FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

Feds Open Probe Into Seattle Police Department

April 01, 2011  | 

Prompted in part by the fatal shooting of a deaf woodcarver by a Seattle police officer, the Department of Justice has launched a probe of the agency to determine if officers are using unneccessary force.

The DOJ announced Thursday it would open a "pattern or practice" investigation into allegations of excessive force and discriminatory policing by Seattle Police officers. The probe was requested by the ACLU of Washington, who cited six examples of excessive force in a Dec. 3 letter to U.S. Attorney Thomas Perez.

Chief John Diaz told the Seattle Times he welcomed the investigation as a "free audit."

The most recent high-profile incident involved Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk, the officer who fatally shot carver John T. Williams in August. King County prosecutors elected not to pursue charges against Officer Birk, who resigned from the force after an internal investigation found the shooting unjustified.

The ACLU's letter also references a June jaywalking incident involving Officer Ian Walsh, who was exonerated for punching a jaywalker as a group surrounded the officer and taunted him.

In October 2010, a convenience store camera captured a plainclothes officer kicking a 17-year-old.

Also, officers were captured on video confronting a robbery suspect in April of 2010. While the man was laying prone on the sidewalk, an officer kicked him in the face and threatened to beat the "Mexican piss" out of him.

The investigation's legal foundation derives from the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the anti-discrimination provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Related:

Video: Seattle PD Releases Dash-Cam Footage of Homeless Carver Shooting

Seattle Officer Cleared In Punching of Jaywalker

Tags: Seattle PD, Civil Rights Cases, External Investigations


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Arizona Motor Officer Killed in Hit-and-Run
A Chandler, Ariz., motor officer was killed on duty in a wreck Friday morning, marking the...
Ferguson Chief Fires Back at Holder, Calls AG's Remarks Irresponsible
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for “wholesale changes” within the...
NYPD Top Uniformed Officer Resigns
The New York Police Department’s top uniformed officer abruptly resigned, just days before...
Frein Charged with Murder, Could Get Death Penalty
Cop killing suspect Eric Frein was arraigned on nine charges in a Pike County, Pa., court...
Milwaukee Police Union Vote No Confidence in Chief
Nearly 100% of Milwaukee police officers who participated in a union vote Thursday...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine