SEATTLE – Councilmember M. Lorena González, chair of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans & Education Committee, issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge Robart ruled the City of Seattle is out of compliance with the consent decree:
“I appreciate Judge Robart recognizing and thanking the rank and file men and women and the leadership of the Seattle Police Department for their contributions towards the achievements we have made under the consent decree since 2012. Last fall, the City Council had the choice to accept or reject the contract with the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG). It was not an easy choice for many of us on Council but especially for me as the prime sponsor of the accountability ordinance in 2017. Ultimately, I and many of my colleagues voted in favor of the SPOG contract because we believed that SPOG members deserved a long-overdue raise.
“My colleagues and I articulated then three concerns, including the standard of review and burden of proof in labor arbitrations; the calculation, extension and/or re-calculation of the 180-day timeline for the Office of Police Accountability to investigate complaints of misconduct; and, the narrowing of the subpoena powers of the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Today, the judge discussed his concerns, which align with those expressed by Seattle City Council in November of 2018, and memorialized in a City Council resolution that was then filed with the U.S. District Court.
“I acknowledge that a signal by the Court that we may be partially out of compliance with the consent decree is not an ideal outcome. This is a message that we should all take to heart while we eagerly await Judge Robart’s written court order. When it comes to constitutional policing, any ground lost is simply too much.”