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Seattle Police Department

The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed a measure to put civilians in charge of police oversight. It comes five years after a federal judge called attention to excessive force and biased policing within the Seattle Police Department.

The goal of the measure is to hold officers more accountable. Its passage is a victory for advocates of police reform, including City Councilwoman Lorena González. She has led the effort on the council’s end.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21 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.

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

Kim Malcolm talks with reporter George Joseph about how federal immigration officials are able to directly access regional law enforcement databases, including Law Enforcement Information Exchange Northwest, which contains data from the Seattle Police Department.

A bullet fired at a Seattle police officer is removed from her bulletproof vest.
Seattle Police Department

Dramatic Seattle Police dash-cam video shows a robbery suspect running into a loading dock followed closely by two police officers – and then a series of shots.

The suspect was killed, and the officers hit with bullets.

The scene of a shooting in downtown Seattle on Thursday afternoon.
Courtesy of Erin Cline

Three Seattle Police officers were shot on Thursday afternoon after a robbery at a 7-Eleven convenience store in downtown Seattle. One of the three suspects they were chasing died from injuries sustained during the chase.

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KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Seattle reached a major milestone in its police reform efforts Thursday.

A federal monitor has found the overall use of force in the Seattle Police Department is down.

Seattle officials say they will continue to reform the police department, despite the federal government's changing law enforcement priorities.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week that his office will review existing reforms to ensure they meet the Trump Administration's goals. Those include improving officer safety and morale. That widespread review could include Seattle, which has been under a federal consent decree for five years to improve its police department.

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. 

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

Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a 47-year-old African-American man last year will not face criminal charges.

Che Taylor's family called the decision disappointing. 

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Tuesday that the officers acted within the scope of the law.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21 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.

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant of the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle

Perry Tarrant wants young African Americans to know their rights in interactions with police.

But Tarrant, assistant chief at the Seattle Police Department, told KUOW’s Emily Fox that just as important is knowing what to do if you think you’ve been wronged by the police.


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.

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