GEE AND URSULA

Report shows biased policing from Pierce County Sheriff’s Department

Nov 15, 2021, 6:14 AM | Updated: 6:19 am
Pierce County investigation into Sheriff...
(Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Facebook)
(Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Facebook)

A newly-released report revealed that instances in 2020 where deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department used force on suspects disproportionately targeted Black residents. County Executive Bruce Dammeier spoke to KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show to break down the numbers, and go over what his office plans to do next.

Investigation finds Pierce County Sheriff Troyer violated department standards

In total, the study found that the sheriff’s department was five times as likely to use force on Black residents as they were white residents. Despite the fact that Black people make up roughly 7% of the county’s population, that demographic accounted for over 23% of incidents where deputies used force. Conversely, white residents — who make up 72% of the local population — experienced use of force just over 64% of the time.

Those were numbers that Dammeier found extremely troubling.

“The information in this report, some of it was very concerning to me on behalf of our county,” he noted. “It’s not anything you would ever want to see in your community.”

Providing further analysis was the county’s Assistant Budget Director Julie Demuth, who emphasized that the numbers are clear regarding the appearance of bias in these use of force incidents.

“We’ve reviewed the data in depth,” Demuth described. “We’ve run multiple scenarios of the data using various measures of force, and most importantly, different measures of a baseline. Every way that we analyze the data shows the same pattern of disproportionality — we are very confident that the results of the report indicate disproportionality, and that there’s really no other way to interpret the data.”

Dammeier hopes to address this problem through a county-level criminal justice workgroup, comprised of representatives from his office, the county prosecutor’s office, the public defender office, and the sheriff’s department. That workgroup was also responsible for compiling the study in the first place.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office gaining officers from Seattle police exodus

Moving forward, the group has been asked to come forward with a recommendation on next steps.

“What is the appropriate way that we use the tools to really effectively assess the use of force?” Dammeier described.

In the near term, he says the sheriff’s department plans to institute “special additional review any time physical force is used on any minors.” The hope is to also expand the use of body-worn cameras and dash cameras to keep an “independent record” of incidents as they occur.

You can listen to the full interview with Dammeier and Demuth at this link.

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

parking...
Dalton Day

Pierce County executive vetoes safe parking policy citing skirt of community feedback process

A measure to designate additional parking facilities for homeless communities in Pierce County has been struck down.
12 days ago
pot...
MyNorthwest Staff

City leaders lobby Congress to relax pot shop banking laws amid recent spate of armed robberies

Seattle city leaders called on Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, a bill that would allow pot stores to access traditional banking services.
19 days ago
rates...
MyNorthwest Staff

Economist: ‘Particular concern’ for first-time homeowners amid rising mortgage rates

Prospective homeowners might be wondering if now is the right time to buy before interest rates get raised.
22 days ago
Cars at Pike Place Market...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Local officials attempt to kick out ‘Pike Street Drummer’ Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson, a street jazz drummer often performing at Pike Place Market, is facing the wrath of nearby residents who want him and his music gone after years of bringing entertainment to the area
24 days ago
COVID vaccine students...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Reykdal: Board of Health ‘landed in right place’ by not mandating COVID vaccine for students

Superintendent Chris Reykdal explains the reason behind the Board of Health not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for students this fall. 
1 month ago
Trygve (The Gee and Ursula Show)...
MyNorthwest Staff

‘Not enough to just say ‘no’ to drugs:’ Bereaved Mukilteo mother on the need for fentanyl education

A mother who lost a son to an accidental Fentanyl overdose calls on the Mukilteo School District to improve their drug education curriculum.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

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, fillthestadium.com) 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 […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Report shows biased policing from Pierce County Sheriff’s Department