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.
The Seattle City Council adopted a 2021 budget today that reduces the Seattle Police Department’s budget while funding investments in alternatives to policing; repurposes most of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed $100 million “equitable investment fund” to Council priorities; and replaces the encampment-removing Navigation Team with a new program intended to help outreach workers move unsheltered people into shelter and permanent housing.
On Tuesday evening, The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of the 2020 midyear “rebalancing” budget package they adopted in August, setting the stage for a showdown with the mayor in the upcoming 2021 budget discussions, which kick off formally next Tuesday.
Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County (BLMSKC) has filed for a Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) investigation into the Seattle City Council (SCC), according to a press release and letters received by the Emerald.
In a letter released on the morning of Sept. 14, BLMSKC called on the SEEC to “immediately, transparently, and aggressively investigate” the SCC for 12 different counts of what the press release containing the letter calls “potential incidents” involving both the entire SCC or specifically named members. The letter specifically states that it “makes no accusations” but that the issues outlined within the letter “are gravely concerning to Black Lives Matter Seattle King County.”
(This article was originally published on The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement)
Seven of the nine Seattle City Council members say they will support the effort to reduce the Seattle Police budget by 50%, the key component of demands from activists and community groups after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, marches, and rallies in the Pacific Northwest.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously today to ban the Seattle Police Department from owning or using so-called “less lethal” weapons such as blast balls, tear gas, and pepper spray for any purpose, and, in separate legislation, to ban the use of “chokeholds,” a term that includes various methods of restraining a person by cutting off their air supply or blood flow to their brain. Continue reading Seattle Council Bans Use of Chokeholds and “Less-Lethal” Weapons by Police→
As the Seattle Police Department announced it was removing all “sensitive items” from the East Precinct building on Capitol Hill in anticipation of another long night of protests, the Seattle City Council adopted a number of strongly worded resolutions demanding action earlier Monday afternoon.