Washington Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that spotlights the Seattle Police Department’s policy regarding public access to dash-camera video footage. The lawsuit, brought by KOMO News against SPD, comes at a time when the police force faces heightened scrutiny about transparency and public accountability.
A new public service announcement by the state’s Emergency Management Division urges you to always “know your location” just in case you have to call 911. Emergency dispatchers say they often get calls from people who can’t describe where they are or even how to get there. With 70 percent of 911 calls coming from cell phones, it’s much harder for operators to pinpoint a specific location.
State toxicologist Fiona Couper recently stated that violations for driving under the influence of marijuana have not gone up since the passage of Initiative-502. But marijuana legalization is still in its early stages and to be charged with a DUI the driver has to get caught with 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in their bloodstream. David Hyde talks with Dr. Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and tries to make sense of the science of marijuana intoxication.
Hundreds of people came out on a chilly Saturday morning to exchange their guns for $100 and $200 Amazon.com gift cards in the first guy buyback event held in Seattle in 20 years. People stood in line holding rifles in camouflage cases and shot guns wrapped in blankets among other things. Traffic clogged up city streets near the parking lot where the event took place.
Three years ago this Thanksgiving weekend, an Arkansas parolee named Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop. Chris Sorrells was one of the first officers at the scene. In the years since, his life has changed dramatically.
Chris Sorrells is probably alive today because of a twist of fate. He says he would have been at coffee that morning with his fellow officers. But his wife had gotten up early with him and made coffee at home – something she didn’t normally do.
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.
Whoever wins the election to lead the King County Sheriff's Department will have his work cut out for him. Two performance audits in recent months have criticized how the department handles internal investigations and use-of-force complaints. Steve Strachan has been interim sheriff since Sue Rahr departed earlier this year. Strachan faces a veteran of the department in the race, former KCSD spokesman John Urquhart. They join us in studio.
A new study by Marijuana Arrest Research Project says more than 240,000 people in Washington have been arrested for marijuana possession over the past 25 years, and that those arrested are disproportionally Black, Latino and Native American.