Report: SPD Use of Force Declines, Lower Than National Average

PI.com:

The number of Seattle police use-of-force cases has declined, less than 3 percent of overall arrests involved force, and less than 1 percent of those force cases ended with major injuries, according to a department report examining statistics from 2006 through 2009.

Police officials also say Seattle officers use force less frequently than the national average.

However, critics of the department say there are still problems with officers’ uses of force, specifically those shown in high-profile videotaped incidents. The event that has drawn the most criticism is the fatal Aug. 30, 2010, shooting of John T. Williams. The department firearms review board found the shooting wasn’t justified and Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer said most of the actions done by former officer Ian Birk that day were not in accordance with his training.

“I’m not sure the union yet understands the nature and the severity of the problem,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said during his State of the City address, regarding the climate that led to nearly three-dozen organizations asking for a federal review of the police department.

You can read the whole report here.