police

Lee Townsend with the Metroplitan Improvement District checks his "hotspots" in Belltown for litter...and worse.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Over the past year, street sweepers in downtown Seattle saw a dramatic increase in the number of syringes on the ground. But those numbers have declined since March. They’re a data point in the larger debate over policing and drug use downtown.

Police released surveillance video and the 911 call Friday from a shoplifting that preceded a police shooting in Olympia, Washington.

  The two, unarmed black men shot by a white Olympia police officer early Thursday morning are expected to survive.

Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum said he expects a “respectful” and non-violent response to the shooting of two unarmed black men by a white police officer.

This undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the StingRay II, manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla., a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Ross Reynolds speaks with Nate Wessler, staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, about how a new law on the books in Washington will protect residents from a powerful surveillance devices known as Stingrays.

Lawmakers working on fixes to the justice system say that unrest in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore is pushing them to act.

"The whole idea of a young man dying in police custody, the confrontations with police, the looting and burning of innocent minority owned businesses," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said on the Senate floor this month. "The question arises, what can we do?"

Marcie Sillman talks with Lara Zarowsky, policy director for The Innocence Project Northwest, about why she wants to reform how police departments conduct eye witness identifications.

He was willing to take a bullet for three governors. Now, a decorated Washington State Patrol trooper is accused of tampering with evidence to protect his teenage son.

Law enforcement officers have come under pressure over the past few months to rethink how they use deadly force, as a result of the string of videos of shootings by police.

But recently, police have been talking about another video — one that shows an officer not shooting.

Stephanie Schendel, a Bellevue Police Department recruit, rinses out her eyes after being pepper-sprayed.  She's assisted by recruit Melissa Calder, who used to be a Lamaze coach.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Some recruits at Washington state’s police academy have policing in their blood – their parents or grandparents were police officers. Stephanie Schendel is not among them.

“I don’t come from a law enforcement family; I come from a family of nurses actually, so this has been a lot for them,” she said.

Kimberly Rodriguez, a new recruit for the Seattle Police Department, on her first day at the police academy. That class of 30 recruits included eight women, which was unusual. Most classes have between one and five female recruits.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Five years ago, Washington state’s police academy was almost empty.

But now the classrooms are bursting as police departments expand and baby boomers retire. And new leadership hopes to shape all these recruits into “guardians of democracy” in an effort to change police culture across the state.

Mount Rainier seen from the town of Orting, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Neil Hodges (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow about his coverage of the small town of Orting, Washington and what happened after they hired their first black police officer. Hint: it went terribly.

Editor's note: This story contains some offensive language.

Kingston Howell, 7, joined a Seattle protest in support of Freddie Gray, a black man from Baltimore who died of injuries sustained in police custody.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

About 50 people blocked traffic in downtown Seattle on Wednesday evening to show support for protesters in Baltimore.

Riots began over the weekend in Baltimore after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died as a result of injuries he sustained while in police custody. It’s the latest in a series of deaths of young black men at the hands of police.

In Pasco, Washington a group of protesters has regularly closed down main streets and staged “die-ins” since February’s police shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes.

In the early morning, as the cold set in, Anaya Maze stood next to the charred remains of a CVS store.

Holding a sign, she was the only protester left in front of a line of police officers dressed in riot gear. She is petite. Still, she faced the police officers, looking at them intently.

A few steps away were the charred skeletons of two police vehicles, the victims of an unbridled anger that burned its way through the west side of Baltimore.

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