Time Well Spent: Learning About the Nuts and Bolts of Police Accountability

Monday, May 2, 2011

On April 15ththe Seattle University Law School hosted a CLE (continuing legal education) concerning police accountability and police misconduct issues. All of the speakers covered topics that addressed the current climate for accountability in Seattle and across Washington state. Overall, the presentations were frank, not only in what we are facing as a community and the importance of maintaining our civil rights, but also the nuts and bolts of the law.   

Jennifer Shaw, the deputy director of the ACLU of WA, spoke on the systematic racism a person may face when encountering the criminal justice system and addressed recent developments in the police accountability field.  Her presentation was laced with humor, sweetening the undeniable truth that our criminal justice system is badly in need of fixing.

The second presenter, Colette Tvedt from the law firm of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, discussed criminal defense strategies.  Obviously passionate about her work, Tvedt used case examples, where police actions arguably amounted to outright assault.  While captivating the audience, she also highlighted the importance of active research and discovery by any lawyer who may decide to handle a police misconduct case. 

Lorena González, also of Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender and a recent recipient the Alumni Service Award from Seattle University Law School, presented on civil litigation strategies.  Covering common legal claims made under U.S.C. Section 1983 (the federal civil rights law under which victims of police misconduct may pursue claims) and common defenses used by police, she also gave tips on how to navigate complicated police misconduct cases. Gonzalez was knowledgeable and easy to follow when discussing intricacies of the law.

If you are interested in CLEs and other great events that the ACLU of WA sponsors and participates in, please check out our events page!  To receive e-mail updates on upcoming CLE seminars and advance notice for registration, join the ACLU-WA’s CLE listserv; just send a message to cle-subscribe@lists.aclu-wa.org

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