Friday, March 30, 2012

The DOJ's SPD Smackdown Is Part of a National, Politicized Picture

Posted by on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

While the current drama unfolding between the mayor, the city council, the Seattle Police Department, and the Department of Justice is interesting, I'm also curious about the national picture.

About a year ago, noted that the Obama administration was (very publicly) pushing the DOJ to crack down on police departments with bad reputations:

In a marked shift from the Bush administration, President Obama’s Justice Department is aggressively investigating several big urban police departments for systematic civil rights abuses such as harassment of racial minorities, false arrests, and excessive use of force.

In interviews, activists and attorneys on the ground in several cities where the DOJ has dispatched civil rights investigators welcomed the shift. To progressives disappointed by Eric Holder’s Justice Department on key issues like the failure to investigate Bush-era torture and the prosecution of whistle-blowers, recent actions by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division are a bright spot.

There is no doubt that the SPD has deserved local and national criticism over the past few years for its habits of needlessly hitting, kicking, pepper-spraying, undercover-investigating, and beating "the Mexican piss" out of the citizens of our fair city. (And that blowhard Rich O'Neill, who runs the SPD union, only makes things worse—seriously, guys. Fire him. No matter what you think about the DOJ investigation or proper use of force, he's not doing your asses any favors.)

But it's worth remembering that Seattle's turmoil over the DOJ and its local police force is one scene in a national (and highly politicized) drama: Newark, New Orleans, and Denver are other places to watch while this thing happens.

Especially New Orleans:

The negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice that will result in a long-awaited order governing the operations of the New Orleans Police Department are now at a standstill, after the resignation of a federal prosecutor involved in the process over his copious online commenting about his work, a state lawmaker told a group of Uptown constituents Thursday night.

To venture a hypothesis: some of this is honestly and plainly about the DOJ smacking down high-handed, counterproductive city police departments. And some of it's about politics—and what kind of message the Obama administration wants to send to voters in 2012.


Comments (14) RSS

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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 1
George W. Bush telling the DOJ not to do their jobs was politicized malfeasance. That conditioned racist cops to think that that was the new normal. Not unlike Wall Street being taught that the law no longer applied to them.

Obama mildly de-politicized DOJ enforcement and nobody recognizes it any more. Up is the new down. Constitutional rights are now negotiable, a special upgrade you can buy, but you have to pay the cop union extra if you want them.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on March 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
" "the Mexican piss" out of the citizens of our fair city."

Actually he is an illegal so not a citizen.
Posted by Hombre on March 30, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
..."needlessly hitting, kicking, pepper-spraying, undercover-investigating, and beating "the Mexican piss" out of..." not to mention shooting dead in cold blood. Can't forget that one.
Posted by whowatchesthewatchmen on March 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this

Ancient urbard centers are cesspools of corruption and intolerance. Come to a modern exurb and experience the freedom!

Unity within diversity can be found on Kent's East Hill

Kent's East Hill is one of the most diverse areas in the state and perhaps comparable to any single community in our nation.

At a recent Kent School Board work session, I found statistical data indicating about 130 different languages are spoken in the district. Many of those languages and the corresponding ethic groups live, work and play on the East Hill.

"I never even heard of most of those languages before tonight," said one observer. People from throughout the world have come to the East Hill and have found reason to stay.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 30, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this

Perhaps also you cannot match the superior Kent Police Department, which is CALEA Accedited!!

What is your accrediation? Ah...I SEE !!!

The Kent Police Department partners with our community to:

Aggressively fight crime;
Impartially protect rights; and
Identify and solve problems.

The Kent Police Department is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 30, 2012 at 7:25 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 6
Um, WTF Bailo?? You're a black dude, right? You're seriously trying to make some point about suburbs being better? If you used real words, not your made-up bullshit about 'urbards' and 'exurbs', maybe we could understand your point.

As it is, you're about half a box of cheap wine into your make-believe land but nobody wants to follow you.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on March 30, 2012 at 7:31 PM · Report this

Initiative seeks Kent vote to make marijuana offenses lowest police priority

City of Kent voters might decide this fall whether marijuana offenses should receive the lowest enforcement priority by Kent Police.

Sensible Washington, a group that supports marijuana legalization, filed an initiative Wednesday with the city to "make the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of non-violent marijuana offenses, where the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the lowest law enforcement priority."…


The Colorado of Washington!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 30, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
You're a black dude, right?


Bailo is black like I'm Japanese.

There's nothing wrong with Bailo that thirty points of IQ and forty points of self-realization couldn't solve. "Women hate me because I'm a total asshole, how unfair is that".

What's interesting is that twenty or even ten years ago if you had put forth the LAPD as a model for other cities to follow you'd have been laughed out of the room. But that's what they are. They stopped pretending to be Joseph Wambaugh characters and started paying attention to the community they serve, and something rather miraculous occurred. Seattle needs to look to Los Angeles, as difficult as that may be to accept.

And officer O'Neill needs to move to Idaho, where his special gifts will be more appreciated, or at least not result in lawsuits. We don't want him here.
Posted by Fnarf on March 30, 2012 at 9:35 PM · Report this
Yeah, Bailo, you do know Seattle has already voted to make mj the lowest enforcement priority, quite a while ago now?

Also, if Kent is the Colorado of Washington, does that make Spokane the South Dakota of Washington? Or Washington the Netherlands of the United States?
Posted by SnagTop on March 30, 2012 at 9:39 PM · Report this


I don't see a CALEA ring on SPD's finger!

Yeah, "LeBron", choke, choke, choke when it come to top draw play!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 30, 2012 at 11:15 PM · Report this


I am the Yelm of your mind.

Pay your taxes, brain slave.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 12
Hmm, my mistake then. Clicking through to his profile (ughh), one sees a head shot of a guy I assumed was the real J. Bailo.

I have not met him in person, and I don't want to. 99% of sloggers fall into that category though. I'm not very outgoing.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on March 31, 2012 at 6:19 AM · Report this
Interesting article! I'm sure the discussion won't go away!

Posted by Tecolote on March 31, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
@1 is absolutely correct. uhmmm, yeah, brendan, stick to theater reviews, please, and keep your half-assed uninformed hypothesis to yourself.
Posted by what a hack on March 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this

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