This false narrative, detailed in the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) Director’s Certification Memo (DCM) for the case — 2020OPA-0583 — was based on interviews with some Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers who were at the protest, as well as other supplemental documentation such as body worn video (BWV).
The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.
This article is part three of a multi-part series concerning the protests that took place in Seattle in late 2020. It describes the apparent inaccuracies in the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) official report of the events as documented in the police oversight entity’s Director’s Certification Memo, which appears to have been signed off on as final by the OPA director. It also connects the dots between the certification memo and the recent ethics complaint filed by a former Office of Inspector General auditor, as reported here. Find the first article in this series here.
In late June, the Emeraldpublished a story about an Office of Inspector General auditor’s memo detailing concerns with the way the OPA investigators handled a case about last year’s Labor Day protest at the Seattle Police Officers Guild headquarters. That protest has been a topic of contention throughout Seattle for a number of reasons, including the amount of force the Seattle Police Department used against protesters and whether officers were actually responding to a credible threat in the crowd, as they claim.
OPA Director Andrew Myerberg told the Emerald in a June 28 email that he was planning on finalizing the Director’s Certification Memo and releasing the Case Closed Summary related to complaints filed in the wake of the incident the following week.
As of this writing, not only has the OPA still not released the Case Closed Summary — more than a year after the protest — but the Emerald has learned through an email it obtained, as well as the Director’s Certification Memo (DCM) itself, that the DCM appears to have been finalized in early April. Myerberg told the Emerald in a Sept. 20 email that the DCM will be amended — an issue the Emerald addresses at the end of this story — but did not deny that it had been finalized in April, despite saying in June that “I was planning on finalizing the DCM that week [the week of July 5].”
The Office of Police Accountability has determined in a two-part investigative summary that at least eight Seattle police officers violated Seattle Police Department policy when they registered to vote using the addresses of different Seattle Police Department precincts. One of those officers was current Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan.
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement, with updated reporting by Andrew Engelson.)
by Paul Faruq Kiefer & Andrew Engelson
In a Friday night post on the Seattle Police Department (SPD) Blotter blog, interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz confirmed that two officers were in Washington, D.C. during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, though he could not confirm whether the officers took part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Diaz wrote that SPD referred the two officers to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) for further investigation; the OPA will review whether the officers violated SPD policy and whether their actions could merit criminal charges.
Since the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer, there have been continuous protests resulting in the nation finally realizing the racial inequities baked into our justice system — especially in law enforcement. Even here in our own Emerald City, white Seattleites are now beginning to see what Black and Brown communities have been pointing out for decades: police brutalize people of color with impunity, and often without consequence, and we throw hundreds of millions of dollars at “arresting away” crime instead of investing those funds back into communities.