What's Behind Mayor Ed Murray's Inaction on Police Reform?

He's Missed His Own Deadlines for Introducing Reform Legislation, and He's Being Cagey About Whether the Community Police Commission Should Be a Permanent Body

Comments

1
Murray will need them (SPD Union) to get re-elected.
5
Hey Stranger!! Clean up the spam over on aisles 2,3 and 4. You guys really don't pay attention to this anymore do you?

But Murray is just as good on police reform as McGinn was, and Nickels and Schell. And Murray's replacement will continue the tradition....
6
Typical Ed; all talk and no action. If the city's facing a major issue issue he'll make a board to review it. If the board fails (or is prevented from succeeding), he has someone to blame. If the board succeeds, he gets the credit. Either way, we're all forced to play his waiting game.
7
I've had an ongoing problem with police behavior that I have tried to get addressed first through the seattle.gov's Police-General Inquiry process. Not nearly as serious as excessive force, but a problem, nonetheless. But that channel has been unsuccessful, with reports I've filed standing open with no response for months. I've tried letters and email to Chief O'Toole's office and West Precinct Captain Chris Fowler. No responses from them. I guess that pledge to improve trust and transparency in the SPD was just empty rhetoric.

I've also tried the mayor (whom I voted for). No response from his office after four attempts over two months.

If the SPD under Mayor Murray and Chief O'Toole can't bother responding to citizens complaints, let alone address the ongoing problem at the heart of the complaints, I have no confidence in their oversight and self-policing of the SPD when it comes to more serious problems such as the DOJ issues.

I now strongly encourage the city council to support a strong, empowered independent oversight committee - and to hang on to its own oversight role as well. Murray and O'Toole haven't earned their independence on this matter.
8
If the people of Seattle sit back and do nothing about this, they get what they've got.

People sometimes need to be reminded that they're far more powerful together than they are as individuals, and there's far more people living and working in Seattle than there are mayors, police, and everyone else who works for the city combined.

Get their attention, show them why this is important, then get them organized, and you'll see change.
10
Some reforms are no-brainers. I'd start with this - no masks - ever. Do a little research on why they wear masks (hint - it facilitates inhumanity). That, and disallow black uniforms. Go back to khaki and short sleeves. If they dress like soldiers they act like soldiers and a soldier requires an enemy. Guess who THAT would be. Psychology matters more than policy.
11
@7: Feel free to email me with more details: ansel@thestranger.com.
14
"Murray will need them (SPD Union) to get re-elected."

This is the conventional wisdom that keeps anything from getting done in this town, and it's also dead wrong. SPOG members, by and large, do not live in Seattle, and union members do not vote as a bloc, despite what anyone says.

The city has played hardball with the unions in the past, with strong support from the public, but no one seems to remember that.
15
I can't blame Murray for foot dragging. He's scared.

There's a national, political future after his mayoral gig. It's not going to be there if he loses SPOG cooperation. What pol is going to win big nationally if a riot is allowed to go uncheck or violent crime goes on the uptick after policing slow down? Fear motivates voters to vote and how they vote.

Don't look for a mayoral solution here. It's gonna be happy international jaunt, boomtown speak, job bringer, big tent, diversity, and millennial appeal focus.
16
I'm sure the city council will act with all the same swiftness and diligence that they showed they were capable of with that other time-sensitive project, Hansen's arena deal.
17
Kathleen O'Toole is a well-regarded chief, on what planet? She might as well have been nicknamed Bertha, because everyone saw this coming before she first set foot in office. Nobody thought she was going to bring any needed reform. She was always an empty suit of appeasement.

Now we have to wait even longer for a police chief that will actually have any interest in reforming this system. Assuming such a chief exists in the US.
18
Came here to read where incumbent O'Brien stands on Police Reform (having so recently taken selfies while being detained/fined by them) and am leaving disappointed.
19
No mayor of Seattle needs SPOG to win the election. None. They have little to no real political capital outside of City Hall.
20
#18, I too am interested in how Heidi Groover magically transformed into Ansel Herz. I'm really not that interested in the views or writings of the latter anymore.
21
Murray's interest in reform is legitimate; his ability to do so is non-existant. He's a weak mayor, and a ineffectual one. See ya in history's dustbin, Ed.
22
@ 2 points up the question: Has any mayor ever done anything about problems with the police? New York's Bloomerg and Deblasio couldn't or wouldn't. What is the power police departments hold over mayors? Has a member of any police department ever publicly acknowledged a need for reform?