Mayor McGinn's losing battle to avoid a federal monitor to oversee police reforms
The louder the argument gets between Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the federal Department of Justice, the more apparent it is that a monitor is needed to oversee police reforms.
Seattle Times Editorial
REBUILDING community trust in the Seattle Police Department regarding use of force and concerns over discriminatory policing require an independent, outside monitor. Get over it, and accept it.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the SPD are in an ugly wrestling match with the federal Department of Justice over how to proceed. At the same time, the city is defending itself against a lawsuit brought by a Latino man whose treatment by police makes the larger point.
In theory, City Hall and DOJ are in the negotiating phase over how to move ahead. Right now the argument is over higher math and sampling. When the feds run out of patience, they can go into court and put the city through the wringer.
What does the mayor and his legal counsel imagine they are defending? The DOJ report found serious deficiencies in SPD training policies and oversight regarding use of force. The trouble started at the top, DOJ found.
None of this is news to those cuffed around and whacked with flashlights by a relative handful of officers.
Evidence in the lawsuit has found a shared, wacky rationale for profane, racist insults as a law enforcement motivational technique. One can only imagine how creative the language must get with blacks, women, gays and, maybe, even the Irish and Poles.
City taxpayers and anyone dealing with the cops wants to know they face a professional force that is well-trained, well-supervised and accountable for its behavior.
If anything, McGinn's obstinacy reinforces the need for an independent monitor on the inside.