Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County (BLMSKC) today filed a request with the City of Seattle Office of Inspector General for an investigation into Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) potentially unlawful actions against protesters during demonstrations earlier this year. It also asks for information on decisions to abandon the East Precinct and potential undue influence in SPD’s response to protesters.
This probe, along with another filed this week with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC), are together designed to ensure that elected officials and city staff are held accountable.
The request for an investigation follows a previous call for an inquiry by SEEC into alleged incidents connected to protests involving City Council Members.
“The City has asked for scrutiny in its work on behalf of residents, including on behalf of Black people demanding change,” the BLMSKC board of directors said. “These inquiries aim to help residents understand not only whether recent actions have been lawful, but if recent decisions are well-planned efforts to secure lasting change, or performances to score headlines.”
The request calls for a timely and transparent investigation by OIG into:
– Whether SPD used “less-lethal” weapons against protesters after the court told them not to.
– Whether SPD illegally surveilled protesters, using personal, non-SPD devices, and whether SPD illegally accessed personal records of protesters.
– Whether elected officials or city staff interfered with SPD’s response to protesters.
– Who at SPD gave the order, officially or unofficially, to abandon the East Precinct; whether officers used City resources to prolong that abandonment; and whether public safety was jeopardized.
BLMSKC additionally requested the Inspector General investigate whether anyone at OPA unlawfully or unethically shared internal information with the media about police actions or disciplinary decisions.
About Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County
Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is a grassroots, volunteer-run, social-justice nonprofit organization focused on the empowerment and liberation of Blacks and other people of color through advocacy and direct action. BLM Seattle centers leadership on Black femmes, women, queer and trans people organizing and taking direct action to dismantle anti-black systems and policies of oppression.