Late Friday night, the Seattle Police Department dropped steamy news: Two SPD officers went to D.C last week on the same day of the insurrection attempt. They may have attended the rally that turned into the right-wing raid on the Capitol Building, resulting in five deaths, one of a Capitol Police officer.
As of Friday, SPD Chief Adrian Diaz said two officers had been placed on paid leave while the Office of Police Accountability investigates whether the officers "were directly involved" in the insurrection attempt. On Monday, Diaz updated the public on the investigation.
According to Diaz, he first caught wind of SPD's potential participation in the seditious act after an officer notified their commanding officer of social media photos that "showed several SPD officers apparently in Washington, D.C., the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol building."
UPDATE: When asked for clarification about Diaz's statement, an SPD spokesperson responded "Details have not changed since our initial post Friday referencing two officers." I asked for more clarification about why Diaz said "several" and the spokesperson replied: "To avoid any confusion, the post has been updated to say 'two.'”
"When I referred it to OPA," Diaz said in a statement, "it was not apparent exactly where the photo was taken, or if those in the photo took any part in attacking the Capitol."
That was pretty much all Diaz said, citing the active investigation. If the OPA finds evidence officers participated in the Capitol raid, Diaz said he would "terminate" them immediately.
While all that is going on, city officials are holding the line against Seattle Police Officer's Guild President Mike Solan over false comments he made on Twitter about how "both the far-right and far-left are responsible for that sad day." As a result of those comments, Mayor Jenny Durkan and former SPD Chief Carmen Best called for Solan to resign last week. On Monday morning, Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Andrew Lewis, Tammy Morales, Kshama Sawant, Alex Pedersen, and Council President Lorena Gonzalez also called for Solan to resign.
Mike Solan, reactionary president of Seattle Police Officers Guild, disgustingly speculated it might be Black Lives Matter or left-wing protesters responsible for the actions of the far-right mob in DC. Solan needs to resign immediately from the police department and the guild.
— Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) January 11, 2021
Herbold tied Solan's comments to the SPD officers allegedly at the D.C. event: "I cannot help but wonder whether the actions of these officers were a result from the actions of their leader," Herbold said. "Should he be leading our police officers guild during this time of necessary change?"
Lewis called Solan's words "divisive, inaccurate, and false."
"Officer Solan should voluntarily resign from his role at SPOG," Gonzalez said. "If he does not, I hope that guild members who duly elected Mike Solan will have him replaced with someone who truly will focus on the interest of union-represented employees."
SPOG's contract is up for re-negotiation this year. Pedersen said that "the current police union chief has in my view disqualified himself to be a fair partner in negotiating that contract" and called for Solan to resign.