Federal decide warns politics is undermining Seattle’s consent decree

Police at the Seattle crime scene in 2021. (Photo courtesy of SPD Blotter)

Seattle Police Department staffing issues and Seattle City Council’s differing views on the future of the police force – which could widen after the November election and divisive politics – are just some of the obstacles the federal judge faces in overseeing Seattle’s assent decree with the Justice Department ensures that the city is found in full compliance.

Judge James Robart stated several times in a status conference hearing on Tuesday that, according to original estimates, it would take the SPD about five years to fully comply with the consent decree, and the city signed an MOU that the city signed with the DOJ in 2012 to Bias police and excessive problems to tackle violence. But nine years later there is no end in sight.

Robart blamed much of this on divisive politics, which he and the new federal observer said would undermine reform efforts, according to the Seattle Times, while warning that failure to address this issue could plunge the SPD into an even worse crisis.

As examples Robart cited the cut in the SPD budget or the complete abolition of the police in the past few months. He also made it clear that such measures would not be enough when it comes to compliance with the consent decree. In addition to defining numerous reforms that the SPD must adopt and implement, the approval decree also requires a certain degree of reaction, which already endangers the SPD’s current personnel crisis and would further jeopardize any budget cuts, as Robart previously warned the city council.

According to the new report, the SPD’s protest reaction did more harm than good

On Tuesday, he reiterated the actions and reactions of the Seattle City Council following the assassination of George Floyd and the subsequent racial justice protests that shook Seattle as an issue last summer.

“As I told you, my job is not to tell you what to do. It’s to make sure you did what you said, ”he said. “Here are some suggestions on how we can do this: The city, the mayor and other elected representatives of the city council must be constructive, not destructive, to move forward.”

“I saw too many knee-jerk reactions and too little foresight,” said the judge. “We need to be religious to further reduce bias and inequality, while recognizing that … there is an essential requirement for public safety.”

Robart also feared that the November election result and contract negotiations with two police unions would further slow the process down a temporary police chief who holds the top spot in the department.

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