Office of Professional Accountability Director Pierce Murphy—the SPD's semi-independent civilian watchdog—announced this morning:
On September 28, 2016 a news story published by The Stranger contained information indicating the Seattle Police Department (SPD) had purchased a software product called Geofeedia in direct violation of a provision of the Seattle Municipal Code requiring City Council approval before any City Department acquires surveillance equipment.
OPA has opened a preliminary investigation into this matter to address the acquisition of this product. OPA will also be considering allegations against one or more SPD employees who may have used this piece of surveillance software to violate the constitutional rights of community members.
At the conclusion of this 30-day preliminary investigation, the OPA Director will determine whether to launch a full investigation into these and any other allegations that may come to light during the preliminary investigation.
- Director Pierce Murphy