We talk with Merrick Bobb, Seattle's new federally appointed independent police monitor. He began working in the field of police accountability 20 years ago, following the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. In Seattle, he'll help implement an overhaul of the SPD’s use-of-force procedures and establish guidelines for citizen contacts and stops.
Kathryn Olson, outgoing head of the Seattle Police Office of Professional Accountability, talks with Ross Reynolds about the Department of Justice finding that police engage in use of excessive force, what the city and DOJ are doing to remedy the problems, and her role as the director of the OPA.
A federal judge has appointed Merrick Bobb as the independent monitor to oversee reforms to the Seattle Police Department. Bobb’s appointment follows disagreement between the Seattle city council, the police department, and the mayor over whether he was the best choice.
Bobb was one of four finalists. As monitor he will assess the City’s compliance with a settlement agreement between the police and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The city of Seattle is seeking citizens for its new Community Police Commission. The commission is being established as part of an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the Seattle Police Department. Federal and local officials have expressed hopes that the commission will play a strong role in police oversight. But it faces some limitations that could hamper its abilities, as the members of another police review board have already found.