Tag Archives: Seattle Police Department

SPD Touts ‘Safe Place’ Hate-Crimes Program, but Advocates Skeptical

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


Hand-sized stickers bearing a rainbow-colored police badge are ubiquitous in storefront windows around Seattle. They are the calling card of the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) “Safe Place” program, a 6-year-old project that theoretically recruits business owners to provide shelter to victims of hate crimes and to report hate crimes to the department. The project doesn’t cost the department much — stickers, printed materials, and a single staff member are the only expenses. But whether it has made a difference for victims of hate crimes is still hard to discern.

Continue reading SPD Touts ‘Safe Place’ Hate-Crimes Program, but Advocates Skeptical

OPA Finds That SPD Officers Violated Policy by Using Precincts as Voting Addresses

by Carolyn Bick


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.

Continue reading OPA Finds That SPD Officers Violated Policy by Using Precincts as Voting Addresses

Can the Seattle Police Department Consent Decree Be Fixed?

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council rejected a proposal to cut $2.83 million from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget, bringing an end to a months-long debate and raising questions about whether federal oversight is the right path toward reforming the department.

For almost a decade, SPD has been under federal oversight through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice called a consent decree. The consent decree, which Seattle entered in 2012, was supposed to ensure that SPD corrected a pattern of using unjustified force and racially biased policing, among other reforms.

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Seattle Police Banned From Capitol Hill Pride Fest

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


“Stonewall was a riot!” is a popular chant heard at Pride marches, and it’s not wrong. At the heart of Pride is a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, sparked when queer and transgender people took a stand against a police raid at New York’s Stonewall Inn. LBGTQ+ communities and activist groups have convened every summer since then in cities around the world for marches, rallies, and festivities that honor this historic resistance. In keeping with the origins of Pride — and especially given the violent and sometimes deadly confrontations between police and protesters during last year’s protests for Black lives — Capitol Hill Pride Fest (CHPF) organizers announced that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will be banned from their events. 

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The Morning Update Show — 5/24/21

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, May 24

SPD Cop on CBS Has a History of Violence | More Bodycam Footage From Louisiana State Police | NAACP Says “Say their name” | Mike Davis “Claps Back” | Northwest Tap Connection

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Police Accountability Leader Asks SPD to Phase Out Routine Traffic Stops

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Citing concerns from community members and police officers about the dangers of police traffic stops, Seattle Inspector General Lisa Judge sent a letter to Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday asking him to start phasing out traffic stops for “civil and non-dangerous violations” — violations that, unlike DUI or reckless driving, do not endanger the public.

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Police Chief Diaz Explains Why He Hasn’t Fired Officers for Excessive Use of Force

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


On Wednesday, May 12,  interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced his decision to overturn the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) findings in one of the most prominent misconduct cases of last summer’s protests. The case centered on the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD’s) use of blast balls, tear gas, and pepper spray against protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Pine Street on the evening of June 1, 2020, after an officer attempted to yank a pink umbrella out of a protester’s hands.

The chief’s decision to overturn the OPA’s finding of excessive force against Lieutenant John Brooks, who gave the order to use the weapons against protesters, sparked an outcry from police accountability advocates and activist groups. The Community Police Commission (CPC), one of Seattle’s trio of police oversight bodies, called Diaz’s decision “detrimental to community trust in SPD and Seattle’s entire police accountability system,” particularly because he offered no detail about how he would hold decision-makers at a “higher level of command authority” responsible in lieu of Brooks.

Continue reading Police Chief Diaz Explains Why He Hasn’t Fired Officers for Excessive Use of Force

OPINION: The Palestinian Uprisings in Jerusalem Hit Close To Home In Seattle

by Alia Taqieddin

(This is one of three essays from local community members that the Emerald will be publishing on this topic.)


Last week, the world watched as 22-year-old Muna El Kurd — in a viral video from her family’s home in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem — confronted Yacoub, a Brooklyn-raised Zionist settler who has forcibly taken residence in the El Kurd family’s garage since 2009. 

“If I don’t steal your home, someone else will,” Yacoub said, gesturing matter-of-factly at Muna and her family members. 

As disturbing as this justification is, it reflects the reality that, since 1948, Zionist settlers have been stealing Palestinian’s homes and land. Forced expulsions have been commonplace across Occupied Palestine since the expulsion of 750,000 Indigenous Palestinians from our homes during the 1948 Nakba, which established the settler state of Israel. They continue this project of ethnic cleansing today in Sheikh Jarrah, in the neighboring villages of Silwan and the South Hebron Hills, and across Palestine.

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SPD Chief Diaz Overturns OPA Decision, Declines to Specify Discipline

by Carolyn Bick


On June 1, 2020, people took to the streets of Seattle to protest the murder of George Floyd and to renew calls for racial justice. These mass protests, which would continue throughout 2020 and into early 2021 in varying forms, had begun just a few days before, on May 29, following Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020.

These protests were met with a heavily armed police response that included Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers using blast balls, tear gas, pepper spray, full-body takedowns, arrests, and more against protestors in numerous instances that have been documented in hundreds of videos, photographs, and audio recordings shared across several different social media platforms and reported on by different media outlets.

In response to the thousands of complaints filed against SPD officers, the City of Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) created a special dashboard to keep track of the status of demonstration-related complaints. It has been releasing its decisions in batches since late 2020. Many of these complaints allege SPD officers used excessive force against protestors and violated multiple policies in the SPD manual. Thus far, few of the OPA’s decisions in these cases have resulted in serious sustained allegations against officers.

Continue reading SPD Chief Diaz Overturns OPA Decision, Declines to Specify Discipline

Council Vote Leaves Cuts to Seattle Police Department Budget Unresolved

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

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


Months of debate on the City Council about how to distribute millions of dollars in unpaid Seattle Police Department (SPD) salaries came to an end on Tuesday, May 12, though no one seemed satisfied with the result.

During the meeting, the committee considered a proposal to cut $2.83 million from SPD’s budget while simultaneously lifting a budget proviso on another $5 million that the council has withheld from SPD’s budget since the beginning of the year. Ultimately, the committee sent the ordinance to the full council with a “do not pass” recommendation.

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