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Dori: What was Jenny Durkan trying to hide at Seattle Police Department press conference?

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan, pictured in July. (KIRO 7)

There is no public governmental agency that demands more transparency than our police departments. Our cops have the power of deadly force over us and every aspect of police work should be transparent. I’ve found the King and Pierce County Sheriff’s Offices to be fantastic in that way. The Seattle Police Department — not so much. They often refuse to communicate with the show that can deliver the biggest audience to their words. I love the individual cops, but not the department’s communication.

What’s going on at the very top right now should give everybody pause as to what’s happening in our city with the agency that needs the utmost transparency. This starts with Mayor Jenny Durkan.

There was an announcement that the city has reached a new contract with the Seattle Police Department; the contract went to the Seattle City Council earlier this week. On Monday, the city held a press conference featuring Durkan, SPD Chief Carmen Best, and Seattle Police Guild President Kevin Stuckey.

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A press conference means you field questions from the press. The press is free to ask questions because of a little thing we have called the First Amendment. The reason we have a First Amendment and a free press is so the media can be the watchdog of government. That is the first of all the amendments because it is a fundamental part of keeping a land free.

Toward the end of the press conference, a reporter asked the union president if making Carmen Best the police chief made the contract easier to negotiate. In the audio, you can clearly hear Durkan whisper to Stuckey, “Don’t answer.”

Hey Jenny, have you ever heard of anything called a microphone? It picks up audio, even when you whisper. Why was that an off-limits question? Kevin Stuckey looked like he was going to answer it, but then he doesn’t answer it. I like Kevin — I’ve had him on the show many times and think he’s a good guy. But he’s being told by our mayor not to answer a legitimate question from the media. Why couldn’t they answer that question?

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This is scary stuff. I mean that in a literal sense. When the media asks a legitimate question of the agency that needs more transparency than any other, and the mayor tells the police guild president not to answer an innocuous question — why? What is Jenny Durkan covering up there? What is she afraid that answer will reveal? Mayor Durkan, you know what you do at a press conference? You answer questions from the press. I’ve been telling you since she was elected, Jenny Durkan is a robot.

I want to know from the Seattle liberal crowd that voted for Jenny Durkan, are you comfortable with your mayor ordering the police guild president not to answer a legitimate question at a press conference? And also, are you comfortable with someone who doesn’t realize her whisper would be picked up by a microphone being your mayor? There is something really stinky here going on at the very top between the mayor and the police department.

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