Seattle’s police chief is disputing a federal monitor’s finding that the department has not complied with court-ordered reforms.
In an email to officers obtained by The Seattle Times, Chief Kathleen O’Toole praises officers for their “real, measurable success,” The Seattle Times reports.
According to the Times, the email included a 47-page memo from top aides detailing how the department met its obligations under a 2012 Justice Department Decree to address excessive force and biased policing.
In a separate, department-wide email the chief says she’s asking Mayor Ed Murray and the city attorney to highlight those conclusions in the city’s response to the monitor’s report.
The federal monitor’s finding that is being disputed by O’Toole includes praise of the department. It begins:
In general, the Monitoring Team notes that the SPD continues to progress toward effective implementation of the letter and spirit of the Consent Decree. The progress to date constitutes a significant success that has many parents, including the rank-and-file of the SPD; Kathleen O’Toole, the Chief of Police; Mayor Ed Murray … and community members throughout Seattle who have been involved in the reform process …
Since it began in 2015, the Monitoring Team has submitted 10 assessments that have evaluated the police department’s progress. However, they do not “constitute all the requirements of the Consent Decree,” Merrick Bobb, the monitor, wrote. Bobb notes that the department has yet to meet requirements of the consent decree. The Times notes that some questions remain, including the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles.