For just about three years now, when a person asked for information from the Seattle Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability, they got a report with officers' names on it. But from now on, officers who get in trouble for things they do (like, say, Ofc. Shandy Cobane, who stomped the "Mexican Piss" out of a suspect) will have their identities kept secret from the public.
The change comes after an arbiter decided that the City of Seattle had violated a contract with the Police Officers Guild when it ordered that reports requested under the state's Public Records Act include the names of individual police officers.
Unless the city appeals the decision and keeps releasing names in the interim, any additional officers who get in trouble with the OPA (there were four we reported on just yesterday) will have the luxury of seeing their names redacted from public records.
The department, of course, is still free to release the names of officers who get commendations for a job well done.