police

Is Seattle Any Different Than Ferguson?

Nov 25, 2014
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones
Liz Jones / KUOW

“Hands up, don’t shoot,” protesters chanted, their hands up as they streamed down Seattle streets on Monday night and Tuesday. “Black lives matter.”

They were protesting a Missouri grand jury’s decision to not indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. As they protested, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference, saying the city is committed to the goals of racial and social justice.

"We are failing our young African-American men," he said.

Americans expect police to carry guns. In most places, it's just assumed that law enforcement is always armed. But not everywhere.

One of the last exceptions to the rule is the native communities of rural Alaska, such as Manokotak, a Yupik village of about 400 in southwest Alaska. Hunters and fishermen live there in modest houses huddled along a few roads.

Marcie Sillman speaks with KUOW reporter Amy Radil  about the changes Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made this week concerning police accountability. He’s making a citizen oversight group called the Community Police Commission permanent.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Someone pursuing a complaint about a Seattle police officer no longer needs to enter the Seattle Police Department to do so. Instead, the department’s civilian oversight director has moved his office into a space he says will be more welcoming.

591 Or 594? Former Cops Differ On Gun Control

Oct 20, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with two former law enforcement officials on opposite sides of this fall's gun ballot measures. 

Don Pierce is a former Bellingham police chief and the former executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. He supports 594, which calls for stricter background checks. 

William Burris is a retired detective and spokesman for the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association. He supports Initiative 591, which would limit the restrictions the state can place on gun ownership.

Where Did The Week Go? (It Wasn't Nowhere)

Oct 17, 2014
Courtesy of Greg Plumis

Seattle’s "ramps to nowhere" are coming down this weekend. Where should they land? Also, a critical care nurse at Harborview is preparing to treat Ebola, and a Seattle woman turned her camera on an alleged groper and found out there was more to him. Plus, who gets to hassle the King County Executive via text?

All these topics and more get discussed with Bill Radke’s panel this week: Joni Balter, C.R. Douglas and Republican consultant Chris Vance.

Marcie Sillman talks with Gary Jenkins, chief of police in Pullman, about why every police officer in the city has a body camera as documentation of what really happens when they interact with the public.

Law enforcement groups in Washington state are pushing back against possible limits on police use of drones. That happened as a task force convened by Governor Jay Inslee wrestled some more Monday about how to regulate small unmanned aircraft.

Amid rain showers and a tornado watch, police in Ferguson, Mo., made dozens of arrests Monday afternoon and into the evening of people who had gathered to protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the black 18-year-old who was killed by a white police officer in August.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

FBI Director James Comey stood flanked by state and local law enforcement while speaking with the media at the bureau’s downtown office yesterday.

It was nearing the end of his workday, and nearing the end of a U.S. field office tour (we’re number 47 of 56 stops) since he took the job just over a year ago.

Marcie Sillman sits down with KUOW reporter Amy Radil to talk about a recent meeting at the Capitol Hill precinct where Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole addressed police use of force and tickets that were issued for smoking marijuana in public.

Seattle Police cars
Flickr Photo/ Eric Peacock (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with NPR law enforcement correspondent Martin Kaste about his two-part NPR story on the debate over use-of-force, and how it applies in Seattle.

Flickr Photo/Tariq Abdel-Monem (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle police officers are not using enough force.

That’s according to an internal email sent last week. The email, obtained by KUOW, says that hesitancy to use force could pose risks to officers and the public.

Protests in Ferguson and New York this summer rekindled an old debate about how American police use force.

The population in Ferguson, a city of about 20,000 people north of St. Louis, is about two-thirds African-American. The city’s police force has 53 officers, four of whom are black.

But Ferguson is not alone when it comes to a race gap in police departments. Hundreds across the country have forces with a white percentage that is more than 30 percentage points higher than the communities they serve.

Nick Castele from Here & Now contributing station WCPN took a survey of departments in northern Ohio.

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