In 2012, the City of Seattle and the federal government agreed to implement sweeping reforms of the city’s police department.
Investigators had determined that Seattle police too often used excessive force in confrontations with civilians and found the potential for racially biased policing.
The reforms have been underway since, supervised by a federally appointed monitor.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says a new Donald Trump justice department shouldn’t affect the ongoing reforms.
Murray: “It’s so late in our process. The judge has it. The justice department can be a party and ask the judge for things, but they basically can’t change it.”
The city has been working with the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division on these reforms.
Murray says he’s not sure if the new administration will retain that division going forward.
Murray: “That’s bad news for this country, but for Seattle and police reform, the fact that this sits with a federal judge is really important. The justice department would have to go back and try an open up the case. That’s not going to happen. The judge has been very clear he’s going to see this reform through.”
Murray spoke on the Seattle Channel last week.
President-elect Trump has nominated Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, the position that heads Department of Justice.