police reform | KNKX

police reform

Kyle Fox / KNKX

This is part two of a conversation KNKX had with Claudia Balducci, chair of the King County Council. Listen to part one, which focuses on housing and homelessness.

In November, voters approved a change to the King County charter. The sheriff would be appointed, not elected. Under the change, the county executive will appoint the sheriff, and the King County Council will confirm the appointment.

Tacoma Police and other law enforcement officers stand in an intersection near the site where a Tacoma police officer drove through a crowd of people on Saturday night.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

10:40 a.m. Wednesday: Updated with statements from the Tacoma City Council and Tacoma Police Union Local No. 6.

Street racing, protests and a police officer driving through a crowd and running over one person: These issues were the focus of two back-to-back meetings Monday night in Tacoma. 

KNKX photo

King County will no longer be electing its sheriff. Voters approved a charter amendment that directs the county to appoint its top law enforcement officer. The County Council is planning how to go about making the change.

What to do about the police? That's a question being asked across the country right now, as protesters push for reform and sweeping change. It's been an issue in Seattle, too, and not just since this summer.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, center, speaks as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, and Deputy Police Chief Adrian Diaz, right, look on during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Four of the region’s largest police agencies will see big changes in the near future.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the City of Seattle is partially out of compliance with court ordered reform of its police department. U.S. District Judge James Robart said the city has a ways to go in terms of accountability, despite improvement in other areas.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

We aren’t aware of our subconscious prejudices and how they affect our actions. Researchers say this implicit bias plays a role in policing, helping to explain why people of color often receive harsher treatment from police than whites. Some police departments are trying to address the problem through training courses.

Will James / KNKX

It's been seven years since Native American woodcarver John T. Williams was shot and killed by Seattle Police. His death sparked the city's 2012 agreement with the federal government over use of force and biased policing.

Whoever is elected mayor of Seattle will be responsible for continuing to oversee changes in the police department.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The Seattle City Council approved an ordinance Monday to increase civilian oversight of the police department in a unanimous vote.

"There really is unity around this," Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said. "When we do get together and we do listen to each other, we can come up with this kind of solution."

The legislation calls for additional civilian staff for the Office of Professional Accountability, the agency responsible for investigating individual cases of officer misconduct.  

Paula Wissel / knkx

For the past five years, Seattle police have operated under a federal consent decree that requires steps to be taken to reduce biased policing.  United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to review Obama-era consent decrees to see if they should remain in place. But the review is unlikely to change the one in Seattle.

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Paula Wissel

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.

zeraien / Flickr

The Seattle Police Department has made “significant process” in an effort to reform a culture of excessive use of force and racially-biased policing, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said on Tuesday.

“We now have the building blocks to have significant longstanding reform,” said Durkan during a news conference held following a meeting with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey and Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels.

Tom Harpel / Flickr

The court-appointed watch dog monitoring the Seattle Police Department has completed his first report on the department's progress, and the report paints a picture of a police force moving unevenly toward reform.

Merrick Bobb and his team's job is to make sure police follow the plan to end excessive use of force and racially-biased policing.

How do you make sure there is genuine change within the Seattle Police Department? That’s what some Seattle City Council members are asking as the city gets set to implement a police reform plan mandated by an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

For the complete story, click the listen button above.