This site is devoted to increasing public awareness of police misconduct and detainee abuse in addition to providing support for victims of police misconduct and detainee abuse. If you or someone you know have witnessed abuse or have been abused, please let us know.


This site is an archive of older content.

Please feel free to visit our new effort at

Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Analyzing The Guild's PARP Accountability Alterations

In order to help people understand how removal of the 180 day rule exclusion affects the remaining PARP recommendations I've decided to break it down a little bit better.

Here are all 29 of the mayor's PARP accountability recommendations, color-coded to link the interrelated items:

While not all interrelated items are interdependent, the following items are interdependent:

These items are specifically designed to deal with the loophole that allowed the chief of police to exonerate officers against the recommendations of OPA investigations that had recommended discipline, as in the Alley-Barnes case where officers were exonerated by the chief without explanation and one was promoted after severely beating a man in front of several witnesses without just cause.

Item 6 requires the OPA Director to sit in on Loudermill hearings between the chief, accused officer, and the officer's union defense in order to identify any new information revealed by the officer that was not revealed during the investigation.

Item 7 states that if an officer does reveal new information in the Loudermill hearing, that he must refer the case back to the OPA for further investigation in order to verify the new information and determine if it changes the outcome instead of just deviating from the recommendation on his own judgment.

Item 8 would give the OPA time to investigate any new claims made by an officer during a Loudermill hearing, without it, any new claims made by an officer cannot be investigated because the additional time required would force an exoneration because of the 180 day rule that states if an investigation goes over 180 days that it results in an exoneration.

Item 20 would force the SPD to terminate the employment of any officer who falsified testimony to the chief during a Loudermill hearing in an attempt to extend the process or force the chief to go against an OPA recommendation.

Item 25 would require the chief to provide written explaination whenever he deviated from an OPA recommendation for discipline.

Now... Here's the problem. The police guild has already stated that it has removed item 8 from the list, this means that if new facts are revealed during a Loundermill then the new facts cannot be investigated without risking an exoneration be default via the 180 day limit to an investigation. This also means that the OPA cannot investigate whether new claims made by officers in Loudermill hearings are legitimate and if they did they couldn't discipline them because the 180 day rule would expire, thus the nullification of this recommendation nullifies recommendation number 20.

Also, the guild has hinted that it has weakened item 20 in a Seattle Times interview to put a higher burden of proof on the OPA to prove that any new details revealed by an officer that extended an investigation would have to be shown without doubt to be an intentional and egregious falsehood.

Furthermore, the guild has hinted that it may have weakened item 25 in a Seattle Times interview, if this is the case then it would make the chief more inclined to exonerate against OPA recommendations since deferring an investigation back to the OPA when new details are raised at the end of an investigation would result in the same outcome.

So, the guild has removed one item and weakened two others out of a list of 5 interdependent items that were specifically designed to prevent officers from avoiding punishment by revealing "new information" to the chief at the end of an investigation that they hadn't disclosed during investigations... and by doing so, they can force an exoneration by forcing the investigation to go beyond the 180 day limit.

Now, the guild has said that the OPA can ask the guild to extend the deadline on a per-case basis, but consider this... one of the guild's functions is to act as a defense council to officers accused of misconduct, and in that capacity they act as a defense attorney during these investigations. If a prosecutor were to ask a criminal defense attorney if they could extend an investigation where otherwise the stoppage of an investigation would result in an acquittal, would that attorney allow the prosecutor to continue it?

No... and neither would the guild willingly extend the deadline to allow the OPA to discipline one if it's members. Without item 8, items 6, 7 and 20 are all rendered incapacitated. And since the guild may have weakened item 25, the whole set of 5 are rendered inoperable.

So, the guild has just killed off 5 of the 29 recommendations. We are waiting to see which of the 24 remaining recommendations have been altered as well, but by far, these 5 were the most important of the bunch as they were designed to address the very cases that started this whole mess.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics