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Friday, February 1, 2008

We Need More Investigative Stories Like These!

The Seattle Post Intelligencer had a couple of pretty good investigative articles this week about corruption at the Seattle Police Department, specifically their failure to hold officers accountable for misconduct. Their first story came on Tuesday, "Cops Who Lie Don't Always Lose Jobs" which centered on cases of dishonesty in sworn statements by officers that went undisciplined in Seattle, specifically, of 13 cases where the actual finding of dishonesty was sufficient to have normally deserved dismissal, nobody was dismissed.

The follow-up article, "The Strong Arm Of The Law" that came out yesterday examined how the Seattle Police Department hasn't disciplined any officers for unnecessary force in the past 18 months, during a time when it ruled on at least 161 force cases. During that same period, 12 other excessive-force complaints resulted in supervisory intervention with officers (supervisory intervention means the officer was referred to additional training).

This second article goes on to focus on one officer involved in three cases of excessive force during that time period, one of those cases involved the officer performing a combination arm hold and leg sweep from behind on a 125 lb unarmed female with a clean record that resulted in the woman being sent face first to the sidewalk and then to an operating table with compound facial fractures that almost left her blind... all because she yelled legal advice to a friend of her's who the officer arrested.

...of this training the officers were sent to, the trainer criticized the officer in this incident for not being aggressive enough!

Let me say this again... The Seattle Police Department sends Officers who are found to be guilty of excessive force to a martial arts trainer for retraining and that trainer insists officers are not being excessive enough with their use of force!

In any case, I was hoping that the Seattle PI wasn't done with this series of reports, but since there wasn't anything new today, I'm thinking they are... even though I know there are a lot more things that the SPD does that it shouldn't.

But, in any case... Be safe out there, because those officers found guilty of brutality are being trained to be even more brutal by the SPD.

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