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Councilmembers Burgess’ and González’s Statements on the Seattle Police Monitor’s Assessment of Use of Force

Councilmember Tim Burgess (Position 8, Citywide) and Councilmember Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) issued the following statements following the Seattle Police Monitor’s assessment that Seattle Police Department (SPD) has achieved initial compliance with the provisions of the Consent Decree between the Department of Justice and City of Seattle:

“The Monitor’s assessment is great news for our ongoing efforts to reform police culture and practice,” said Burgess.  “Seattle officers are documenting their use of force in a rigorous way, as never before. Overall use of force has declined, with moderate- to higher-level use of force in particular decreasing by 60 percent over the study period from July 2014 to October 2016. The Monitor found that Seattle officers used force ‘very infrequently’ – just 0.3% of contacts with people in the city in the study period involved use of force.  Changing culture is slow-going and hard work, but our city’s efforts are bearing real, positive results. The officers who are on the street every day deserve all the credit.”

“Today’s report proves the efficacy and importance of consent decrees,” González added. “This report demonstrates that agreements between local and federal governments enable a productive process for police reform without sacrificing public or officer safety. Seattle officers, SPD leadership and community have put in the hard work it takes to create a world where people feel safe in their homes, at their places of work and on our streets.”

Councilmember Burgess wrote on his blog today about his recent experience observing the SPD Force Review Board deliberate over cases.

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