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Some U.S. states are viewing the legalization of marijuana as a chance to gain new sources of tax revenue. Several states allow its use for medical reasons; Colorado has approved its recreational use, and Washington will follow suit this year.

But the decriminalization of pot also stands to remove a funding source for police: property forfeitures from drug dealers. Such funding is "going up in smoke," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

Steve Scher talks with Seattle Times reporter Steve Miletich about federal monitor Merrick Bobb's draft report on reform efforts at the Seattle Police Department.

Flickr Photo/Crash Zone Photography

Pierce Murphy is the new civilian director for Seattle Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability. Both SPD and OPA have been under tight scrutiny since a Department of Justice's 2011 investigation found evidence of biased policing and unlawful use of force. Murphy says his first task is restoring credibility for the OPA. Marcie Sillman talks with Murphy.

Shooting In Ravenna, Suspects At Large

Sep 10, 2013
Nathan Bean

UPDATE: 11:10 a.m. PT

KIRO's Natasha Chen reports that three area Seattle Public Schools that had been in "shelter in place" mode are now functioning as normal.

UPDATE: 10:42 a.m. PT

According to the Seattle Police Department blotter two suspects are involved and the victim is 56 years old. If you have information about the shooting please call the SPD tip line at 206.233.5000.

Flickr Photo/clappstar

Rick Williams: On Anger, Grief And Gifts

In 2010, woodcarver John T. Williams was killed by Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk. Controversy over the shooting led to much anger and distrust for the police department. In 2012, a 34-foot memorial totem pole was raised in John T. Williams' honor. Steve Scher talked with John T. Williams’ brother Rick Williams at the site of the totem pole.

Talking To Cops

Back in 2012, the Seattle Police asked the public for help. Deputy Chief Nick Metz urged people to talk to the police to help stop what he called a “huge increase” in shootings. That's counter to a strong "don't talk to the cops" mantra espoused by many. Steve Scher talked with columnist Larry Mizell and singer Choklate Moore about why many individuals think talking to the police is unsafe and unwise.

Stories Of WWII Incarceration

Within 48 hours of the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the FBI began arresting the Japanese-Americans they considered subversive. In its second wave of action, the rest of the Japanese-American community along the West Coast was forced to leave their homes and move to incarceration camps. These actions are a strong, vivid and very recent part of our city's history and the legacy of the Japanese-Americans living here. Steve Scher talked with Fumiko Hayashida and Sam Mitsui about their own experiences at that time.

Courtesy Lincoln Beauregard and Lee Rousso.

Attorneys for a man convicted of stealing a car in South Seattle two years ago have filed suit against the Seattle Police Department and one of its officers.

Courtesy King County Sheriff

The King County Sheriff’s Office directly serves over half a million people in King County. Like the Seattle Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office is reforming the way it handles the use of force. The changes come in the wake of a shooting last year.

Dustin Theoharis was shot 16 times by a King County deputy and a Department of Corrections officer in Auburn in February 2012. He survived the shooting and reached a settlement for $3 million with King County.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A prominent leader in Seattle's Asian-American community has died.

Kip Tokuda passed away suddenly, according to a statement from his family. He was 66 years old.

flickr/afagen

A legislator in Washington state says she will revive a bill that would make it easier for police to collect DNA samples. That’s in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling Monday. The five-to-four ruling upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest from people who are charged with certain violent crimes or sex offenses.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed a law that will allow the state’s fictitious driver license program to continue – but only for undercover law enforcement activities. At the bill signing Inslee backed away from a previous statement that he would apply a broad definition of the term “law enforcement.”

H. Barrison / Flickr

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.

If Calling 911 Is So Easy, Why Are People Doing It Wrong?

Apr 17, 2013
Flickr Photo/nadbasher

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.

Seattle Channel

Seattle Chief of Police John Diaz announced his retirement today after 33 years with the department.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Police Chief made the announcement Monday to reporters with 30 minutes' notice.

The Seattle Channel

Story last updated by Phyllis Fletcher on March 18, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.

A March 6 special hearing by the Seattle City Council was intended to launch the city’s new Community Police Commission. But the meeting became mired in the background of one of its appointees.

Your Take On The News

Mar 15, 2013

It's Friday — time to review the week's top news stories with Knute Berger, Eli Sanders and C.R. Douglas. A federal judge approved a first-year plan to reform the Seattle Police Department. Meanwhile, the plan was challenged in court by the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the Seattle Police Management Association, over concerns about collective bargaining rights.

Also, a bill that would expand background checks for gun owners died in the state House. And the state's budget shortfall grew by $300 million. What stories were you following this week? Call us at 800.289.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Audio Pending...

A federal judge gave the green light yesterday to a wide-ranging reform plan for the Seattle Police Department. The plan is meant to address a 2011 finding by the US Justice Department that Seattle police had engaged in an unconstitutional pattern and practice of excessive use of force.

Seattle police patrol cars.
Flickr Photo/Brittney Bollay

Tuesday, a federal judge approved a plan to reform Seattle's Police Department. This comes a day after the Seattle Police Officers Guild and Seattle Police Management Association filed a court challenge to the plan, raising concerns about the collective bargaining rights of police officers. We'll talk with independent monitor Merrick Bobb and senior police expert Joe Brann about the details of the reform plan.

Two Seattle police unions have filed a lawsuit against a federal plan to reform the police department.

Connie Rice On Seattle Police Reform

Mar 7, 2013
Seattle Police cars
Flickr Photo/ Eric Peacock (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A plan from the court-appointed monitor overseeing Seattle’s police reforms to address biased policing and excessive use of force within the SPD was overshadowed this week by a standoff between Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes. The two argued publicly over who has authority to act on the city’s behalf. Yesterday, Mayor McGinn said he regretted the public argument and called for a pause. L.A.-based civil rights attorney Connie Rice is advising the mayor's office as the city moves forward on a consent decree with the Justice Department. We’ll speak with her about the work so far and what she calls a “quest for trust” in Seattle.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Seattle Police Department is using a new software program designed to help predict where crimes are most likely to occur in the city.

Seattle Grounds Police Drones Program

Feb 8, 2013
SPD Drone
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn put an end to a controversial  program where unmanned miniature helicopters equipped with cameras would be used to fight crime. Critics had privacy concerns about police surveillance. The timing of Mayor McGinn's decision could become an issue in his re-election bid.

Fetmano / Flickr

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.  

Seattle's Gift Cards-For-Guns Event Sells Out

Jan 28, 2013
Allie Ferguson

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.

Cars Caught Speeding On Camera Now Get $189 Tickets

Nov 26, 2012

Starting Monday, drivers who speed past any of four Seattle schools will get tickets in the mail. Vehicles that go more than 20 miles per hour when school is in session are caught on camera.

The four schools with speed cameras are Thurgood Marshall Elementary on the I-90 lid, Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle, and Olympic View Elementary and Broadview Thomson K-8 in the north end.

Flickr/elfsternberg

Seattle city officials will soon begin sifting through applications for police watchdogs.  Last month, the city put out a call for citizens to serve on a new community police commission.  It’s being created as part of an agreement with the US Department of Justice  to reform the Seattle Police Department.

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.

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

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.

The city of Seattle is seeking citizens for its new Community Police Commission. The commission is being established as part of an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the Seattle Police Department. Federal and local officials have expressed hopes that the commission will play a strong role in police oversight. But it faces some limitations that could hamper its abilities, as the members of another police review board have already found.

King County Sheriff Candidates Debate

Oct 15, 2012
King County Sheriff
(Flickr photo/N i c o l a)

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.

Oregon's pot law allows up to four pot plants per home.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

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.

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