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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