Feds: Seattle Police Officers' Lawsuit Has No Merit

May 30, 2014

US Attorney Jenny Durkan talks to reporters at the Federal Building in Seattle.
US Attorney Jenny Durkan talks to reporters at the Federal Building in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan slammed a lawsuit filed by more than a hundred Seattle police officers who filed a legal complaint against city and federal officials. The officers say a new policy that dictates how police can use force restricts their constitutional rights to protect themselves.

Durkan made her remarks to reporters on Thursday at the Federal Building. She said that while she hasn’t gone through the 80-page lawsuit, she is confident the court will dismiss it. 

"I suspect that many of the people who signed it haven't even read the use of force policy."

“I have very little doubt it will be dealt with quickly," Durkan said.

She added: "I suspect that many of the people who signed it haven’t even read the use of force policy."

Durkan said there has been a sea change since the findings of excessive force were announced in 2011.

She said the Justice Department now has the support of incoming Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, as well as the police department’s command staff, precinct captains and the vast majority of department officers. 

"The changes that have been made were created with the police for the police, by the police," Durkan said. "The changes will not make them less safe; they will make them safer, and they will make our community safer." 

Durkan said the Justice Department will not be distracted by those who want to slow reform.

Correction 5/30/14: A previous web version of this story incorrectly named the incoming Seattle Police Chief; her name is Kathleen O'Toole.