by Carolyn Bick
The video begins with what appears to be a GMC lurching from a dead stop onto a sidewalk full of people at the intersection of 11th Street and East Pine Street in Capitol Hill on the evening of Aug. 12. As the big blue pickup barrels towards them, people scramble out of the way screaming. One person dives through the bushes to get away from the car.
Later in the video — which appears to show a separate video shot a short time later, and appears to be cut part way through — the person driving the car appears to claim to be a Seattle Police Department (SPD) officer, listing off his badge number as 6645. However, because the video — which was posted to Twitter soon after the incident took place — is not visually clear, the Emerald could not confirm if this person was indeed an officer employed with SPD.
Continue reading Person Claiming to Be SPD Officer Drives Onto Crowded Sidewalk, Calls Protestors “Cockroaches”
by Carolyn Bick
Seven days after Aisling Cooney filed a public records request with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to get her own arrest records and associated materials from her arrest at the Capitol Hill protest on July 25, the records department succinctly informed her in an email that these records wouldn’t be available to her until late February 2021.
Cooney isn’t alone. At the advice of lawyers with Smith Law, at least four others who have also filed for their arrest records — as well as associated documents, recordings, and more — as part of several civil lawsuits they hope to bring against SPD have received similar messages: the SPD’s Legal Unit is “operating under an extreme backlog of requests, staffing shortages, the redeployment of supporting units to SPD’s frontline COVID-19 response, and, pursuant to CDC recommendations and City direction, reassignment to remote access.”
Continue reading Some Detained Protestors Must Wait at Least Six Months for Own Arrest Records, Hampering Legal Efforts
by Erica C. Barnett
(Updated at 12:58pm on 8/11/20)
(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)
Advocates for an immediate 50% cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget may have walked away unsatisfied Monday evening, when the City Council passed a midyear budget package that lopped just 7% off SPD’s remaining 2020 budget. But the Council majority left no question that they consider the short-term cuts a down payment on a more substantive proposal next year — one that, importantly, has a shot of making it through labor negotiations with the powerful police officers’ union.
In a surprising turn, Seattle’s Police Chief Carmen Best will announce her retirement on Tuesday in the wake of the Council’s decision. This was confirmed with multiple sources including the mayor’s office. The C is for Crank was also able to obtain a copy of Chief Best’s letter to SPD announcing her departure on September 2.
Continue reading Seattle Council Takes a Small Bite Out of Police Budget, Chief Best Will Retire
by Carolyn Bick
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of Seattle is accusing Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers of violating a federal court order by using indiscriminate force against protestors and breaking the law by targeting NLG legal observers during the Capitol Hill protest on Saturday, July 25, according to a statement released by the NLG.
Continue reading National Lawyers Guild Accuses SPD of Targeting Legal Observers, Using Indiscriminate Force Against Protestors
by Carolyn Bick
A handful of Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers appear to have broken the law by registering to vote with their precinct addresses. Among them is Officer Michael Solan, President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG).
Continue reading Some SPD Officers Appear to Have Violated Election Law by Registering Precincts as Voting Addresses
(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement)
24 days after clearing the building and evacuating the area following weeks of anti-police protests, the Seattle Police Department swept into the area around the East Precinct early Wednesday and cleared the protest zone that has formed in this core neighborhood of Capitol Hill under an executive order from Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The 30-minute operation created a wide perimeter around the 12th and Pine building with streets cleared of campers and protesters and police reported taking some into custody but meeting little resistance. The Seattle Police Department says it arrested 31 people “for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault.”
There were no significant injuries reported. Around 6:30 AM, SPD said that a woman was reported going into labor on the east side of Cal Anderson Park.
Police said officers “enforcing today’s order” were wearing “a higher-level of protective gear.”
“Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated w/the CHOP are known to be armed and dangerous/may be associated with shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults & other violent crimes,” the update read.
SPD was also investigating reports of vehicles circling the area with officers reporting individuals “with firearms/armor” inside. The vehicles also did not have visible license plates, SPD reported.
Continue reading Under Durkan’s Executive Order, Seattle Police Sweep in to Retake East Precinct and Clear Capitol Hill Protest Zone
by Josh Merchant
Seattle University is facing demands from students, faculty and staff to cut ties with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) amid ongoing protests over police violence, White supremacy, and the criminal justice system. The university currently has a relationship through its Department of Public Safety and its Criminal Justice program.
On May 30, a letter signed by over 100 faculty and staff in Seattle University’s College of Arts & Sciences questioned the relationship between Public Safety and SPD. Some Seattle University (also “Seattle U” or “SU”) community members have also spoken up on Twitter and on Instagram — one Tweet calling for the university to end this relationship has received dozens of retweets and over 100 likes.
Continue reading Seattle University Faces Demands to End Relationship With SPD
by Brandon K. Hersey
Each year, for the past three years, the Seattle Public School system has adopted a resolution supporting the Black Lives Matter at School movement. Each statement unanimously declared that we would work to undo an institutionally racist system that has marginalized Black students for decades and has left them behind as the city’s crippling opportunity gap continues to widen. The Black Lives Matter at School movement has four simple demands: end zero-tolerance policies, mandate Black history and ethnic studies, hire more Black teachers, and fund counselors, not cops. Continue reading OPINION: Keep Your Tanks Away From Our Schools
by Kamna Shastri
(This article was originally published by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission)
Rainier Beach High School student Angelina Riley walked out of virtual school at noon on Wednesday, June 3, waving a sign outside the street of her home to protest police presence in schools. At least 100 other youth did the same. Riley said that youth wanted a way to get involved in the activism and momentum around challenging police brutality. “Somewhere people have forgotten about is schools,” she said. Continue reading The Student Activism That Led to Seattle Schools Temporarily Cutting Ties With SPD
by Chetanya Robinson
Seattle police officers are now required to turn on body cameras while working during demonstrations, following an executive order from Mayor Jenny Durkan issued June 10, and a temporary department policy change, effective immediately, ordered by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.
“Activating officers’ body-worn camera video during demonstrations is an important way to provide additional accountability and help restore public confidence,” said Mayor Durkan in a statement. Continue reading Under New Policy, Seattle Police at Demonstrations Must Turn on Body Cameras