Opinion: With the nation watching, Seattle police failed the test

May 31, 2020, 10:16 AM | Updated: Jun 1, 2020, 11:20 am
Seattle police, complaints SPD...
Seattle police downtown during protests in May of 2020. (KIRO Radio, Hanna Scott)
(KIRO Radio, Hanna Scott)

Much like many major cities across the United States, Seattle found itself in the spotlight Saturday night. And with the nation watching, we saw our police force flunk the same test many of their counterparts in other departments failed in kind.

We saw reports of a small child who was allegedly maced by police.

We saw photos of a Seattle officer with electrical tape concealing his badge number from the public eye.

We even saw video of another Seattle officer with his knee on the neck of a protester, echoing the harrowing footage of George Floyd that set the weekend’s chain of events in motion.

None of that was addressed by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best in her statement issued shortly after midnight between Saturday and Sunday.

It all came on a night where violence begat more violence, escalated by a curfew imposed with just 15 minutes of forewarning.

That culminated in behavior from a police department that has repeatedly complained that its real problem is a lack of support from City Hall.

Meanwhile, we saw Best saying her department “has become a national leader in de-escalation” just weeks ago, while Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan argued that it was “time to move on” from a federal consent decree slapped on SPD in 2012 for unconstitutional policing.

Solan went so far as to laud how officers are now ready to “effectively go about our profession without the threat of civilian monitoring.”

It’s been eight years since that consent decree was enacted, and the department claims it’s finally ready for less oversight. It’s telling that it took just two weeks following that claim to prove that it isn’t.

MyNorthwest Blog

Building Black Wealth Graphic_900x506...
MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Celebrate Juneteenth with Draze’s third annual ‘Building Black Wealth’

Seattle rapper Draze is hosting a live virtual marketplace on Juneteenth for the third annual 'Building Black Wealth' this Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
19 days ago
Mayor Bruce Harrell, Sonics...
Nick Bowman

Mayor Harrell latest to pick up the torch on years-long effort to bring back the Sonics

Mayor Bruce Harrell is the latest city leader to take the baton on a years-long push to bring the Seattle Sonics back to their home city.
3 months ago
Bruce Harrell...
Nick Bowman

Harrell aims to ‘hit reset’ on strained relationship between Seattle mayor, city council

In his State of the City address, Mayor Bruce Harrell highlighted his hope to repair the strained relationship between his office and Seattle City Council.
5 months ago
ktth, bryan suits...
KTTH staff

KTTH debuts ‘Bryan Suits Show’ weekday mornings

Bryan Suits returns to Seattle airwaves as part of a new lineup on AM 770 KTTH. 'The Bryan Suits Show' airs weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m.
5 months ago
pet names...
Stephanie Klein

Top dog and cat names in King County last year

King County released its 2021 list of most popular pet names and 'Bella' and 'Luna' came out on top.
6 months ago
Seattle election results, Seattle City Hall...
Nick Bowman

What Seattle can expect in new year with shakeups at city hall on the horizon

Seattle City Hall is in for a shakeup at the start of the new year, with a new mayor, councilmember, and city attorney all taking office in January.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Opinion: With the nation watching, Seattle police failed the test