Seattle Police Department

A man whose charges were dismissed after he was arrested by Seattle police three years ago has decided that’s not enough to clear the air. He’s suing the department – and making video from their dashboard cameras public. 

Alan Cleaver / Flickr

The gang-related shooting on Saturday at a custom-car show in Kent that left 13 people injured has regional law enforcement officials worried that some gang activity has moved from Seattle to its southern suburbs.

“It was gang related,” Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas told KING TV about the shooting. “No doubt in my mind. … If we don’t get out in front of it, we’re going to chase the gunfire.”

Paula Wissel/KPLU

Police in Seattle and King County will soon be trained in the importance of talking.  They’ll learn to treat people with respect as a way of diffusing tense situations.  Law enforcement officials hope the new approach helps build trust with the community.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Making headlines this morning around the Northwest:

  • Where's Spring? Snow Falls in Lowlands, Mountains
  • Farewell to State's Last Polling Places
  • Seattle Settlement Over Domestic Violence Cases

 

Hey, it's April 6th!

Brrr. It's chilly at sea level, and if you live in the Cascade or Olympic foothills there's a good chance you've seen some snow flakes fall, as Snohomish County has this morning. Mountain passes are getting a new dumping of snow, as April marches on.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Update 2:55 p.m.

The federal Department of Justice is launching a full-scale investigation into possible discrimination and excessive use of force in the Seattle Police Department. The probe will review the department’s policies, practices and behavior.

The investigation will look for what’s called a “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations in how the Seattle police use force, especially against minorities.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

An ancient cedar tree was delivered earlier today (Tuesday) to the Seattle Center. Several totem poles carved from it in public will commemorate the life and art of native carver John T. Williams.

His shooting by a Seattle police officer last August has escalated tensions between law enforcement and people of color. But Williams' family says the "carve-in" that has just begun is about remembering his cultural legacy. 

Paula Wissel

The homicide rate in Seattle is at its lowest level since 1958.  Most other major crime is down as well.

Murder, rape, robbery and other violent crime was down 9 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. The 2010 crime statistics were released Tuesday by the Seattle Police Department. As KPLU reported, the  Seattle Police Department has also released a report showing that the use of force by officers is rare and below the national average.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

With 82-percent of Seattle's officers living outside the city limits, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it's hard to have a good local police force. It's also difficult to do anything about it because state law prevents cities from requiring officers to live where they work. McGinn says there could be an opportunity, though, when 300 officers who are eligible for retirement leave the force.

Liam Moriarty / KPLU News

The shooting death of a Native American woodcarver by a Seattle police officer last summer was not justified. That’s the finding announced by the police department’s Firearms Review Board today. 

The review found Officer Ian Birk took actions that were "outside of policy, tactics and training."

The case is “among the most egregious failings that I’ve seen in my thirty years with the Seattle Police Department,” said the board chairman, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer.

Another peer review of Seattle's handling of the John T. Williams shooting has found the police department conducted a fair and thorough investigation. 

KOMO-TV

Hundreds packed a Seattle forum on police accountability Thursday evening, an event which quickly turned into a showcase of public anger over recent incidents involving questions of excessive force against ethnic minorities.

The event, sponsored by Mayor Mike McGinn and The Stranger, was organized in the wake of tensions following the shooting death last year of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by Officer Ian Birk. 

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.

Some Seattle high school students plan to walk out of class tomorrow, Wednesday, as part of a protest against police brutality and misconduct.  They plan to rally at Victor Steinbrueck Park near Pike Place Market at 1 p.m.

KPLU/Bellamy Pailthorp

King County's inquest into the death of native woodcarver John T. Williams at the hands of a Seattle policeman is expected to last all week. The fact-finding work will review last August's shooting, and will determine whether prosecutors bring any charges against Officer Ian Birk.

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