Names of Seattle officers in DC during Capitol riot to remain anonymous — for now

Nov 17, 2021, 12:53 PM | Updated: 12:58 pm
Seattle officers identities...
Rioters in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The identities of the six Seattle police officers in Washington, D.C., during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol will remain anonymous after a ruling from the state Supreme Court this week — at least for now.

SPD Chief terminates two officers who were outside US Capitol during Jan. 6 riot

All six officers were in Washington, D.C., for former President Donald Trump’s now-infamous rally at the White House, but claimed they were not part of the ensuing riots at the U.S. Capitol. A subsequent investigation from Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability found that at least two of the officers broke the law while in D.C. Both of those officers were subsequently terminated.

Earlier in 2021, the City of Seattle originally planned to publish the identities of the six officers as part of an update on the active investigation into their conduct at the event, and had notified the officers of that, and the fact that four people had filed public records requests for that information as well. Upon receiving that notification from the city, the officers successfully halted the release of their information in late February, arguing that they feared for their safety and reputations should their names become public.

Seattle council digs in to OPA report on complaints against SPD from 2020

A King County judge then ruled in early March that the names could be released, after a one-week restraining order was set to expire. An appeals court commission stepped in shortly after that, extending that restraining order to allow the officers’ identities to remain anonymous while the process continued to play out in court.

After that, the case landed in front of the Supreme Court of Washington State, which ruled this week to send it back to a lower court, extending the restraining order another 30 days “pending further proceedings.”

At least for now, the six officers will continue to be referred to as Jane and John Does in official court documents.

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Names of Seattle officers in DC during Capitol riot to remain anonymous — for now