Following the verdict in Minneapolis, what changes and reform will look like when it comes to policing is still an open ended question.
SEATTLE — One day after the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, Seattle’s Community Police Commission is pushing for change at the Seattle Police Department.
The police commission says 66 of the 277 recommendations sent to the Seattle Police Department from the Community Police Commission, Office of Police Accountability, and Office of Inspector General have been fully adopted.
“We are at a place where we can always do more based on how we have seen things play out in policing.” said police commission Executive Director Brandy Grant.
Wednesday the commission launched its Recommendation Tracker, a database that allows the public to see recommendations sent to Seattle police and their current status. Grant said she hopes it can be used as a roadmap to reimagining public safety.
“We are always constantly at a point where we’re having to be reactive, where we can be proactive,” Grant said.
Seattle police officials said the department is scheduled to meet with the police commission next week to discuss pending recommendations and said the sheer number of recommendations listed in the tracker highlight inefficiencies in the current Accountability Ordinance created in 2017.
“The department takes seriously the input of these accountability partners, and indeed all of its many demographic, precinct-based, and micro-community advisory groups. Numerous recommendations have been implemented or are currently in process. At the same time, recommendations cannot be implemented in a vacuum of other staffing, policy, training, and budget considerations; nor, where recommendations do not align with best practices, state law, or are internally inconsistent among themselves, can [the Seattle Police Department] prioritize or implement responsibly without full consideration of unintended consequences or downstream impacts on other policies, practices, or duties,” the police department wrote in a statement to KING 5.
Across the country, police departments and governments are looking at how to move policing forward.
“I think there’ll be a lot of discussion about duty to report and use of force, and building back the relationships and the trust that they need to have a community,” said former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “While it feels in some ways policing was on trial, these are the actions of Derek Chauvin. You know, he was the one who left his knee on someone’s back and neck … So you want to remind your officers that you have your individual responsibility, hold your head up high [and] continue to do the good work that you are supposed to be doing.”
Best said she supports national and statewide standards for policing. That includes legislation like House Bill 1054, which was presented in Olympia earlier this year and would create police reform statewide.
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department has implemented most of what is presented in the legislation.
But Grant argues the changes the department has made don’t go far enough, especially with crowd management. Grant said the police department has so far declined 100% of the crowd management recommendation.
“We just are going to continue to push back that we want to see more from policing here in Seattle. And I think that’s fair,” Grant said.