Seattle is on the hunt for a new Office of Police Accountability director following the departure of Andrew Myerberg, recently appointed by Mayor Bruce Harrell to a newly created Public Safety director position. Announced at a recent meeting of Seattle City Council’s Public Safety Committee, a public forum will take place on June 23, 2022, featuring the three finalists recommended by the search committee.
Emerald readers, that’s where you come in. We want to know: What are your priorities when it comes to hiring Seattle’s new director? What questions would/will you ask the final three candidates? What do you want these OPA director candidates to know about the job and your expectations?
Continue reading POLL: Emerald Readers’ Ps and Qs for OPA Director Candidates
by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Seattle City Council is backpedaling its plans to add diversion to the Seattle City Attorney’s list of mandatory responsibilities.
Earlier this year, City Council President Lorena González said she would propose legislation to require the city attorney to send some misdemeanor cases to diversion programs instead of filing charges. Instead, on Thursday, Dec. 9, González introduced a pared-down bill that would require the city attorney to notify the Council 90 days before making any changes to, or eliminating, the office’s diversion programs and provide quarterly reports to the Council about the effectiveness of any diversion programs.
Continue reading Council Changes Course, Won’t Require City Attorney to Run Diversion Programs
by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)
Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold introduced the latest version of legislation intended to restrict the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) use of so-called “less-lethal weapons” against demonstrators during a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, more than a year after the council first began its efforts to limit SPD’s crowd control arsenal. The proposal would restrict the use of tear gas, pepper-ball launchers, and pepper spray by SPD officers responding to protests and outright ban five other less-lethal weapons, including blast balls.
Continue reading Council Reviews New Version of ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Ban