Police reform in Seattle isn’t happening quickly enough for some community groups in the city. The police department has been under a federal court order to overcome racially biased policing.
The latest skirmish in Seattle’s police reform saga comes in the wake of a status report from the federal monitor overseeing the reforms. Late last week, monitor Merick Bobb, who in the past has been quite critical of the police department, said he needed more time to assess what progress has been made before he can make a recommendation to the court on a police accountability system.
That prompted a coalition of some 50 community leaders of racial justice and faith groups to cry foul and demand speedier action. In a letter to the federal monitor, they point out that draft legislation to reform the Seattle Police Department’s accountability system, including a new use of force policy, was drafted last June after considerable input from police oversight bodies.
Among the groups protesting the slow pace of reform are the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, El Centro de la Raza and United Black Clergy.
For his part, Mayor Ed Murray released as statement praising the federal monitor for “setting a timetable" to respond to the recommendations for reform.