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Carmen Best, center, smiles while standing with her husband, left, and Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, right, during a press conference on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After public uproar following the initial selection for the city's new head of police, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday morning that Interim Police Chief Carmen Best would be taking over the role permanently.

Seattle’s first black cop meets a killer over checkers

Jul 12, 2018
Horace Cayton was the first black deputy in Seattle.
KUOW Illustration/Teo Popescu

Horace Cayton was an African-American sociologist born in Seattle in 1903. His father was born a slave; his mother was the daughter of the first black U.S. Congressman. This is an excerpt from his autobiography, The Long Old Road, published in 1963.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Seattle is down to the final three contenders for Seattle Police chief. Mayor Jenny Durkan has said she will announce the appointee this month.

Screenshot of interaction between motorcyclist, Alex Randall, and King County Sheriff Detective Richard Rowe, August 16, 2017.
Screenshot from YouTube video by Alex Randall

Only a third of complaints about King County Sheriff's deputies in 2016 ever stood a chance of being taken seriously, according to a report released today.

FILE: Then-Deputy Chief Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall. Best will be interim Seattle Police Chief.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Carmen Best, Seattle’s interim police chief, will be considered for the top job, after all.

Deputy Chief Carmen Best, left, and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole listen as Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s Community Police Commission is asking the City Council to delay confirmation hearings for a new police chief until it can examine the selection process more closely.


A Texas sheriff has barred his deputies from taking on additional work as off-duty security at a recently built tent encampment intended to house migrant children separated from their parents at the border.

El Paso Sheriff Richard Wiles said he feared the assignment to oversee minors forcibly separated from their parents would fuel the current controversy over the practice and undermine trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.

The shooting death of a black teenager by police in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday night has sparked protests from angry residents demanding to know why Antwon Rose Jr. was killed.

Rose, 17, was riding in a vehicle that had been pulled over because officers suspected it had been used in a shooting that happened minutes earlier Tuesday.

Video taken by a nearby witness shows two people running from the car; the sounds of three shots ring out right as another police car arrives.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Geekwire's Todd Bishop about three tech giants that have faced controversy over their contracts with law enforcement and government: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

Tommy Le's family and attorneys announce their decision to file a $20 million wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit against King County, the King County Sheriff's Office and (former) Sheriff John Urquhart in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

On June 13 last year, a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy fatally shot 20-year-old Vietnamese-American student Tommy Le in the back.

Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi and Gyasi Ross.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

You know the drainage pipes you sometimes see sticking out from underneath a road? They're called culverts. And they're creating a division between Washington tribes and state attorney general Bob Ferguson. The sovereign nations claim that Ferguson is failing to uphold their treaty rights; in response, he's escalated the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Seatte police
KUOW / Ashley Ahearn

Bill Radke asked our panel what they want to see in Seattle's next police chief.

Interim Chief Carmen Best (pictured third from the right) was not included among the finalists.
Megan Farmer/KUOW

Half a year after former Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole stepped down, today Mayor Jenny Durkan's 25-person police chief search committee announced three all-male contenders to replace her. 

Interim Chief Carmen Best, the first black woman to hold the position and one of those vying for the spot, was not included.

A memorial for Charleena Lyles is shown outside of Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Monday, June 19, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It's been nearly a year since Seattle police officers shot and killed Charleena Lyles. 

Thursday, a panel of experts and a member of Lyles' family will gather at the University of Washington to talk about police violence and strategies to stop it. 


On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Seattle is about to appoint its first-ever inspector general of police. The city’s chosen candidate, Lisa Judge, said the Seattle Police Department shows “a hunger for progressive change” that is a rarity in the policing world. 

State lawmakers worked with police and community groups during the last legislative session to change the rules for prosecuting police who use deadly force. But it will be voters who decide whether those changes become law. On Friday, a Superior Court judge in Thurston County said lawmakers violated the state constitution, and put Initiative 940 on the November ballot. KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins explains the situation with Ross Reynolds.

A memorial for Charleena Lyles is shown outside of Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Monday, June 19, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A Seattle nonprofit is no longer part of a lawsuit filed by the family of Charleena Lyles. A King County judge dismissed Solid Ground from the wrongful death suit Friday.

Superior Court Judge Julie Spector ruled that Solid Ground was not legally responsible for the police shooting.

This photo was posted to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page earlier in the week.
Pierce County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

In the photo above — posted by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook and Twitter this week – a man sits on the ground after being Tased by police. He wears nothing but black underwear briefs and a rosary around his neck. His small dog looks up at the camera.

Marilyn Covarrubias, center, is comforted as she begins to cry while testifying about the shooting death in 2015 of her son by police, at a House Public Safety Committee hearing on Jan. 31, 2017, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The family of an unarmed Native American man killed by Lakewood Police in 2015 is suing the city in federal court. The complaint accuses the department of racial bias and negligence in its training.

Brettler Family Place, part of the complex at Sand Point Housing.
Solid Ground

“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” Gunshots, no doubt, J.C. thought. 

Police say that the driver of a SUV carrying a family with several adopted children may have intentionally plunged off a cliff along California's scenic coast last month, according to local news reports.

The family from Woodland, Wash. — Sarah and Jennifer Hart, who were married, and at least three of the couple's six adopted children — was in the vehicle on California's scenic Highway 1 near the city of Westport when it accelerated rapidly off the cliff and fell 100 feet to the rocky shore.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Friends and family converged at a Sacramento, Calif. church Thursday for Stephon Clark's funeral. The city has experienced nearly two weeks of continuous unrest after the shooting of the 22-year-old Clark, an unarmed black man, by two police officers.

Dozens were unable to get in and waited outside during the services.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg attended the services. Rev. Al Sharpton spoke as did the family.

Recruits from around the region, including Seattle Police Department, on the first day at the police academy.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

There are still a lot of things Marilyn Covarrubias doesn’t understand about why her son Daniel died in an encounter with Lakewood police officers in 2015. Like why the officers mistook his cell phone for a gun. Why they didn’t call for medical help sooner after the shooting. And why they were so quick to open fire.

“They need to learn how to ascertain what is actually happening," Covarrubias said. "Before they go into kill mode.” 

On the final day of the Washington legislative session last week, lawmakers passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings. It was a compromise agreed to by groups on all sides to keep a potentially divisive initiative off the November ballot.

Now professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, who wasn't previously involved on this issue, filed a lawsuit Monday that argues the legislature wrongly denied the voters a say.

Marchers on Thur. Feb 25 protested the killing of Che Taylor by the Seattle Police, shot on Feb. 22.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The family of Che Taylor has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Seattle and the police officers who shot him.

Police officers form a line on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, outside of a College Republicans rally at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Seattle University communication professor Caitlin Carlson about the tension between protecting free speech on campus and protecting the rights of students, faculty and staff. 

A police officer pepper sprays a group of protesters on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, outside of a College Republicans rally at Red Square on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Five people were arrested at a College Republicans rally on the University of Washington campus Saturday that attracted a large crowd of protesters.


Tommy Le's family and attorneys announce their decision to file a $20 million wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit against King County, the King County Sheriff's Office and (former) Sheriff John Urquhart in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Families of police shooting victims in King County will have a new voice during inquests.

The County Council agreed unanimously Monday to let these families have legal representation at these proceedings.


Tommy Le's family and attorneys announce their decision to file a $20 million wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit against King County, the King County Sheriff's Office and (former) Sheriff John Urquhart in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

A new federal lawsuit says a King County sheriff’s deputy violated the civil rights of a man he shot to death last June.

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