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Seattle City Council Reviews Police Reform Efforts

Derek Wang

Some Seattle City councilmembers are voicing some concerns about the latest plans to reform the police department. The City Council was briefed Monday by the city attorney and staffers from the Mayor's Office and law department. KUOW's Derek Wang reports.


The reform plan stems from an agreement between the city and the federal Department of Justice after the Justice Department last year found the police department engaged in a pattern of excessive force.

Among other things, the plan calls for the creation of a new civilian oversight board called the Community Police Commission.

At the time of the announcement, the commission was billed as having responsibilities about police reform, but the commission may not have a direct say on whether the police department is complying with reforms. Councilman Nick Licata called that "disturbing." Other officials said the details about the commission would be worked out in the coming weeks.

The structure of the reform effort also raised questions. It's based on two legal documents. Councilman Tim Burgess called it "strange" because only one document would be directly overseen by a federal court and an independent monitor. A staffer from the Mayor's Office said that's intentional.

The first deadline in the agreement is a little more than a month away. The city and Justice Department have until October 26 to pick the independent monitor.

I'm Derek Wang, KUOW News.

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