Tag Archives: Police Accountability

It Has Been One Year Since Whistleblower Complaint Against OIG: A Retrospective

by Carolyn Bick

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


A year ago today, the Emerald published its first story on a whistleblower complaint filed against the Office of Inspector General (OIG). That complaint contained serious allegations — including warnings from OIG leadership to staff to avoid criticizing the OPA in writing  — not only against Inspector General Lisa Judge but also against now-former Deputy Inspector General Amy Tsai and now-former Office of Police Accountability (OPA) Dir. Andrew Myerberg. 

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OPA Director Pick Gino Betts’ Answers to Public Questions

compiled by the Emerald Team


On June 8, 2022, the four final candidates for the role of OPA director spoke at a public forum produced by the City of Seattle, hosted by Seattle Channel’s Brian Callanan, and broadcast on the Seattle Channel. Each of the candidates answered a selection of questions submitted by Emerald readers, the Emerald itself, and other members of the public. 

Continue reading OPA Director Pick Gino Betts’ Answers to Public Questions

Emails Appear to Show Mayor’s Office Intentionally Kept OPA Public Forum Quiet

by Guy Oron

(This article was originally published in Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)


The office of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell apparently wanted to limit media coverage of the June 8 Office of Police Accountability (OPA) public forum, according to emails obtained by Real Change. According to the documents, members of the Mayor’s Office explicitly mentioned that they did not want to send any media advisories or press releases relating to either the public forum or the OPA director hiring process in general.

Harrell announced on July 19 that he planned to appointed Gino Betts, one of the four finalists for the position who participated in the forum, to the position of OPA director.

In an email dated June 7 at 2:20 p.m., Harrell advisor Devon Abdallah — the Mayor’s point person on the OPA director candidate search — wrote, “We opted to not do a press release for the OPA forum or OPA director search in general.”

Continue reading Emails Appear to Show Mayor’s Office Intentionally Kept OPA Public Forum Quiet

Real Change and South Seattle Emerald Call for Police Accountability and Transparency

by the Real Change and South Seattle Emerald Editorial Teams


Real Change and the South Seattle Emerald know that many of our readers support Mayor Bruce Harrell, have high expectations for him in general — particularly regarding public safety — and want to see him succeed. They hope he will make real progress on public accountability and reducing the harm caused by the Seattle Police Department to poor, unhoused, and BIPOC communities. We also understand our responsibility to our readers and the democratic process to hold the mayor, all police forces, police oversight entities, and officials in the region accountable through fair, accurate, and unrelenting reporting.

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NEWS GLEAMS | New Director of the OPA Nominated by Harrell, 16th Annual Duwamish River Festival Aug. 6, & More

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


In anticipation of possible future Supreme Court decisions ahead, the House just passed legislation to protect marriage equality, but the fight is not quite over. Mayor Bruce Harrell has also nominated a new director for the Office of Police Accountability; plus, we offer a brief recap of his plans to bring more police to Seattle and City Council’s new legislation to strengthen police accountability.

On a brighter note, it has been some time since the Duwamish River has looked as sparkly as it does now. Don’t miss the free all-day festival that pays homage to the importance of clean water through art, activities, and community.

—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | New Director of the OPA Nominated by Harrell, 16th Annual Duwamish River Festival Aug. 6, & More

OPA May Have Misclassified These Complaints, Effectively Sweeping Them Under the Rug

by Carolyn Bick

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


Author’s Note: This article is one of two released today that discuss issues related to the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) contact log complaint classification. Complaints designated as “contact log” are not subject to investigation and are effectively “closed” according to the OPA manual.

This article addresses the OPA’s misclassifications of what appear to be serious, investigation-worthy allegations as contact log complaints. Documents obtained by the Emerald show that these allegations include retaliation and bias, as well as more than 40 complaints against Seattle Police Officer Guild (SPOG) President Mike Solan, grouped together as one complaint and classified as a contact log.

Continue reading OPA May Have Misclassified These Complaints, Effectively Sweeping Them Under the Rug

Fed. Monitoring Team May Have Ignored Potential Source of SPD Sex Abuse Data

by Carolyn Bick

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


Author’s Note: This article is one of two released today that both discuss issues related to the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) contact log complaint classification. Complaints designated as “contact log” are not subject to investigation and are effectively “closed” according to the OPA manual.

This article addresses some of the content of a March 2022 meeting among the federal monitor, members of the monitoring team, and a local lawyer and her colleague attempting to shine light on sexual abuse allegations against Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers. Based on the available evidence, it appears that allegations regarding officer sexual misconduct may exist as “contact log” complaints. However, the federal monitor appears to have dismissed this potential source of sexual abuse data without looking at any of the available contact log complaints.

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CPC Lost or Destroyed SPD Sexual Abuse Data After Omitting It From Report

Member of Federal Monitoring Team Put Onus on Local Lawyer to Reproduce Data, Protect Complainants

by Carolyn Bick

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


The Emerald has learned that the Community Police Commission has apparently either lost or destroyed survey data pointing to allegations of sexual abuse by Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers.

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OPINION | Seattle’s Police ‘Reform’ Process Hasn’t Tackled Lethal Policies

Charleena Lyles’ inquest hearing highlights systemic failures under the consent decree and the inability of Seattle’s police accountability entities to change deadly policies.

by Dr. Howard J. Gale


July 6, 2022 — The headline in our local paper of record shouts, “Seattle police officers justified in killing Charleena Lyles, panel finds.” The just-concluded King County inquest into the 2017 SPD murder of Charleena Lyles was never going to provide accountability, justice, or even closure. On July 6, following the verdict, Katrina Johnson, Lyles’ cousin, said (at 00:21:12):

“I’m not sure that this process is in the best interest of impacted families. Being a person that works with impacted family, I don’t even know how I recover from this. Truly, now, this is just as bad, if not worse, than the day Lena was killed. It might even be worse because this is just completely unnecessary and just the amount of intimidation and abuse of power at display from the officers and the attorneys has just been next level. And I don’t know why anybody would want to subject themselves to this.”

Continue reading OPINION | Seattle’s Police ‘Reform’ Process Hasn’t Tackled Lethal Policies

Summary of Inquest Hearings into the SPD Shooting of Charleena Lyles

by Vee Hua 華婷婷

Last Updated on July 7, 2022, 11:48 am.

Content Warning: This article contains discussions of police killings, violence, mental health crises, and suicide.


Inquest hearings continue through July 6 around the death of 30-year-old Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of three who was shot seven times by Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers following a disturbance call to her home in 2017. Thus far, the hearings have provided insights into the timeline of the day’s events, actions of officers, firefighters, and paramedics at the scene, attempts to revive Lyles, and traumatic impacts on Lyles’ children.

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