Tag Archives: SPOG

BREAKING: Email Reveals Even City Officials Fell Victim to 2020 Proud Boys Hoax 

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

The Emerald has received an email that appears to show that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) distributed false information about the Proud Boys moving through Seattle internally among various City departments on the evening of June 8, 2020.

The email from Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) Emergency Manager Chad Buechler, timestamped at 6:39 p.m. on the evening the lie was perpetrated, states that “I was asked by the [Seattle Office of Emergency Management] EOC director (Kenneth Neafcy) and Seattle Police for this information not to be distributed further than for operational needs,” and goes on to list the following (emphasis by the Emerald): “SPD is preparing for a possible counter protest at Volunteer Park that could lead to significant volatility in the area. Intelligence reports that the Proud Boys group may be active in the area.

Continue reading BREAKING: Email Reveals Even City Officials Fell Victim to 2020 Proud Boys Hoax 

Renton Man’s Arrest Further Belies OPA’s Version of Labor Day 2020 Events

by Carolyn Bick


The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

In early December 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington announced that several cooperating law enforcement agencies had arrested a man suspected of taking part in a plot to burn down the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) during the 2020 Labor Day protest.

The man, Justin Christopher Moore, is the person the Emerald refers to as “Tan Gloves” in this story about the 2020 Labor Day protest in front of SPOG. The complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Nov. 23, 2021, confirms not only what the Emerald laid out for readers in that story — specifically that Moore was never at any point during the protest targeted for arrest — but also provides new details about the events of that day. 

Continue reading Renton Man’s Arrest Further Belies OPA’s Version of Labor Day 2020 Events

Glaring Discrepancies in OPA Report on Labor Day 2020 Protest

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.

This article is part three of a multi-part series concerning the protests that took place in Seattle in late 2020. It describes the apparent inaccuracies in the Office of Police Accountability’s (OPA) official report of the events as documented in the police oversight entity’s Director’s Certification Memo, which appears to have been signed off on as final by the OPA director. It also connects the dots between the certification memo and the recent ethics complaint filed by a former Office of Inspector General auditor, as reported here. Find the first article in this series here


In late June, the Emerald published a story about an Office of Inspector General auditor’s memo detailing concerns with the way the OPA investigators handled a case about last year’s Labor Day protest at the Seattle Police Officers Guild headquarters. That protest has been a topic of contention throughout Seattle for a number of reasons, including the amount of force the Seattle Police Department used against protesters and whether officers were actually responding to a credible threat in the crowd, as they claim.

OPA Director Andrew Myerberg told the Emerald in a June 28 email that he was planning on finalizing the Director’s Certification Memo and releasing the Case Closed Summary related to complaints filed in the wake of the incident the following week. 

As of this writing, not only has the OPA still not released the Case Closed Summary — more than a year after the protest — but the Emerald has learned through an email it obtained, as well as the Director’s Certification Memo (DCM) itself, that the DCM appears to have been finalized in early April. Myerberg told the Emerald in a Sept. 20 email that the DCM will be amended — an issue the Emerald addresses at the end of this story — but did not deny that it had been finalized in April, despite saying in June that “I was planning on finalizing the DCM that week [the week of July 5].”

Continue reading Glaring Discrepancies in OPA Report on Labor Day 2020 Protest

Investigation Implicates 2 Officers in Jan. 6 Riots, Tests Limits of Subpoena Power

by Paul Kiefer

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


In findings released on Thursday afternoon, Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability ruled that two of the six officers who attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 violated department policy and federal law by trespassing on the grounds of the U.S. capitol while insurgents stormed the legislative chambers inside. The officers will now face Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, who will decide how to discipline the pair for their breach of policy; their supervisors have recommended that Diaz fire both officers.

Continue reading Investigation Implicates 2 Officers in Jan. 6 Riots, Tests Limits of Subpoena Power

OIG Memo Reveals Serious ‘Deficiencies’ in OPA Protest Investigation That ‘Cannot Be Remedied’

by Carolyn Bick


Author’s Note: For the purposes of clarity, the Emerald will use “(sic)” in parentheses in quoted sections of the OIG memo discussed in this article to indicate that it has been reprinted here exactly as it appears in the source material (the OIG memo). Where readers see “[sic]” styled as shown here, with square brackets, this text was used by the OIG in their memo to indicate that the text quoted in their memo appears exactly as it appears in the source material (the OPA Report of Investigation/ROI).   

On the evening of Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, hundreds of protesters marched to the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild headquarters in SoDo. The march fell just after the 100th day of protests against police brutality held in the city since late May 2020, following the murder of George Floyd.

Once the protesters arrived at the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) headquarters, it didn’t take long for police on bicycles to confront the crowd. It’s unclear exactly what prompted the police to come outside, but the situation soon erupted, with officers deploying blast balls and pepper spray and arresting several protesters. Videos about the event online, including those in this Twitter thread from Seattle Times reporter Heidi Groover and this Twitter thread by Stranger Associate Editor Rich Smith, show what appears to be a peaceful scene, before Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers on bicycles come around the corner to confront protesters. Based on these videos, it does not appear that any of the protesters instigated the confrontation, though a heavily edited official SPOG video, complete with background music, claims otherwise and says that police sprang into action after allegedly seeing a protestor carrying Molotov cocktails.

Continue reading OIG Memo Reveals Serious ‘Deficiencies’ in OPA Protest Investigation That ‘Cannot Be Remedied’

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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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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Federal District Court Judge Finds Seattle in Contempt of Crowd Control Injunction

by Paul Kiefer

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


On Monday, Federal District Court Judge Richard Jones found the City of Seattle in contempt of an injunction he issued in June forbidding the Seattle Police Department (SPD) from using force against peaceful protesters. According to Durkan spokesperson Kelsey Nyland, the ruling is the first contempt finding against the City in recent memory; within the next week, the court will begin considering possible penalties.

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Proposed Legislation Attempts to Clarify OPA’s, OIG’s Power to Subpoena in Police Misconduct Cases

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. 

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Durkan Releases Executive Order Outlining Methods To Begin Transitioning Areas of SPD to Civilian, Community Response

by Carolyn Bick


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has released an Executive Order meant to “create an accountable and transparent timeline to evaluate Seattle Police Department (SPD) functions and identify areas of SPD response that can be transitioned to civilian and community-based responses,” according to a press release from her office on Oct. 1. According to the order, the first public deliverable — a work plan and community engagement timeline — will be available in October, while the last one — a final analysis report that examines several factors, including current SPD practices and functions, as well as community input on community policing — will be available in March 2021.

Continue reading Durkan Releases Executive Order Outlining Methods To Begin Transitioning Areas of SPD to Civilian, Community Response