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Kudos to the DOJ! Now On to the Hard Work of Reform

I returned, very happily, from the Department of Justice press conference this morning. The DOJ’s in-depth report confirms what the ACLU has been saying and what many people of color and others have experienced – that the Seattle Police Department has engaged in a pattern and practice of excessive use of force. The report documents in detail the concerns that led us and 34 other community organizations to request a DOJ investigation. We are especially pleased that the DOJ is going to put in place a court order and monitor. Tom Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, was in Seattle for the release of the report and said it will be a “blueprint for sustainable reform.”

Kudos to this Justice Department and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny Durkan for taking seriously the duty of police officers to protect public safety while respecting individual rights. The DOJ has investigations of police practices underway in about 20 other cities as well.

Deeply disappointing are the immediate comments of the Chief of Police Diaz and the comments by Mayor McGinn. They should embrace the report, just as they welcomed the launch of the investigation

The DOJ found that Seattle’s citizen complaint process is broken, that there is a lack of accountability for excessive use of force, and that improved training, supervision, and leadership are needed to end by unacceptable behavior by some police officers. And the DOJ pinpointed that the SPD needs to seriously address concerns about discriminatory policing if it is to regain the trust of the community it serves.

It will require a long-term effort to bring about change in systems, culture, and training. And it will require true leadership from the top. The ACLU will be deeply involved in working with the Department of Justice, the City of Seattle, and community groups to implement that “blueprint for sustainable change” to ensure that the police effectively protect public safety while respecting the Constitution.

homeless in kent, wa.

All the reform in the world will not help if police and other government agencies will not comply, or if they do, it's the bare minimum of compiance, just enough to get uncle sam off their back. All the gestures of help and goodwill from the mayor of kent, wa., words of compliance from the police department, dont mean squat! They are empty promises from soulless, conscienceless animals! They think they are not subject to the same twists of fate like I or other homeless of kent have experianced to cause us to be homeless, and that they are better than us, like we don't deserve to be alive.... It's rediculous and heartbreaking to see mankind treating their fellow man worse than a stray, rabid animal.

Veterans discrimination

I have comiled the researched facts on SPD nad the Federal Way police polies and behavior towards vets. Compiled are practicess that both of thes police a gencies are entraping and with so many soldierrs returning Some bear Disabilities that are no visible TBI AND PTSD. I am sending this to the ACLU do to the fact that if this type of behavior continues its just a matter of time before some vets are goint to start protesting and possibly worse. Here are the areas both depts. violate each day.

Dear Mr Knapp,

First let we wish you and your family seasons greetings. I am sure you are following the news about the SPD. But in one of my groups I have had many Vets say the worst PDs are Federal Way and SPD. What has become apparent to many is that these PDS use intimidation to make these cases use or causing you react so you can be charged with something, If they nothing and you have committed no crime they charge you for obstruction. Because they do not want to be wrong. Below I have researched the complaints of those and came up with the following. Keep in mind that there are a lot of Vets returning and all their wounds are not visible. I can see this coming so I thought you might with your Federal Way voice that we are one incident from the PDS being targeted. Simple truth is Vets have seen the working end of a AK 47 assault rifle. So the police do not intimidate us. But to see a officer with a AR 15 WITH a 9mm strapped, is a trigger to a lot of vets.

Deadly force, as defined by the United States Armed Forces, is the force which a person uses, causing—or that a person knows, or should know, would create a substantial risk of causing—death or serious bodily harm. In most jurisdictions, the use of deadly force is justified only under conditions of extreme necessity as a last resort, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.
Note we treated detainees better and we quoted the rules of engagement and deadly force each day. How many officers can recite by heart when asked???? You will be surprised what you find.


The inducement, by law enforcement officers or their agents, of another person to commit a crime for the purposes of bringing charges for the commission of that artificially-provoked crime. This technique, because it involves abetting the commission of a crime, which is itself a crime, is severely curtailed under the constitutional law of many states

Among the recommendations: mandatory steroid testing after an officer has used deadly force (even if nobody died); hiring preference for recruits with a college degree; simultaneously referring criminal investigations of an officer to the county and city prosecutors for possible felony and misdemeanor charges, respectively; county-wide protocols for all officer-involved deaths; and monthly reports on officer-discipline investigations.
Note Police should be randomly as a mandatory to checked Monthly or Bi Monthly for illegal drug use and/or alcohol abuse. And steroid use.

When Police Come Down Too Hard

Information that is voluntarily disclosed to a police officer (after the person has been properly warned) is generally admissible at trial. The key word is "voluntary." Police officers are not allowed to use physical force or psychological coercion to get a suspect to talk to them. In addition, any evidence that the police obtain as the result of a coerced statement is equally inadmissible.

Handcuffs are to be used: Whenever a person is arrested or taken into custody, regardless of age or sex, in a manner which is consistent with this Rule, unless exigent circumstances exist which make it justifiable for an officer not to do so; in which case, the officer(s) responsible shall be prepared to justify his failure to use handcuffs.

"They have charted a course of claiming responsibility for the maintenance of public order and the prevention of crime, yet their resources in the sense of public consensus and the level of cooperation that facilitates effective action are diminishing. They are the target for ever-increasing public demand for a level of public order and crime prevention they cannot possibly fulfill. They, like any other reasonable organization faced with an uncontrollable environment, an indifferent audience seldom moved to cooperative action, and massive discrepancies between their claims and their accomplishments have resorted to the dramatic management of the appearance of effectiveness."

The "dramatic management of the appearance of effectiveness"—both within the police hierarchy and in interactions between the police and the public—forms the core of Manning's discussion. He approaches it from a historical perspective beginning with the first London Metropolitan Police, and shows how the police mandate was gradually transformed from simple protection of citizens and their property from the "dangerous classes" to the paramilitary "crime-fighting" of today. The myths and rituals surrounding police work—both within and beyond the police organization—are examined, as are the evolution of police policy and the inherent contradictions of police-community relations. The police, Manning contends, are not really in the crime-control business. What they spend most of their time doing—and do badly because they do not consider it "real" police work—is supplying human services. As long as they encourage the public to think of them as "crime-fighters," which in today's complex society they cannot possibly be, and refuse to develop new modes of crime control and service delivery, they will be caught in the middle of public and political controversy.

Police Brutality: The Use of Excessive Force"

David Mangan

Drury University


Members of the police force are government officials who enforce the laws and maintain order. They are engaged in a dangerous and stressful occupation that can involve violent situations that must be controlled. In many of these confrontations with the public it may become necessary for the police to administer force to take control of a situation. Sometimes this force takes the form of hand-to-hand combat with a suspect who resists being arrested. The police do have strict guidelines to follow when using force. Force should be used in only the minimum amount needed to achieve a legitimate purpose. The New York Police Department has these five stages set through which the use of force can progress. 1) verbal persuasion, 2) unarmed physical force, 3) force using non-lethal weapons, 4) force using impact weapons, 5) deadly force (AIUSAPolice Brutality 1999:2). They also have many tools at their disposal when the need for using force arises. These include the police baton, mace, tasers, handcuffs, police dogs, and firearms. An officer of the law can be properly trained to administer the law in an unbiased way that will not violate a citizen’s rights, however, this is not happening across the United States.

According to a recent Amnesty International study, there are thousands of reports each year of assault and ill treatment against officers who use excessive force and violate the human rights of their victims (AIUSA Rights 1999:1). Police officers are injuring and even killing people through the use of excessive force and brutal treatment. A significant problem in this area is that police behavior is abusive of civilian rights, but it is also considered necessary and appropriate police procedure (Geller, 1996:7). In many cases police go too far when they excessively punch, kick, beat, and shoot people who pose no threat. Injuries and sometimes death result from the police use of restraints, chemical sprays, electro-shock weapons, batons, dogs, flashlights, radios, and guns (AIUSA Rights 1999:1-3). Police brutality cases have received more attention due to some of the high profile cases that reach the media. The use of excessive force is a criminal act, it is in fact a type of white collar crime.
I am willing to go to any police event or meet with officers to help with our public forum to protect our officers and the community. I am starting with the local Steilacoom police. To address ways we can address Vets issues and to make the community safer. On that note do you realize that 1 in three Vets in jail are mentally disturbed. Well I have taken up enough of mentally disturbed. Well I have taken up enough of your time.
John DuBose

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