MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle council hears from witnesses on police response to protests

Jun 3, 2020, 9:25 AM | Updated: 1:02 pm

police...

The scene at barricades early on in the night was peaceful, with umbrellas open at the front of the crowd. (Facebook)

(Facebook)

Seattle City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee is meeting Wednesday, to take firsthand witness accounts of the police response to recent protests over the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Durkan vows to meet with Seattle protest organizers

Commenters spoke to the recent use of tear gas and pepper spray on protesters.

“It’s shameful that we’re using pepper spray during a respiratory pandemic,” a local teachers said.

“I’ve been to many rallies at Westlake, and have never seen this kind of [police] response and violence,” former Senior Communications Officer for Mayor Mike McGinn described.

“There’s damage to people not participating in the protest who live in these homes,” said a local father, who described having to leave his home with his three-month-old son after the street below his apartment was tear-gassed. “Tear gas seeped in and emptied our building.”

The committee — chaired by Councilmember Lisa Herbold — will also soon hear from Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins on the response from their respective departments.

The meeting concludes with “a briefing and discussion of Seattle’s civilian-led police accountability framework.” The Seattle Community Police Commission (SCPC), the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will all present to the committee during that period.

The OPA is currently investigating at least 12,000 complaints filed against police. A large portion of those complaints relate to a single incident, where witnesses claim a young girl was pepper-sprayed by police during Saturday protests downtown. The OPA said Tuesday that it has “made progress in identifying what actually happened,” and that it will be fast-tracking its investigation of that incident.

Other complaints allege officers broke windows at a downtown Target store, hit a homeless man with a flash bang, placed a knee on the neck of a protester, and more.

Opinion: Believe what you see — Seattle police are choosing violence

“We’re prioritizing this case and hope to complete it in 60 days instead of the standard 180,” the OPA promised.

The SCPC also held its own briefing Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m. The commission planned to discuss the city’s ongoing federal consent decree, SPD’s management of recent protests, and go over “the next steps as a result of this meeting.”

MyNorthwest News

Listen to the discussion from KIRO Newsradio's John & Shari show....

Bill Kaczaraba

John & Shari video: Training for local firefighters ‘destructive’

Local fire departments have suspended their Diversity Equity Inclusion training.

13 hours ago

Image: Seattle Police Department dashcam video shows officers' pursuit of two juveniles who carjack...

Kate Stone

Boys, ages 12 and 13, who led police on car chase given different outcomes after court appearances

Seattle detectives believe the woman was reporting her two children, but she did not provide their names or indicate she knew them.

13 hours ago

A Seattle Police Department vehicle....

Steve Coogan and Sam Campbell

Seattle police officers given 9 hour suspensions after slow shooting response

A new report has revealed two Seattle Police Department officers took over 20 minutes to get to a shooting scene a mile away in late 2022.

14 hours ago

Food delivery biker...

Heather Bosch

Delivery apps adding a side dish of ‘worry’ for restaurants, customers

This should be a joyous time for entrepreneurs, but Seattle's new delivery driver pay standards - and the app-based companies that use them - have served up a side dish of worry.

14 hours ago

cap rent criminal background checks...

Bill Kaczaraba

Survey: Washingtonians ‘unhappy’ with the lack of affordable housing

Washington residents are more "unhappy" than others in the nation about the price of housing.

15 hours ago

kent trooper shot...

Kate Stone

Man faces multiple charges after WSP trooper shooting in Kent

A man accused of shooting a Washington State Patrol trooper multiple times in Kent last Friday has been charged.

16 hours ago

Seattle council hears from witnesses on police response to protests