By Paul Kiefer
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On Wednesday afternoon, the Seattle Police Department confirmed that at least five of its officers were present at the rally held by former President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on January 6 that preceded the hours-long attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters. More than a week after an SPD officer reported two of his colleagues to his superiors for a Facebook photo of the pair at the rally, three more officers notified the department that they, too, had attended the event.
Continue reading SPD Confirms That At Least Five Officers Were In D.C. During Capitol Attack
by Jack Russillo
For more than a month, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant received a series of increasingly threatening emails from a Seattle Fire Department (SFD) employee’s email address.
In total, four emails were sent to Sawant’s official email address. The first was sent on December 17 and the most recent was received on January 18 and ended with the message “Announce your resignation now, or else.” Previous emails from this same account said “If you don’t willing leave [sic], we will make that decision for you by any means necessary” and “If you need help leaving, try jumping head first off the top floor of your building. I’ll even come push you.”
Continue reading Sawant Asks for “Thorough Investigation” Into Series of Threatening Emails Sent from Seattle Fire Department Address
by Carolyn Bick
The King County Jail system will begin surveillance testing of its incarcerated adult population starting as soon as tomorrow, Jan. 13, according to an internal Jan. 12 email shared with the Emerald.
Continue reading BREAKING: King County Jail System to Begin COVID Surveillance Testing on Incarcerated Adults
by Carolyn Bick
Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County has alleged in a press release that agents from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation are responsible for providing “disinformation to local officials during summer protests to obscure a federal role in stoking unrest.” The organization said this information comes directly from a Washington State lawmaker.
Continue reading BREAKING: FBI Agents May Have Intentionally Lied to Stoke Unrest in Summer Protests, BLMSKC Alleges
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement, with updated reporting by Andrew Engelson.)
by Paul Faruq Kiefer & Andrew Engelson
In a Friday night post on the Seattle Police Department (SPD) Blotter blog, interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz confirmed that two officers were in Washington, D.C. during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, though he could not confirm whether the officers took part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Diaz wrote that SPD referred the two officers to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) for further investigation; the OPA will review whether the officers violated SPD policy and whether their actions could merit criminal charges.
Continue reading SPD Confirms Two Officers at U.S. Capitol Riot, CPC Seeks Documents, and Calls Increase for SPOG President to Resign
by Ronnie Estoque
“Shaun Fuhr, he matters here!” rang the chants from Othello Park all the way up to Beacon Hill alongside a strong scent of burning sage as protesters affiliated with Morning March Seattle and the Black Action Coalition (BAC) led a march and rally to the Seattle Police Department South Precinct Sunday afternoon.
“We march for the following demands,” said Trae, a BAC organizer, during the march. “We want to hold police accountable, reallocate SPD’s budget, stop criminalizing youth, actually protect and serve everyone, and protect, not attack, our right to protest … we are marching for basic human rights.” A more detailed description of BAC’s demands can be found online here.
The protest centered around demanding police accountability for Seattle Police SWAT officer Noah Zech, who fatally shot South Seattle resident Shaun Fuhr in April of this year. Protesters also called out predatory developers that have displaced communities of color from the South End and the Central District.
Continue reading Protesters March to SPD South Precinct Demanding Justice for Police Killing of Shaun Fuhr
by Carolyn Bick
The Office of the Mayor and Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold have announced new legislation that is meant to clarify the Office of Police Accountability’s and the Office of Inspector General’s power to subpoena those involved in or who are witness to possible officer misconduct — including officers themselves.
The proposal clarifies legislation that was previously unclear due to language in both the City’s 2017 Accountability Ordinance and the 2018 Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract that appear to counter one another.
Continue reading Proposed Legislation Attempts to Clarify OPA’s, OIG’s Power to Subpoena in Police Misconduct Cases
by Carolyn Bick
Though they do not say it outright, both Inspector General Lisa Judge and Office of Police Accountability Director Andrew Myerberg have written a letter to federal oversight officials and Seattle’s Chief of Police that appears to acknowledge that the police department and the City may be out of compliance with the Consent Decree.
The Oct. 15 letter to United States Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, Federal Monitor Anthony Oftelie, and Seattle Police Department (SPD) Chief Adrian Diaz contains two recommendations for policy revision and follows about a month after the Emerald published a story in mid-September that outlined how the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the City might currently be out of compliance with the Consent Decree.
Continue reading OPA, OIG Heads Seem to Acknowledge SPD, City Out of Compliance With Consent Decree in Letter to Fed Oversight Officials
by Carolyn Bick
Kel Murphy-Duford — the 30-year-old man who had been unconscious and on a ventilator at Harborview Medical Center, following his arrest on the evening of Nov. 4 — now appears to be awake and is recuperating. He has since been discharged from the hospital, according to Harborview’s media department.
Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers originally arrested Murphy-Duford on the evening of Nov. 4, claiming he was engaging in property damage. During his arrest, Murphy-Duford apparently suffered a medical emergency that rendered him unconscious, but it is unclear what triggered the emergency. Emergency personnel allegedly said that the man had a seizure. He was subsequently taken to Harborview, where he remained unconscious on a ventilator for several days.
Continue reading Hospitalized Demonstrator Now Awake, But Says SPD Withholding Insulin Delivery System
by Carolyn Bick
A young man is on a ventilator at Harborview Medical Center, following his arrest for alleged property damage outside the East Precinct, during a protest in support of voting rights and against systemic racism in Capitol Hill on Nov. 4, 2020. The Emerald briefly touched on the incident in a story published yesterday, but misidentified the person as woman, based on the immediately available information.
The young man has since been identified as 30-year-old Kel Murphy-Duford, according to a Converge Media interview shared in full with the Emerald. In this same interview, Murphy-Duford’s lawyers said that multiple protestors who don’t know each other told them they saw officers “tackle and throw” Murphy-Duford to the ground, and that at least five officers “jumped” on top of Murphy-Duford, as he was lying unconscious on the ground. Bodyworn video released by the Seattle Police Department appears to show Murphy-Duford unresponsive, after the officers arrest him.
Emergency personnel told Murphy-Duford’s husband that he had a seizure and was suffering from “low oxygen” — but Murphy-Duford does not have a history of seizures, said a source who knows the man. It is also unclear whether or not Murphy-Duford was responsive the entire time officers were arresting him.
SPD later revised their SPD Blotter entry about the arrest to claim that Murphy-Duford’s alleged seizure was “potentially related to a substance the subject had ingested prior to police contact,” but his lawyers told the Emerald in an email that “[n]o one has released ANY medical information to [the Force Investigation Team (FIT)] or SPD. Doctors have not indicated at any point that there is any ‘substance’ responsible for our client’s condition.”
Continue reading Person With No Reported History of Seizures Said to Be on Ventilator, Following Alleged Seizure Upon Arrest