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A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21, 2016 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle Police reforms that are five years in the making took a big step forward this week. A City Council committee approved a measure to put civilians in charge of police oversight.

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

After years of work, the Seattle City Council is finally going to vote on police accountability legislation.

A council committee is expected to vote on the bill Thursday and it's expected to go to the full council next week.

Major Mitzi Johankneckt, the first woman to lead the King County SWAT team, is running for sheriff. She says recent sex abuse allegations against Urquhart influenced her decision to run.
Mitzi Johankneckt

The first woman to lead King County's SWAT team wants to be sheriff. 

Major Mitzi Johankneckt says after 32 years on the force she's qualified to take the sheriff's office in a new direction. She's challenging incumbent John Urquhart.

The Washington State Patrol has put another dent in its trooper shortage. Forty-nine new troopers were sworn-in Wednesday at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.

Among the troopers in formation was Robert Reyer of Salzburg, Austria. 



school desk
Flickr Photo/VictorBjorkund (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/hPKtwF

Police are handling routine discipline issues in many Washington schools – sometimes even arresting children — finds a new study from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Justice Department has escalated its approach to so-called sanctuary cities, writing at least eight jurisdictions Friday to put them on notice they could be failing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's grant-making arm, warned the cities that they're required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.

One casualty of the looming end of Washington state’s legislative session is a bill on police use of deadly force.

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Friday

Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to be appointed to New York's Court of Appeals, was found dead on Wednesday in the Hudson River.

She had been reported missing from her home in Harlem.

The New York Times reports:

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Liz Jones talks with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the role of local governments in federal immigration enforcement. The Attorney General's office produced a document that lays out best practices and policies for police departments, schools, hospitals, and other public agencies.

Read the full document online here.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

When it comes to undocumented immigrants, what's your role as a city, school or hospital? Or cop?

Chicago police have now arrested two suspects in the brutal sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was streamed on Facebook Live. Both of those charged in the attack are teenage boys, ages 14 and 15, and police continue to look for more accomplices.

About 40 people may have watched the rapes on Facebook as they happened, but none of them reported the crimes to the police. That's raising ethical and legal questions about those who witnessed the crime, including whether they can be charged for their inaction.

Bill Radke talks with Officer Kevin Stuckey, head of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement of a wide-reaching review of federal consent decrees with police departments around the country.

The Seattle Police Department has been under a federal consent decree since 2012, after the Department of Justice found a pattern of excessive use of force in policing. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state’s highest-ranking judge is still waiting for federal immigration officials to write her back.

Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst requested that courthouses be off limits for immigration arrests. But that option will likely stay on the table for now.

Chris Hayes, host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC
KUOW Photo/ Jason Pagano

Bill Radke talks to Chris Hayes, host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC about his new book "A Colony In A Nation."

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday

British authorities have made eight arrests in their investigation into Wednesday's attack in London, police said Thursday morning.

Mark Rowley, the national lead for counterterrorism policing, told reporters that there were four dead, including the attacker, and 29 people have been treated in hospitals. Seven people are in critical condition, he said.

Police had earlier said there were five dead including the attacker.

Commander Brian Martinez of the Black Diamond Police Department.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Black Diamond is a small city on the verge of big growth.

It recently came through a budget crisis that threatened to shut down the city – including its police department.

Kara McDermott of KUOW's Region of Boom talked with Commander Brian Martinez about how the city is now moving forward.

Outside the home of her foster sister Renee Davis, Danielle Bargala breaks down in tears while talking about how Davis' young children are living with different families. Davis, who was pregnant, was shot at her Muckleshoot reservation home last October.
Dan DeLong for KUOW

The young mom texted her boyfriend: “Come and get the girls or call 911. I’m about to shoot myself.”


Ben Keita, 18, was found hanged in the woods in Lake Stevens, a suburb north of Seattle.
Ibrahima Keita

Police continue to investigate the death of a Muslim teenager who was found hanging from a high branch in the woods north of Seattle.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21, 2016 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department will reduce its emphasis on investigating and suing police departments. Justice officials under President Barack Obama called the Seattle Police Department a success story for this process. 

People involved in Seattle's 2012 consent decree have mixed feelings about the new direction. 

Crosscut reporter David Kroman.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Crosscut city reporter David Kroman about the recent move by the City Council to equip Seattle's officers with body cameras by the end of 2017. Kroman says that multiple groups are concerned about privacy issues, decreased accountability for officers, and the possibility that footage could be used to identify undocumented immigrants. 

In this March 12, 2015, file photo, Seattle police officer Debra Pelich, right, wears a video camera on her eyeglasses as she talks with Alex Legesse before a small community gathering in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Seattle's bike cops wear body cameras, and now all officers will start wearing them. The Seattle City Council approved a measure Tuesday to purchase the cameras this year.

Even after a delay, the full rollout is facing some opposition.

Officials in Los Angeles have asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working in the city not to identify themselves as police.

In a letter addressed to the ICE deputy field office director who handles immigration enforcement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and president of the city council Herb Wesson wrote:

The cellphone video is vivid. A Border Patrol agent aims his gun at an unarmed 15-year-old some 60 feet away, across the border with Mexico, and shoots him dead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case testing whether the family of the dead boy can sue the agent for damages in the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 42 such cross-border shootings, a dramatic increase over earlier times.

Washington prosecutors say state law makes it nearly impossible to criminally charge a police officer who uses deadly force. Now a key state lawmaker predicts that law will change this year.

Crimes against LGBTQ people are among the most reported hate-crimes in Seattle. In the second half of 2016, 22 crimes were reported against gay, lesbian, or transgender people.

With the support of police, a gay man who was recently targeted is speaking out. His story is having a broader impact than he anticipated.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 680 people in raids across the U.S. last week, approximately three-fourths of whom had prior criminal convictions, according to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The convictions were for offenses "including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges."

Dan Satterberg (left), Andre Tayor (brother of Che Taylor who was fatally shot by police), and former SPD Chief Norm Stamper at a community meeting.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Friday marked the end of the inquest into the fatal police shooting of Che Taylor in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood last year. In the fact-finding hearings, the eight-person jury found that Taylor posed a threat to the officers involved in the shooting.


At a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs on Tuesday morning, President Trump repeated a false statistic about the U.S. murder rate that he repeatedly deployed on the campaign trail.

The unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the death of Michael Brown in summer 2015 drew renewed scrutiny to police violence and revealed just how little the public knew about its pervasiveness. At first, there were widespread calls to address what officers looked like since Brown was African-American and the officer who shot him is white.

Seattle is a step closer to more civilian oversight of the city's police department.

Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday that long-awaited police accountability legislation is ready to go before the City Council. 

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