by Carolyn Bick, with additional reporting by Jessie McKenna
Seattle Gay News journalist Renee Raketty was sitting on a narrow set of metal steps and trying to catch her breath when the blast ball an officer allegedly threw beneath her exploded. Hours later, still surprised and disoriented, Raketty played the video over and over again, because she still couldn’t believe what had happened. But the permanent loss of hearing in her right ear is all too real.
In the course of reporting Raketty’s story, the Emerald has discovered that SPD appears to be out of compliance with the Consent Decree. An officer’s alleged actions caused Raketty to permanently lose her hearing, which is “a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ.” It would appear that an injury of this severity would be classified as a Type III use of force, according to the SPD manual, and the Consent Decree mandates that all Type III uses of force be reviewed by SPD’s Force Review Board (FRB). But according to officials with the OPA and SPD, this case will not be reviewed by the FRB, as there does not appear to be any mechanism in practice within existing policy with which to do so.
Continue reading Local Journalist Faces Complex Accountability Process That Appears to Show SPD Out of Compliance With Consent Decree
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
As calls to defund the Seattle Police Department continue, Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed moving about $56 million out of the Seattle Police Department’s budget into other parts of the city budget — a ledger swap that could actually cost the city more money than the current system and could, advocates say, actually weaken the accountability system.
When announcing the transfers, Durkan’s office described the changes as “actions to transform the Seattle Police Department and reimagine community safety” by responding to requests from community stakeholders. However, it’s unclear where the impetus for the specific changes the mayor proposed — moving 911 dispatch, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Office of Emergency Management out of SPD — came from.
Continue reading Durkan Proposes Ledger Swap of $56 Million from SPD to Other Parts of City Budget
by Carolyn Bick
The Seattle Community Police Commission, Office of Police Accountability, and Office of Inspector General have released a joint recommendation that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) stop using tear gas, due to the extra dangers it poses in light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic.
Continue reading Seattle CPC, OPA, OIG Release Recommendation that SPD Cease Use of Tear Gas, Due to Novel Coronavirus Concerns