News And More Pressure Building on Nickels and Kerlikowske
posted by July 2 at 12:23 PMon
In the wake of the official release of the OPARB report—see Jonah’s post immediately below—the calls for police accountability (and Kerlikowske’s head?) are heating up. The Minority Executive Directors Coalition, an umbrella organization for minority non-profits, is holding a press conference in an hour. This is bad for Mayor Nickels who sought the MEDC’s support for his embattled chief.
In a column and follow-up Slog post last week about Mayor Nickels’s behind the scenes preemptive effort to head off criticism of SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske (a weird thing to do while the mayor is supposedly looking into accusations about the chief), I reported about the mayor’s failed attempt to get the minority community to play along.
From the CounterIntel column:
If Nickels is in earnest about reviewing the chief, why is his public-safety liaison asking groups—groups that rely on city funding, I should add, like the Seattle Neighborhood Group ($100,000 worth)—to write the council letters supporting the chief in advance of the review?
Other groups that depend on city grants, including affiliates of the Minority Executive Directors Coalition (MEDC), have also been asked to send in letters, according to one MEDC member, but are balking at the mayor’s heavy-handed strategy.
Balking, indeed. Today at 1:30, the MEDC is holding a press conference at City Hall to call for action. They just fired off this press release:
MINORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS COALITION OF KING COUNTY (MEDC) CALLS FOR SYSTEMIC AND PERSONNEL CHANGES IN THE SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
In an effort to protect the civil liberties and human rights interests of people of color and the poor in Martin Luther King Jr. County, the Minority Executive Directors Coalition of King County (MEDC) comprised of over 100 prominent community leaders of color, will be reaffirming their strong position on the need for greater police accountability; re-introducing their “9 Essential Components of Change for Greater Police Accountability” recommendations, first presented to the Mayor and to the City Council in 2003, and calling for Chief Gil Kerlikowske to be held accountability for his role and actions in cases of SPD police misconduct.
We’ll have a report on the press conference and the “9 Essential Components” and on specifics about the MEDC’s call for personnel changes in SPD later this afternoon.