Seattle Police

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle police could have been much more effective in how they handled May Day protesters when violence erupted on Capitol Hill Friday night, said the head of the Seattle City Council Public Safety Committee.

It was during a debrief before the Public Safety Committee that chair Bruce Harrell laid into incident commander Captain Chris Fowler.

Harrell went so far as to say it seemed like police provoked the riot. He referred to a video, that’s gone viral, of a cop on a bike ramming a protester from behind and knocking him down.

Natalie Wilkie / Flickr

The federal monitor charged with overseeing reform of the Seattle Police Department says there’s finally reason for optimism.

“The glass is now looking half full to me rather than half empty,” Merrick Bobb said during a briefing before the Seattle City Council Public Safety Committee Wednesday.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he plans to call an emergency meeting of the Seattle City Council to discuss the “epidemic of gun violence” in the wake of two shootings that claimed three lives in the city in the past week.

“This city and this nation must address this sense of violence,” said the mayor at a Friday news conference with dozens of community leaders standing by his side. “We have to find a way to move forward.”

More than 100 Seattle police officers have filed a federal civil rights complaint against city and federal authorities.

They allege the agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Seattle restricting police  use of force has put both police and the public in danger.

Paula Wissel

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Of the nine candidates running for mayor of Seattle, only Mike McGinn has first-hand experience. Leading up to next Tuesday’s primary, KPLU has been asking all the candidates to talk about a time when their leadership was tested.

You could say Mayor Mike McGinn’s leadership skills have been put to the test every day for the past 4 years. How he’s dealt with it has a lot to do with a personal change he made shortly after taking office.

By state law, bars in Washington have to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. And when bars close down, people who’ve been drinking hit the streets all at once. In Seattle last weekend, that phenomenon became extreme in the Belltown neighborhood, reviving a public policy debate.

Justin Steyer

Seattle police insist they’re ready for whatever happens on May Day, that they are better staffed, better organized and better trained than last year.

“We’re as prepared as we can be, given our resources,” said Captain Chris Fowler, the designated commander for police May Day response.

Last year on May Day, there was widespread confusion among officers on duty about how to respond to black-clad vandals smashing windows downtown.

What’s different this time?

You can expect to see more police in Seattle soon.  The 2013 city budget includes money to hire additional cops with an emphasis on fighting violent crime.

(For complete story, click on Listen button.)

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

A 34-foot totem pole honoring slain First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams was carried from the Seattle Waterfront to Seattle Center and raised by some 90 people on Sunday. The pole was carried to its final destination with traditional singing, drumming, and dancing. 

Associated Press

Police used pepper spray to break up fights among pushing and shoving customers waiting outside a Seattle area mall to buy the first Nike retro Air Jordan basketball shoes that went on sale early Friday.

Seattle Police Department

Have you ever wondered what a Seattle police officer does all day? You’re not alone.

The department says it typically has long waiting lists of people who want to ride along on patrols. Now it’s offering a way to virtually give everyone a chance to see the action.   

Erin Hennessey

Seattle homicide detectives on Sunday afternoon fatally shot a man who was a suspect in the stabbing death of an 84-year-old employee at a self-storage facility in the city's Interbay neighborhood. The suspect had been using the victim's credit cards.

Detectives used photos to track him down in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, at the bustling corner of 4th Avenue and Cedar Street. Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson told KPLU the murder suspect attacked detectives, forcing them to fire their weapons.

Police, fire and all other departments in Seattle have been asked to find budget cuts for next year. Mayor Mike McGinn has instructed every office to look for trims because of lagging city revenues.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

"We have nothing to hide" – those were the words of Seattle's chief of police yesterday.  The department is under fire. 

The questions stem from a federal review of the fatal shooting of a first nation's wood carver last August, as well as what many people perceive as a prior pattern of  abusive violence against minority groups.

Gary Davis / KPLU News

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Did Seattle Police Violate DUI Procedures?
  • Reforms at Monroe Prison After Guard's Killing
  • Electronic Billboard Fight Brews in Tacoma

DUI Prosecutions in Seattle on Hold

Some drunk driving cases have been suspended by City Attorney Pete Holmes while Seattle Police investigate how its DUI squad handled procedures.

On Monday, SPD admitted it is reviewing allegations procedures in the unit were not properly handled. according to The Seattle Times:

The investigation has forced the department to pull all but one member of its five-member DUI Squad from the street and assign them to desk duties, according to police.

Liam Moriarty / KPLU News

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Report: Seattle Police Don't Abuse Use of Force
  • Supreme Court Sides With Local Peace Activist
  • Gonzaga Makes NCAA Field

 

Seattle Police: Our Use of Force "Rare"

Seattle Police say the public's impression that officers are using more physical force is wrong.  In fact, a new department report makes the case that use of force is rare. The SeattlePI.com's Casey McNerthny details  a number of recent incidents where officers have been under scrutiny for charges of excessive force.  Still, the report:

 

Newly released video shows Seattle Police Officer James Lee stomping on the head of a man detained by a group of cops in city's Belltown neighborhood last October.

KING-TV's Linda Brill reports the incident is bringing further allegations of excessive force by Lee, already under criminal investigation for kicking a teenager in a Belltown convenience store, just minutes before the second confrontation happened.

Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Angry Crowd at Seattle Police Accountability Forum
  •  Investigation of John T. Williams shooting Deemed Fair
  • Legislature Nixes Governor's Plan for Regional Ferry Authority

 

Anger, outbursts at forum on Seattle Police conduct

A Seattle police accountability forum at City Hall turned into a shouting match at times, and some demanded the resignation of Police Chief John Diaz. 

KOMO News reports the goal of the Thursday night meeting was to restore trust between police and minorities.

Four of eight jurors in a coroner's inquest say woodcarver John T. Williams didn't have enough time to put down his knife before he was shot and killed by Seattle police Officer Ian Birk.

Only one juror found Williams had time to put down the knife. The other three answered "unknown." Thursday's conclusions are only findings of fact by the jury, which did not have to be unanimous. 

KING-TV

The brother of the woodcarver killed by a Seattle policeman testified today during the inquest into the shooting. Much of the testimony during the inquest has centered on whether John T. William’s knife was open or closed at the time he was shot by Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk, who has testified he feared the woodcarver was about to attack him.

On the stand today, John T. Williams older brother Rick told jurors he and his brother were taught by their father to close their knives when they talked to people. Linda Byron of KING 5 News writes:

KING-TV

A man was shot by Seattle police near a bus stop at Third Avenue and Yesler Way around 10 p.m. Tuesday.  Police say the man, estimated to be in his late 30s, was about to grab a handgun out of his waistband when he was shot.  He's in serious condition in the intensive-care unit and is expected to survive, according to Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson.

WSDOT

The state will investigate Seattle police actions; a faster 520 for commuters; and bridge toll plan under fire.

MultifaithWorks.org

Thousands to lose jobless benefits, Tacoma finds limits to saving Old City Hall, and today is World AIDS Day.

AP

A huge new hit to the state's already ugly budget, a call for federal scrutiny of Seattle Police, and Microsoft takes on Apple at Bellevue Square.