Seattle Police Department | KUOW News and Information

Seattle Police Department

It's been called an “overpriced police bunker.”

And the proposed North Police Precinct in Seattle hasn't even been approved.

Habtamu Abdi, the Seattle Police Department's East African Community Liaison
KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Seattle is home to one of the nation's largest East African communities.

An estimated 25,000 East Africans live in King County, according to the 2014 American Community Survey.

It's a community that consists of mostly recent  immigrants and refugees from countries like Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

Teri Rogers Kemp once stood on a corner with a sign and yelled at cars. Over time, she has found more effective strategies.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Local activists want to make it easier to prosecute police who use deadly force. They’re gathering signatures for an initiative that would eliminate a common defense used by police: That they acted “without malice.”

We bring you a profile of one of the people organizing support for the initiative.

Seattle Police Department patch.
Facebook Photo/Seattle Police Officers Guild

Bill Radke speaks with The Stranger reporter Ansel Herz about the resignation of the Seattle Police Officers Guild president Ron Smith after a controversial Facebook post about the killing of five police officers in Dallas. 

Kim Malcolm talks with Lisa Daugaard about civilian oversight of the Seattle Police Department. Daugaard is co-chair of Seattle's Community Police Commission, and director of the Public Defender Association.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray smiles as he addresses a news conference on a proposal to increase the minimum wage in the city Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he’s committed to creating more power and independence for the civilian oversight of the police department. He hopes to advance legislation in the next several weeks, pending approval from a federal judge.

Amy Radil

Last Friday the Seattle mayor’s office issued a statement saying that two key people serving as watchdogs over the city’s police force would not be reappointed. That’s the city’s investigator of police misconduct, Pierce Murphy, and his office’s independent auditor, Anne Levinson.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray smiles as he addresses a news conference on a proposal to increase the minimum wage in the city Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The long holiday weekend was marked by uncertainty for Seattle’s police oversight officials. On Friday, Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement saying the city will be seeking new candidates to lead oversight of the Seattle Police Department. He thanked the city’s two lead officials “for their service.”

These officials say the turmoil shows precisely why their jobs need to be protected from political influence.

Marchers on Thur. Feb 25 protested the killing of Che Taylor by the Seattle Police, shot on Feb. 22.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks to Seattle Times criminal justice reporter Steve Miletich about the Seattle Police Department force review board's finding on the shooting of Che Taylor. 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has condemned the leak of contract details between the city and the police officers' guild. Meanwhile Seattle’s Community Police Commission says it’s premature to judge that deal. 

File Photo: Seattle Chief of Police Kathleen O'Toole
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle city leaders say the Seattle Police Department has an overtime problem. In 2015 the department blew past its overtime budget by $9 million (over the budgeted $15 million).

A city audit in April directed SPD to fix the problem. This week, Seattle City Council members said they plan to hold the department accountable, too.

Ian Allen runs security at Foundation night club.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend is Pride Weekend. And with the Orlando massacre on people’s minds, Seattle night clubs are getting special training in how to avoid a mass shooting.

Idriss mosque near Northgate, Seattle.
Flickr Photo/J Brew (CC BY SA 2.0)/

A man accused of making threats against a Seattle mosque was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a short standoff, police said.

Seattle police said an out-of-state friend provided information that led to a 37-year-old man. He surrendered to a SWAT team around 3:30 p.m. at his apartment in the Greenwood neighborhood.

An artist's rendering of the proposed new North Precinct station for the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle

An expensive bunker for police. That’s the view of nearly a dozen people who criticized plans for Seattle’s new North Precinct building at a Seattle City Council meeting on Wednesday.

The proposed $160 million building includes a public plaza and space for community meetings, along with a gym, firing range and parking garage.

Marchers at a May Day march in downtown Seattle on Sunday.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Every May 1 immigrants gather across the country to demand more rights. On Sunday, immigrants met at Judkins Park in the Central Area. 

People bring flowers and candles to mourn for the victims at Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The deadly attacks in Belgium's capital have heightened security efforts in Seattle and throughout the U.S.

Naloxone Syringe
Flickr Photo/VCU CNS (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Bike cops in Seattle are now armed with a tool that could save people from dying of a heroin overdose. Officers in three areas of the city will carry naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

Seattle Police spokesperson Sean Whitcomb said officers respond to about 100 overdoses a month. He said bike cops are well positioned to get to the calls quickly.

AP Photo/Manuel Valdes

Bill Radke talks with privacy advocate Jared Friend about a bill in the state legislature that would restrict public access to police body camera footage. Friend is director of technology and liberty at the ACLU of Washington. We also hear from state Rep. Drew Hansen, who is backing the bill.

Marchers on Thur. Feb 25 protested the killing of Che Taylor by the Seattle Police, shot on Feb. 22.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Officials at the Seattle Police Department and its civilian oversight office say so far, they have found no basis for criminal prosecution of police officers Michael Spaulding and Scott Miller in the shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21.

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

About 100 people rallied in downtown Seattle Thursday to protest the shooting death of an African American man.

Screenshot of Nextdoor homepage

Bill Radke talks with journalist Erica C. Barnett about the city of Seattle's partnership with social media site Nextdoor. Barnett's Nextdoor account was temporarily suspended after she publicly posted comments from Nextdoor users during an online town hall with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole.

Andre Taylor (left), Davitta Briscoe (center) and Brenda Taylor - all members of the late Che Taylor's family - appear at an NAACP news conference in February.

Emotions running high, about 100 people gathered at the site of the shooting in Northeast Seattle last night.

Che Taylor, 47, was shot by police in the Wedgwood neighborhood, in the 2200 block of Northeast 85th Street.

Seattle Police Department patch.
Facebook Photo/Seattle Police Officers Guild

Seattle police come into contact with about 27 people every day who are experiencing a mental health crisis, including mental illness, dementia or drug-related issues.

Sgt. Dan Nelson is in charge of coordinating the Seattle Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Program, which acts as a bridge between the criminal justice system and social services.

File Photo: Seattle Chief of Police Kathleen O'Toole
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole about why she was invited to sit in  First Lady Michelle Obama's box at President Barack Obama's last State of the Union address.

Ericka Frodsham is one of 50 to 60 prostitutes who work on Aurora Avenue North, known as a track. This is one of two tracks where prostitutes work in the Seattle area. Photographer Mike Kane followed her one evening, separately from the story below.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Why is there so much prostitution on Aurora Avenue in North Seattle? Beth Quintana, who lives in North Seattle near Aurora, asked KUOW’s Local Wonder project, so we sent reporter Posey Gruener to find out.

Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, left, UW Professor Megan Ming Francis and Seattle Police Assistant Chief Robert Merner at Humanities Washington's Think & Drink.
Courtesy of Mike Hippel

There’s been a spotlight on race and policing – but that isn’t because the situation gotten worse.

“Why a lot of black people have a deep suspicion, distrust, of police is not something that just happens because we see Michael Brown or we see Freddie Gray,” said Megan Ming Francis, a political science professor at the University of Washington.

“It’s a really, really long history that has placed us where we are right now.” 

People rally on Capitol Hill in December in memory of Hamza Warsame, a 16-year-old Somali American who died in a fall from an apartment building.
Alex Garland

The sister of a Somali-American teen killed in a fall on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is asking the city’s Muslim community for patience as police investigate.

Hundreds of people unfazed by rain gathered Thursday night for a second day to raise awareness about the death of Hamza Warsame.

The death of a Somali teenager who fell from a Capitol Hill apartment balcony has raised questions in the local Muslim community about exactly what happened.

Seattle Police Department patch.
Facebook Photo/Seattle Police Officers Guild

David Hyde talks to Eric Rachner, co-founder of the Center for Open Policing, about why the center sued the Seattle Police Department to get years of GPS data recording the whereabouts of patrol cars.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Seattle is one of the cities that have turned the corner on policing.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she came to Seattle as part of a tour of cities “that have turned the corner” toward better policing.

She appeared alongside Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who all said Seattle has become a model for other cities.