Friday, March 11, 2011

Seattle PD's identity crisis:
Use of force and its implications

The Seattle Police Department chose to release its comprehensive special report on police officers’ use of force on March 7, despite its having been completed since last summer. The decision was made to postpone its August release in the wake of the deadly police shooting of a Native American woodcarver on a downtown street, later that month.

Ironically, the report’s release four days after the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles accidentally underscored the scope of the problem, 20 years ago and now.

The Seattle department’s report comes after a series of events that have aroused the scrutiny of civil rights groups — and possibly the Justice Department — and the ire of citizens.

In 2010, a year peppered with altercations between minorities and the Seattle Police Department, the American Civil Liberties Union called for a Justice Department investigation of the SPD in the wake of two Oct. 18 videotapes — showing an SPD detective kicking an African American male in a downtown convenience store, and stomping on another man outside.

Read the rest at theGrio

Image credit: Kelly O/The Stranger

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