Tag Archives: PubliCola

Last-Minute Bill in Legislature Would Limit Police Traffic Stops

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an  agreement.)


When video of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police officer Kim Potter killing 20-year-old Duante Wright during a traffic stop started to circulate across the country, Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-34, West Seattle) realized that the slate of police reform legislation that went before the Washington State Legislature this year had a noticeable hole. “We talk all the time about driving while Black,” he said, “and for some reason, it just didn’t connect with me that we should just prevent cops from using minor violations as a way to stop and question people.”

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Lived Experience Coalition Says No One Asked Them About Homelessness Initiative

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an  agreement.)


Proponents of a proposed amendment to the Seattle City Charter that would mandate (but not fund) spending on shelter and enshrine encampment sweeps in the city’s constitution have argued repeatedly that the proposal isn’t about sweeps.

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Lawsuit Challenges State and Counties to Refund Financial Penalties for Drug Charges

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A nonprofit representing formerly incarcerated Washington residents is suing the state and its 39 counties in an attempt to address one of the loose ends left by the state Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in February ruling all simple drug possession charges unconstitutional.

The Seattle-based Civil Survival Project filed the class action lawsuit on Thursday, April 15, in an effort to stop the state, county superior courts, and private contractors from collecting Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) tied to simple drug possession convictions. An LFO is a financial penalty that a court imposes when convicting a person of a crime; the penalty is broken into components, including a fee to cover the costs of filing the criminal case and a fee to cover the collection of a DNA sample.

Continue reading Lawsuit Challenges State and Counties to Refund Financial Penalties for Drug Charges

Court Upholds Firing of SPD Officer Who Punched Handcuffed Woman

by Paul Kiefer

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The Washington State Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Monday, April 5, upholding the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2016 decision to fire Officer Adley Shepherd for punching a woman while she was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

After then-Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced she was firing Shepherd, Shepherd and his union, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG), appealed her decision to an arbitrator — in this case, an attorney who can approve, adjust, or overturn disciplinary actions for police officers. In 2018, the arbitrator sided with Shepherd, directing SPD to rehire him and offer back pay.

But Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes stood by Shepherd’s firing, asking the King County Superior Court to vacate the arbitrator’s decision — a rare challenge to the authority of arbitrators in police disciplinary cases, whose decisions are typically final. The Superior Court agreed with Holmes; after another appeal by SPOG, so did the Court of Appeals.

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The Morning Update Show — 4/5/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Monday, April 5

Compassion Seattle Charter Amendment | Black Community outraged in Marysville | Erica C. Barnett — PubliCola | J.C. Carrington — The OVT Network | Derrick Chauvin Trail Updates | MochaCulture Episode Two

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 4/5/21

Fractures Emerge as Council Continues Police Budget Cut Debate

by Paul Kiefer

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


The Seattle City Council’s debate about a proposed cut to the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) budget will drag on for at least another two weeks, but a discussion during Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting shed light on the growing disagreement within the council about how the City should hold SPD accountable for overspending.

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What’s Next in King County’s Path to Ending Youth Detention?

by Paul Kiefer

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


At the end of a Thursday in early March, 28 teenagers sat in the King County Juvenile Detention Center on Alder Street in Seattle’s Central District. One had arrived in the facility earlier that day; another had spent nearly 640 days in detention for a first-degree rape charge.

The Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center, which opened quietly in February 2020, replaced the county’s aging Youth Services Center. The new justice center has 156 beds, and King County Executive Dow Constantine has said the County doesn’t intend to fill them all. Last July, Constantine made a commitment to guide the County toward an end to youth detention by 2025, promising to transition the new detention center to “other uses” and “[shift] public dollars away from systems that are rooted in oppression and into those that maintain public health and safety, and help people on a path to success.”

Continue reading What’s Next in King County’s Path to Ending Youth Detention?

Seattle City Council Considers Cutting SPD by $5.4M in Response to 2020 Overspending

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The Seattle City Council’s Public Safety Committee is considering a $5.4 million cut to the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2021 budget to account for an equivalent amount of overspending by the department last year. During the committee’s regular meeting on Tuesday morning, councilmembers received a briefing from the council’s central staff on the potential impacts of those cuts on a department still reeling from a spike in attrition in 2020.

Continue reading Seattle City Council Considers Cutting SPD by $5.4M in Response to 2020 Overspending

State Proposal Creating Community Oversight Boards Could Have Unintended Consequences

by Paul Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A bill that would create a framework for civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies across Washington State is making its way toward a vote on the floor of the State House, but police accountability experts say that the bill needs refinement to avoid unintended consequences.

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