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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ex Cop Guns For Police Accountability Board Position

Tim Burgess, the recently elected ex-police officer on the Seattle city council is gunning for the Public Safety board position that currently deals with police misconduct and oversight issues that was headed by pro-accountability council member Nick Licata.

Not only is Tim Burgess an ex-cop, which brings about some conflict of interest questions into the mix, he was also heavily supported by the Seattle Police Officer's Guild during his election bid, which makes this a rather disconcerting development. The police guild, or SPOG, is the same organization that made well publicized, but unsubstantiated, claims against his opponent right before the election for supposedly threatening the police officer's union for not supporting his election bid... his opponent, interestingly enough, was also pro-accountability.

So, now that the police guild's candidate has won election, it seems that he intends to make good on that support by gunning after the council committee that has traditionally been the supporter of police accountability efforts. Given that he ran on his police credentials with the backing of anti-accountability SPOG funding, it's fairly likely that he will start to take apart any police accountability efforts that have taken place up to this point if he does take that committee's leadership position.

So, if he does manage to get the post, it is quite likely that we'll have to brace ourselves for even more reports in the press, and here, about police misconduct and prisoner abuse in Seattle. Because at that point, there will likely be nobody in elected government office who has any interest in controlling the out-of-control Seattle Police Department and the rabidly anti-oversight Seattle Police Officer's Guild. Not the mayor, not the prosecutor, and now not even the city council members who are responsible for police misconduct issues.

Seems that next year promises to be a very busy one for this site, unfortunately, so stay tuned...

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