WA Supreme Court allows for pro-accountability inquest reforms

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Washington Supreme Court allows pro-accountability reforms to King County inquest process to go into effect

Huge news! Our state supreme court sided with the families of those killed by police officers to allow for a more rigorous inquest process.

The CPC gave feedback on these reforms and have supported them from day one. After the Seattle City Attorney sued to block the inquest reforms last year, the CPC and many others successfully called on him to withdraw from the lawsuit. 

Additionally, in their roles outside of the CPC, Co-chair La Rond Baker was counsel on the inquest litigation and argued on behalf of families before the Supreme Court, and Commissioners Prachi Dave and Austin Fields worked on the inquest litigation. 

Because of this decision, a backlog of cases involving at least 40 people killed by police officers will be eligible for a fair and rigorous inquest proceedings. Read more from the Seattle Times


CPC Meeting Tomorrow

You can find the agenda and Zoom information for our 9 am meeting tomorrow here. On the agenda, among other things, are: 

  • Updates from the accountability partners,
  • Strategic planning retreat scheduling, and
  • A review of the CPC's budget.



Council Member Lisa Herbold at the Public Safety and Human Services Committee Meeting

CPC, OIG, and OPA give mid-year update to Council

Seattle's police oversight agencies gave it's annual mid-year report to the City Council's Public Safety and Human Services Committee last week. The report highlighted the gains made toward police accountability in the 2021 legislative session and each agencies ongoing work. Watch here, it starts at the 42:43 minute mark. 


CPC News Briefs

  • Seattle City Council's less-lethal weapons restrictions move forward
    If adopted, the bill would prohibit SPD from using five ‘less-lethal’ weapons, including blast balls, and place new restrictions on officers’ use of tear gas, pepper-ball launchers and pepper spray. [Publicola | 7-15]

  • Report finds racial disparities in stops, arrests, use-of-force by Seattle Police officers
    Some of the key findings from the report show that per capita, Native people were stopped nearly nine times more then white people and Black people were stopped over five times more than white people. [KOMO | 7-15]

  • We know who made the call to leave Seattle Police’s East Precinct last summer, finally
    In coming weeks, the Office of Police Accountability will release an investigation into whether leaving the East Precinct was “neglect of duty.” [KUOW | 7-9]

  • With big changes ahead for King County Sheriff’s Office, residents hear from finalists to lead civilian oversight
    One is a former California police officer, King County prosecutor and judge whose “transformational education” in institutional racism and injustice led him to work in police oversight; the other is a Chicago social activist, lawyer, investigator and progressive who believes that only the community can transform policing. [Seattle Times | 7-15]



CPC sends letter in support of Council's revised crowd control weapons legislation

The CPC sent the following letter to the City Council on July 7, regarding it's revised legislation regulating the Seattle Police Department's use of crowd control weapons:

The Seattle Community Police Commission writes today to offer its support for Council Bill 120105. The Commission believes that the bill’s inclusion of clear delineations of when less-lethal weapons can and cannot be used—and limitations on who can use them—is a significant first step in ensuring the safety of community members when they engage in First Amendment protected protests.

The Commission wishes to note that while we appreciate the improvements the bill would make to Seattle Police Department’s use of crowd control weapons, the Commission wants to ensure that the City Council does not forget that there is more work to be done. This legislation does work toward implementation of some recommendations made by the CPC last fall. However, those CPC’s recommendations identified additional changes necessary to best protect our community’s safety and civil liberties during protests for which we ask the City Council to not stop striving towards.

The CPC looks forward to more opportunities to engage with the City, City Council, and SPD to further ensure the safety of all Community members when they are exercising their First Amendment rights.

La Rond Baker and Erin Goodman,
Seattle Community Police Commission Co-Chairs

Learn more about the CPC's efforts to protect the rights of protesters here.