More than 100 Seattle police officers filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a federal judge to block what they called “mechanical” and unrealistic use-of-force policies imposed on them under a court-ordered consent decree.
The 43-page suit alleges policies stemming from an agreement between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stoked a “bold, new disregard for police authority in the streets of Seattle,” putting officers and the public in unreasonable danger.
The civil-rights suit, filed in U.S. District Court, contends the changes have effectively created “hesitation and paralysis” among officers, stripping them of their constitutional and legal right to make reasonable, split-second judgments in the line of duty, the Seattle Times reports.
The suit, filed by 123 officers, detectives and sergeants, largely from the department’s North Precinct, was brought without an attorney, although a civil-rights attorney in Washington, D.C., assisted.
It also was filed without the approval or support of their union, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG).