AP (NEW)

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

May 29, 2024, 4:57 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday.

Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said.

Diaz’s departure comes about a week after police Capt. Eric Greening filed a lawsuit alleging that he discriminated against women and people of color, news outlet KUOW reported.

Greening is one of at least a half-dozen officers who have sued the department alleging sex and racial discrimination, and naming Diaz specifically. Last month several female officers filed a tort claim for $5 million, alleging harassment and sex discrimination.

Diaz has vehemently denied the allegations. Harrel said earlier this month that he would hire an outside investigator to examine some of the allegations.

On Wednesday, Harrell said the lawsuits were a distraction for Diaz. He praised Diaz, who appeared with him at the news conference, but said the two agreed that change could “be better served with him stepping aside.”

“I’ve accomplished so much in the four years as chief, but there’s more to be done,” Diaz said.

Diaz took over as acting chief in 2020 for Carmen Best, who resigned following a summer of demonstrations against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He was later given the job officially.

Diaz will be replaced on an interim basis by Sue Rahr, a former sheriff of King County, where Seattle is located. Rahr most recently led the state’s police academy, where she evangelized a mantra of “guardians, not warriors.”

AP (New)

Associated Press

Jury awards more than $13 million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded $13.1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the Seattle Times reported. Lesley […]

1 day ago

Associated Press

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and others is pending, The Seattle Times reported. The […]

2 days ago

Associated Press

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of […]

3 days ago

Associated Press

2 killed in helicopter crash in Washington state, authorities say

BLUESTEM, Wash. (AP) — Two men died in a helicopter crash in eastern Washington state, authorities said. Lincoln County Fire District 6 Chief Brandon Larmer told KREM-TV that the helicopter had two people aboard when it crashed Wednesday afternoon. The men who died were identified Thursday as 68-year-old Ryan Sandvig, of Spokane, and 63-year-old Mark […]

3 days ago

Former U.S. Representative George Nethercutt. (Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Former GOP Rep. George Nethercutt, who defeated House Speaker Tom Foley in 1994, dies at 79

Former U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt, a Spokane lawyer who ousted Democratic Speaker of the House Tom Foley, has died.

5 days ago

starbucks supreme court...

Associated Press

Supreme Court, siding with Starbucks, makes it harder for NLRB to win court orders in labor disputes

The Supreme Court case began in February 2022, when Starbucks fired seven workers who were trying to unionize their Tennessee store.

10 days ago

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits