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NAACP opposes Mayor Durkan’s “collaboration” with Trump Administration on SPD Consent Decree.

Mayor Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Best - Photo: City of Seattle Nov. 2019

NAACP calls for accountability measures in the Seattle Police contract before the Federal Consent Decree is lifted.

The Seattle King County NAACP made their voice heard loud and clear on Monday as they read a statement at the Seattle City Council meeting on Monday that made clear the organization’s total opposition to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s latest move to lift the Consent Decree that the Seattle Police Department has been working under for the last 8 years.

The Consent Decree was placed on the Seattle Police Department due to skyrocketing incidents of force that was used by officers against citizens. Most would agree that the incidents of excessive force and police brutality have dropped dramatically over the years thanks to the Consent Decree as well as innovative policing tactics and training that have been implemented. Most in our community would also agree that Chief Best has as well been doing a good job during her tenure as Chief.

However, the sticking point here is that Mayor Durkan wants to remove the Consent Decree before the new Seattle Police Department contract is finalized. What is holding up the contract? One thing is that community stakeholders like the NAACP and several others want more officer accountability built into the contract. The Seattle Police Officers Guild (the union that represents the police) does not. The NAACP points to the 2014 case around the officer Adley Shepherd who was seen on tape punching a woman that was handcuffed. He was fired but the union was able to get him his job back despite community outrage.

Basically, the NAACP is saying that Mayor Durkan is acting prematurely and not acting in good faith with the community and they also call into question the timing of this action in the middle of a State of Emergency in Washington State and the CIty of Seattle due to COVID-19 why the Mayor is choosing this time to take this action. According to the NAACP they will be working with Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s office and other community stakeholders to formally respond in opposition.

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