If you've been tracking the story of Seattle Police chief Harry Bailey's recent actions to remove misconduct findings against officers with some confusion and/or anger, you are certainly not alone. The city council seems super-annoyed that as they try to watchdog the police department, even they can still discover brand-new ways cops can get off the hook.
So public safety committee chair Bruce Harrell has convened a special meeting tomorrow at 2 p.m. "to discuss the Police Chief’s disciplinary review process and the Office of Professional Accountability’s investigative review of police misconduct." In a press release, the agenda is outlined as follows:
The purpose of the committee meeting is to hold an open and transparent discussion regarding the following issues:
1) Chief Bailey’s decision and explanation of his disciplinary review process and plan moving forward; how does the Chief arrive at settlement process?
2) Provide clarification on the current Office of Professional Accountability complaint process.
3) Provide clarification on the Grievance Procedure under Appendix A of the Seattle Police Officers Guild contract.
4) What are the questions raised to improve the process in resolving grievance cases in a timely manner and work plan to identify a solution?
Harrell has invited nearly a dozen important players, though he doesn't say whether they've agreed to attend. The full list is below the jump, but includes Chief Bailey, City Attorney Pete Holmes, and Office of Professional Accountability director Pierce Murphy, along with several mayor's office representatives. Says Harrell: “As we implement the Department of Justice’s Settlement Agreement and search for a new permanent Police Chief, we must send a clear signal that police misconduct will not be tolerated."
Look, I don't usually recommend that people watch entire city council hearings, because whenever my non-work friends catch me watching them, they give me looks of extreme pity. But this is a time when open government is your friend. If you have basic cable, you get the Seattle Channel; if you don't, you can watch city council meetings live online right here. There is a good chance that some real shit will go down out in the open at this meeting, when representatives of the police department, mayor's office, and the city's legal team will have to explain directly to the legislative body just what the fuck is going on—and where we go from here to fix the accountability system. Tune in, if you can.
1) Harry Bailey, Interim Chief of Police
2) Tag Gleason, Assistant Chief Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau
3) Pete Holmes, City Attorney
4) Jean Boler, Law
5) Hyeok Kim, Deputy Mayor
6) Tina Podlodowski, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Policy and Innovation
7) Barney Melekian, Mayor’s Office
8) Pierce Murphy, Director of the Office of Professional Accountability
9) Susan Coskey, Personnel
10) David Bracilano, Labor Relations
11) Fe Lopez, Interim Director Community Police Commission