In December the U.S. Department of Justice announced the findings of a lengthy investigation into whether the Seattle Police Department engaged in "unconstitutional policing through a pattern and practice of either excessive uses of force or discriminatory policing." The results of that investigation weren't great; United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan detailed the DOJ findings in December, noting the investigation found "reasonable cause to believe that SPD engages in a pattern or practice of using unnecessary or excessive force, in violation of the United States Constitution and federal laws."
The proposed reforms, broken into five overarching themes - "Protecting Constitutional Rights," "Training for Seattle's Values," "Earning Public Trust," "Using Data-Driven Practices," and "Partnering with the Public" - are as follows:
Protecting Constitutional Rights
1. Reform Management of Public Demonstrations
2. Develop Protocols to Prevent Low-Level Offenses from Escalating
3. Address Biased Policing
Training for Seattle's Values
4. Train All Officers on Use of Force Standards Consistent with Seattle's Values
5. Train Officers in Appropriate Search and Seizure Practices
6. Improve Supervision by Creating a Sergeant's Academy
7. Improve Leadership by Creating a Commander Academy
8. Train New Officers to Understand Seattle
Earning Public Trust
9. Improve Review of Uses of Force
10. Develop a Binding, Written Code of Ethics
11. Recruit Great Officers
12. Systematic Enforcement of Professional Standards
13. Enhance Early Intervention Systems
Using Data-Driven Practices
14. Implement a Data-Driven Approach to Policing
15. Work with Major City Police Departments to Develop Best Practices
Partnering With the Public
16. Listen and Explain with Equity and Dignity
17. Provide Better Information to the Public
18. Improve Transparency and Accountability
19. Launch a Community Outreach Initiative
20. Launch a Customer Relations Initiative
The Seattle Times reports that during a press conference at City Hall today, McGinn told onlookers the 20 reforms will be implemented over the next 20 months and are aimed at "supporting a just and effective police force."
The Times also reports
The Times also reportsofficials from Seattle will meet with officials from the Department of Justice tomorrow.
From The Times:
Diaz and McGinn initially reacted to the report with skepticism. Diaz questioned the methodology used by Justice Department, saying he and his commanders examined the same data and did not reach the same conclusions.
However, a few days after the release of the Justice Department report McGinn ordered Diaz to immediately begin carrying out department reforms. McGinn also said he would convene a public review panel to oversee the city's response to the report.
But sources have told The Seattle Times that efforts to create a unified response to the report have unraveled. The city is meeting with Justice Department officials tomorrow.
One of the sticking points with McGinn and police, sources tell The Times, is the need for court oversight of the changes recommended by the Justice Department.
Find a PDF detailing the SPD's proposed reforms below: