Seattle Police Make Changes Based on DOJ Concerns
Pending the results of a Department of Justice investigation into civil rights and use of force violations at the Seattle Police Department, SPD announces the creation of a new Professional Standards Division. SPD is also creating a Force Investigation Unit and a Force Review Board. The department is also reviewing protections used at the department under the Garrity decision. Garrity is a 1967 decision which protects law enforcement officers from making self-incriminating statements under penalty of losing their jobs. Apparently at SPD, officers routinely invoked Garrity to avoid making any statements about use of force at all under any circumstances, a broader interpretation than most law enforcement professionals understand to be correct.
The SPD interpretation of Garrity has reportedly interfered with the proper investigation of use of force issues.
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