U.S. and Seattle enter settlement agreement, or “Consent Decree,” requiring City to implement reforms “with the goal of ensuring that police services are delivered to the people of Seattle in a manner that fully complies with the Constitution and laws of the United States, effectively ensures public and officer safety, and promotes public confidence ….” U.S. District Judge James L. Robart orders that final approval will be entered after “City has achieved full and effective compliance and maintained such compliance for no less than two years,” or the “sustainment period.”
Mayor appoints 15 individuals to a Community Police Commission (CPC) created by the Consent Decree to “promote greater transparency and public understanding of the Seattle Police Department” and charged with reviewing the police accountability system and making any necessary recommendations. Members are representative of “the many and diverse communities in Seattle, including members from each precinct of the city, police personnel, faith communities, minority, ethnic, and other community organizations, and student or youth organizations.”
Following a scandal caused by a new Interim Chief of Police reversing several findings of officer misconduct and discipline orders, CPC provides Mayor, City Council, and City Attorney a thorough set of Accountability System Recommendations developed with input from civilian oversight experts and community leaders.
47 community leaders write to Court Monitor Merrick Bobb to express their support for legislation drafted to create a new Seattle accountability law.
Mayor signs the accountability law, which states, “the City shall take whatever steps are necessary … including negotiating with its police unions to update all affected collective bargaining agreements so that the agreements each conform to and are fully consistent with the provisions and obligations of this ordinance, in a manner that allows for the earliest possible implementation to fulfill the purposes of this Chapter…”
City Council approves a new contract with the Seattle Police Management Association (SPMA, representing captains and lieutenants) containing provisions conflicting with the new accountability law.
SPD’s Force Review Board (FRB) finds, by unanimous vote, the June 18 fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles to be reasonable, proportional, and within SPD policy.
Judge Robart orders City and DOJ to address impact of SPMA contract and FRB finding in the Lyles case on Court’s consideration of City’s motion to be found in compliance.
Court grants City’s motion and starts clock on the two-year sustainment period. However, Judge Robart notes, “if collective bargaining results in changes to the accountability ordinance that the court deems to be inconsistent with the Consent Decree, then the City’s progress in [the sustainment period] will be imperiled.”
City Council introduces legislation to ratify new contract with Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG, representing sergeants and officers) proposed by Mayor.