the time — she realized that she might very well lose her job: She said that she did not want to hide the fact that Molina had shot Le anywhere other than in the back but that she was bound by internal politics and policies that forbade her from speaking about the shooting in public. 

Deborah Jacobs would eventually lose her job when, in 2020, the King County Council voted not to renew her contract. But while she served as OLEO director, she appears to have faced a years-long internal campaign against her by the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) and the King County Police Officer’s Guild (KCPOG), whose ultimate goal was her ouster. Furthermore, Jacobs would also spend much of her tenure at OLEO caught in a contentious collective bargaining agreement negotiation with KCPOG and the KCSO that would prove to hinder her ability to do her job as she saw fit. 

Continue reading ‘The Knives Come Out’: The Uphill Battle for Oversight in King County

Washington Law Enforcement Will Soon Be Required to Learn the History of Race and Policing, Will It Be Enough to Spark Change?

by Ashley Archibald


Professor Daudi Abe has written books. He defended his dissertation to get his Ph.D. in education from the University of Washington. He’s taught college classes at Seattle Central College since 2003 and given talks to crowds on the complicated intersections of race and culture.

But this time, he was nervous.

For nearly five hours on a cloudy Wednesday in April, Abe stood in a conference room in front of law enforcement officers and leaders of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) and walked them through the course he had helped to write on the history of race and policing. Soon, it will be their job to lead recruits through the same information.

Continue reading Washington Law Enforcement Will Soon Be Required to Learn the History of Race and Policing, Will It Be Enough to Spark Change?

King County Sheriff’s Email to KCSO Employees Claims She Wasn’t Consulted About Shifting Marijuana Tax Revenue

by Carolyn Bick


In an internal email sent to King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) employees last week, Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said that King County Executive Dow Constantine did not speak with her about his proposal to shift $4.6 million in marijuana tax revenue from the sheriff’s department to community-based programs.

Continue reading King County Sheriff’s Email to KCSO Employees Claims She Wasn’t Consulted About Shifting Marijuana Tax Revenue

King County Council Committee Recommends Replacing Law Enforcement Oversight Director

By Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on The C Is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


On Tuesday, a majority of the Metropolitan King County Council’s Employment and Administration Committee (which includes all nine council members) voted not to extend the contract of Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) Director Deborah Jacobs, as well as to accept the findings of an independent investigation into allegations that Jacobs made a series of inappropriate or discriminatory comments to her staff over the course of her four years with the county.

Continue reading King County Council Committee Recommends Replacing Law Enforcement Oversight Director

National Lawyers Guild Accuses SPD of Targeting Legal Observers, Using Indiscriminate Force Against Protestors

by Carolyn Bick


The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of Seattle is accusing Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers of violating a federal court order by using indiscriminate force against protestors and breaking the law by targeting NLG legal observers during the Capitol Hill protest on Saturday, July 25, according to a statement released by the NLG.

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BREAKING: Two More SPD Officers Appear to Break Election Law by Using Non-Residential Address to Vote

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald has discovered that two more Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers have registered non-residential addresses as their voting addresses, thereby apparently breaking voting laws. The discovery follows on the heels of the Emerald’s first article about six other SPD officers, including Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) President Michael Solan, registering SPD precincts as voting addresses.

Continue reading BREAKING: Two More SPD Officers Appear to Break Election Law by Using Non-Residential Address to Vote

Some SPD Officers Appear to Have Violated Election Law by Registering Precincts as Voting Addresses

by Carolyn Bick


A handful of Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers appear to have broken the law by registering to vote with their precinct addresses. Among them is Officer Michael Solan, President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG).

Continue reading Some SPD Officers Appear to Have Violated Election Law by Registering Precincts as Voting Addresses

The Position of King County Sheriff Could Become an Appointed One. Here’s Why That Matters.

by Carolyn Bick


For 25 years, voters who live in King County’s 12 unincorporated areas that do not have their own police departments have seen their already-small power over who enforces the laws in their communities dwindle. Since the position of King County sheriff became an elected one in 1996, more and more people have moved to cities that have their own police departments. Today, just 11% of voters live in unincorporated King County.

But why do these numbers matter?

Continue reading The Position of King County Sheriff Could Become an Appointed One. Here’s Why That Matters.

The Day After Saturday’s Protests, Lawyers Were Denied Access to Detained Protestors at King County’s Seattle Jail

by Carolyn Bick


When lawyer Courtney Hudak walked up to the King County Correctional Facility on Seattle’s 5th Avenue just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 to make a professional visit to protestors who had been detained, following Saturday’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality, the last thing she expected was for the doors to be locked. But they were.

Continue reading The Day After Saturday’s Protests, Lawyers Were Denied Access to Detained Protestors at King County’s Seattle Jail

UPDATE: Sen. Patty Murray Not Present to Vote on Bipartisan Amendment That Would Have Increased Online Privacy

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State Sen. Patty Murray (D) was among the four United States senators who didn’t vote on a bipartisan amendment that would have prevented law enforcement agencies from obtaining Americans’ internet search histories and web browsing activities without a warrant.

The amendment to H.R. 6172 needed 60 in-person votes to pass, and failed by one vote, according to Gizmodo. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) were the other three senators who did not vote, though Alexander is currently in self-isolation, after a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Continue reading UPDATE: Sen. Patty Murray Not Present to Vote on Bipartisan Amendment That Would Have Increased Online Privacy