Feds Reviewing SPD Use of Force

Seattle Times:

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a preliminary review of the Seattle Police Department in response to a request American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and 34 other groups seeking an investigation of officers’ use of force, particularly against minorities.

In their request, the ACLU and other organizations in December asserted that some Seattle police officers appear to “inflict injury out of anger” at suspects rather than to protect public safety.

“Distrust of the police by communities of color grows as a result, and it becomes harder for the Seattle Police Department to do its job of keeping all Seattle residents safe,” says a six-page letter sent to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., and U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in Seattle.

The letter asks the Justice Department to conduct a “pattern or practice” investigation to determine whether Seattle police have violated the civil rights of suspects, particularly minorities, during a series of violent confrontations in the past 18 months.