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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Thoughts On The Romelle Bradford Case

Instead of updating the previous post on Romelle Bradford's win against the Seattle Police Department, I figured it best to put some additional thoughts about that case here.

1. About the proposed internal investigation and the city's lawyer suggesting that it would have been used to defend the city and not help the victim. Given past case histories (an example here) an OPA investigation into this same case would have definitely resulted in an exoneration finding because the OPA system is so biased. (Remember, internal investigations are not done by a dedicated internal investigation department but done by officers pulled right off the streets, who are then supposed to be trusted to investigate their fellow officers and pals. It's inherently biased and flawed... and the civilian oversight portion is utterly powerless).

Hence why the city's lawyers stated that if Romelle had filed a complaint with the SPD OPA, the city would have probably won the suit. The system isn't there to help victims of abuse find justice, it's there to cover up abuse. It's why we strongly recommend that victims of police misconduct never use the OPA complaint process without talking with a lawyer (several of them actually) first.

2. The lawyers representing the city want to appeal... of course they do, they have a no-bid contract with the city to defend all cases of police misconduct and have charged the city more in legal fees than what the city pays in settlements. I guarantee this, what the city will ultimately pay that law firm for their work on this case will utterly dwarf the judgment of $268,000 that was found against the city in this case. How's that for efficient and open government?
(The Seattle PI just ran a story about this exact same thing for tomorrow's edition! "The city will spend more than $500,000 -- perhaps a lot more -- as it pays for what a federal civil court jury found Monday was a violation of Romelle Bradford's civil rights.")
(UPDATE: The city filed an appeal on 05/30/08, of course)

3. As one commenter posed... "Can't wait to see the perjury charges against supervising sergeant" (for committing perjury when he lied on reports to cover for the arresting officer). He answered his own rhetorical question of course, the answer being never. Just as the city won't do anything that would actually prevent the same situation that landed them in court from happening again in the first place.

Why? Because the city would rather spend millions trying to cover up cases with a broken oversight system and keep misconduct cases quiet with hushed settlements than actually addressing the underlying problems and policies that still allow their police officers to get away with these kinds of antics without any fear of being held accountable for their actions.

Again we ask the readers which approach they think would be more cost effective and better for community relations, owning up to the problems and fixing them, or covering them up and continually paying for the same misdeeds over and over again?

4. Finally, we certainly thought this story would have gotten quite a bit of media attention... to date, only one Seattle MSM outlet (the Seattle PI newspaper) carried the story and one local independent paper (The Stranger) had a brief link to the story without commentary in their blog's morning news roundup.

Other Seattle blogs? Not a even a single damn peep!

Again, it just shows us why this site is so desperately needed in Seattle. Without attention these problems are only going to get worse.

Stay safe out there people.

UPDATE: Looks like a few more MSMs finally took up the story a bit late. The Seattle Times ran a pretty one-sided piece in defense of the city while KING 5 ran a piece that gave the victim a chance to speak... he plans to use his winnings to give more kids a chance to turn their lives around and get more needed resources for the Boys & Girls Club... That is, if the city pays up as the city attorney is looking to appeal the ruling.

Good luck Romelle, you have our support!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seattle wants a new jail:

http://highlandpk.net/noHPjail.htm

What we need is jail reform.

Packratt said...

Thank you for the comment.

Given the reporting done about the misuse of obstruction charges I'd have to agree with that.

 
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