police reform

King County sheriff police
Flickr Photo/British Columbia Emergency Photography (CC BY NC)/https://flic.kr/p/f2vhpQ

The office that investigates the King County Sheriff’s Office keeps hitting bumps.

The latest hiccup: Director Patti Cole-Tindall has been hired by the sheriff’s office, bringing her into the agency she has been monitoring for almost a year. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Seattle is one of the cities that have turned the corner on policing.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she came to Seattle as part of a tour of cities “that have turned the corner” toward better policing.

She appeared alongside Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who all said Seattle has become a model for other cities.

In this screenshot from a video provided by the Seattle Police Department, William Wingate is seen using a golf club like a cane when confronted by Officer Cynthia Whitlatch on July 9, 2014, in Seattle.

Ross Reynolds interviews Crosscut reporter David Kroman about Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole's decision to fire Officer Cynthia Whitlatch for her questionable arrest of a 69-year-old black man who was using a golf club as a cane last July.

Some are saying this is a sign that Seattle Police may have turned the corner in the effort to reform under a Department of Justice Consent decree  aimed at stopping excessive  use of force by the department. But there's still a question of whether the police union will overturn the firing.

Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta hears from the Seattle Community Police Commission.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Community police reformers are seizing upon the visit from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to voice their frustrations with the Department of Justice's police reform process.

The Community Police Commission said so far it’s been "denied a seat at the table." 

Ross Reynolds speaks with Capt. Chris Fowler, commander of the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct, about the Neighborhood Response Team. The group of six officers patrols a nine-block area in downtown Seattle, using a new kind of policing to fight what business owners have called "downtown disorder."

The St. Louis region became the unexpected center of an international conversation and movement for change following the death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

St. Louis Public Radio has compiled select sounds and images of the past year, highlighting moments in history and sharing voices of newsmakers and neighbors alike. 

We invite you to take some time, reflect and put on your headphones to experience One Year in Ferguson: How it Sounded. How it Looked. How it Felt.

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

The Seattle Police Department’s initiative to put body cameras on all its officers isn’t a simple matter of just buying some hardware and software.

First, says Mike Wagers, the department’s chief operating officer, that’s about 650 cameras. And those cameras will be generating terabytes of video, he told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman.

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.

Back in December, following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama called for $75 million in funding for 50,000 body cameras to be used by police around the United States. The cameras record police activity, and their use is intended to boost accountability.

Amazon Vice President Greg Russell wants to help the Seattle Police Department make better use of technology.
Amy Radil

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole has announced a long-awaited leadership shakeup, looking outside and within the department for four new assistant chiefs.

Reporter Dominic Holden at his going-away roast after departing The Stranger,  Nov. 1, 2014. Holden submitted a complaint to the SPD after an incident in July 2013.
Joe Mabel

In the summer of 2013, Seattle journalist Dominic Holden, a reporter for The Stranger, filed a complaint with Seattle’s Office of Professional Accountability, saying a police officer tried to harass and intimidate him. The OPA sustained his complaint, saying the officer had broken rules on professional courtesy and deserved a one-day suspension without pay. The case was closed.

Then in February last year, Holden heard indirectly that the officer had appealed the finding. Interim SPD Chief Harry Bailey had reached a settlement with the officer in which the misconduct finding was, in fact, reversed.

Seattle Police guard a building during protests on Dec. 6, 2014, in response to the killings of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.
Flickr Photo/Scott Lum (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Lisa Daugaard, policy director for the Public Defender Association and a long-time follower of police reform in Seattle, about how a decades-old city ordinance may hinder Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole's efforts to reform the department.

New York Police Department officer Joshua Jones wears a VieVu body camera on his chest during a news conference, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in New York.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Ross Reynolds talks with Fusion correspondent Dan Lieberman about the impact of police body cameras on police shootings and use-of-force incidents.

Protesters in response to the Ferguson and Eric Garner grand jury decisions converge on downtown Seattle on Dec. 4, 2014.
Flickr Photo/Scott Lum (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Rory McVeigh, director of the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, about how the Ferguson-inspired protests can evolve into a movement for lasting change.

Demonstrators at a Seattle march on Nov. 25, 2014, in response to the Ferguson grand jury decision.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Marcie Sillman speaks with Sarah Stuteville, co-founder of the Seattle Globalist, about protester concerns about policing in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.