SPD Expands Critical Investigation Into Police Misconduct

Comments

1
what about that police officer that threatened you ... now commenting on Facebook.
2
There should be 20 comments on this story by now - 19 of which are more thoughtful than mine. Today's SPD reflects a culture going back... how far? Beating the Wobblies in 1919? Unlike St. Louis, we have the will (and the decency) to make things right. Right?

Very glad to have you back on the beat, Dominic!
3
A maximum "quota" for writing a righteous violation? Any kind of ticket? Boggles the mind. Or maybe parking enforcement officers should have a maximum limit per shift.

I was 30 years an SPD officer and, like any reasonable person, write the tickets that pulled my chain. Big deal. Chippy marijuana violations did not pull my chain.
4
O'Toole should have the ability to fire officers on the spot for no reason at all. Not at all levels of the chain of command, just her. Put the fear of unemployment into some of these egos and deflate them.
5
If ever a union deserved to be busted, it's SPOG.
6
I'm reading Rick Perlstein's magnificent new volume "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan" and early on he has a line about liquor Prohibition that is absolutely descriptive of what is happening here with pot:
...one of the distinguishing features of Prohibition was its selective local enforcement as a way to exert social control against disreputable outsiders.
The issuing of pot tickets downtown has absolutely nothing to do with marijuana and everything to do with harassment of unwanted youth.
7
@4,

The big obstacle which prevents that is the police union's contract with the city. The way things work today is:

1. OPA investigates & makes a determination. Historically, OPA has not been very reliable about calling out misconduct when they see it.

2. IF OPA finds misconduct occurs, it goes to the chief for review.

3. IF the chief agrees with the proposed disciplinary action, then it goes to a 3-member Disciplinary Review Board. One member is appointed by the police union, one member is appointed by the police department, and one member (the board chair and de-facto tie-breaker) is selected from a mutually-agreed-upon pool of arbitrators.

Oh, but there's another step #2.5 in the above process which is, IF the chief agrees and the discipline stands, the union can threaten to challenge the discipline (but not actually pull the trigger) until a friendlier chief is installed, and then get that chief to overturn his predecessor's decision, as happened this spring.
8
@7, The Disciplinary Review Board's makeup looks on the surface like 2-1 overrules of disciplinary action can be the norm, unless the police department appointment is very independent minded.

Hopefully this Chief will hang tough and fight the myopic police politics and if necessary, bring the feds back in to straighten things out.
9
So, when will Seattle's public start looking for a way to break up the SPOG union and absolve the current labor agreement ?
10
apparently the cops have doubled down on their loony lawsuit...
11
I think (and hope) that her last comment is telling: the fact that she hasn't seen this before in other departments may give her added realization that some parts (not all) of SPD are truly and badly broken and that she can't avoid fixing it. And perhaps it gives her added leverage in efforts to fix it.
12
She might not last very long.
13
If a waiter wrote stuff like that on a check, they'd be fired. Police here get to do whatever they want with no repercussions. The SPD are an independent force that will serve itself and outside police powers, like the NSA or FBI undercover agents in environmental organizations, long before it will ever have any loyalty to the people of Seattle.
14
I'm not mad at SPD on this one. I can't get too excited over a paperwork problem.

Body cameras are what solve problems on the street. How about a package deal with every new squad car?
15
The investigation portion, where citizens can file complaint, is a farce.

I was kicked off Alki beach a few weeks ago, sunbathing with no top on (it's not illegal in Seattle). Four officers show up, and one tells me that it's obscene that I am not wearing a shirt, and tells me to leave the beach.

Naturally, considering he's endowed with impunity, and a firearm, I decide for my own safety to leave the beach (it was a really nice day out).

I filed a complaint, got a few email responses from the accountability office, then nothing, no response. It's as if I didn't even file the complaint.

~Sara's Gabbery
16
The investigation portion, where citizens can file complaint, is a farce.

I was kicked off Alki beach a few weeks ago, sunbathing with no top on (it's not illegal in Seattle). Four officers show up, and one tells me that it's obscene that I am not wearing a shirt, and tells me to leave the beach.

Naturally, considering he's endowed with impunity, and a firearm, I decide for my own safety to leave the beach (it was a really nice day out).

I filed a complaint, got a few email responses from the accountability office, then nothing, no response. It's as if I didn't even file the complaint.

~Sara's Mae
17
Why is it that the city and the damned chief of police is powerless against the union? Might as well not have a chief of police. Might as well admit that anything the damned union wants they get. The city and the chief of police all look like powerless wimps that the union can coerce to do whatever the fuck they want. You can have a dozen new chiefs of police and they will be just as ineffective since the union ultimately controls what happens in the police department.
18
Evidently, the chief of police doesn't have a clue as to what is going on!

@17, has the best comments here (although we should all applaud Fnarf for his endless feeble attempts at sounding intellectual --- I believe the only one whom he fooled was Cienna Madrid, no shocker there).

Why is the head of the police union still being paid by the Seattle city government, the taxpayers, in other words?

This is the final item which strongly suggests that Americans in the SPD should be laid off, and the department completely restrucutured, importing foreign visa workers (probably Sikhs from India) to serve as police in the City of Seattle. This would be highly cost saving, and probably the department would function considerably better.
19
All Levels of Law Enforcement Should Make Policy that Polygraphs for New Hires Expire Every 5yrs. (Including hires for higher ranking positions)


FBI - Police Corruption ~ (May, 2011) http://t.co/VWqwtAbv

Police Perjury - http://bit.ly/enaWvA

National Institute of Ethics: Police Code of Silence - Facts Revealed ~ http://t.co/WNrpRE5

The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project ~ http://t.co/ROQqSO0

Salon Reporter: Obama cracks down on abuses by big-city police departments ~ (5-30-11) http://t.co/4RvJZzD

Center for Investigative Reporting ~ "Crossing the line: Corruption at the border" - http://bordercorruption.apps.cironline.o…

National Journel - How Drug Cartels Try to Corrupt Federal Employees (4-12-11) - http://t.co/fMENr6o

DHS: Statement of Commissioner Alan Bersin in the fight to prevent corruption ~ (6-9-11) http://t.co/ly6fxbV5

GAO ~ "Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen CBP Efforts to Mitigate Risk of Employee Corruption and Misconduct" - (12-4-12) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-59


The good, brave officers with integrity deserve better. And so does the public.....................


Cameras to help fight Misconduct. Polygraphs to help fight Corruption.


Break the Code. Break the Culture.
20
@6 nails it and oh-so-many laws like this. Vagrancy is another age-old tool.