Seattle Police Department chief John Diaz announced this morning that he is stepping up the investigation of the officer who kicked the shit out of that kid who had his hands up:
Chief John Diaz has directed the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) to expedite the gathering of preliminary evidence and information into the videotaped arrest of a 17 year old robbery and assault suspect on October 18th. The purpose of this expedited review is to determine if the internal investigation into this incident should be referred to an outside law enforcement agency.
Other critical questions Chief Diaz intends to address include whether the incident is required to be investigated as a potential crime, and whether Department personnel complied with policy requirements to promptly report possible misconduct to OPA. Chief Diaz intends to consider this information as a top priority and with appropriate care and thoroughness, and expects to make these decisions in the next few days.
The OPA was already investigating several cases of alleged misconduct—in addition to the SPD seeking outside investigations and shuffling the command staff—but galling shit keeps happening at the hands of SPD officers anyway. Nonetheless, Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess says, "I have full confidence in Chief Diaz and the Office of Professional Accountability to diligently review the facts and reach an appropriate conclusion about the officer's conduct and the department’s handling of the video." So are Burgess and Diaz right—is this investigation different, is this one going to cure the infection of bullish, apparently unethical, and sometimes downright murderous behavior of the SPD?