The legislation codifies the Police Department’s bias-free policing policies and creates a means to bring a civil court action. It now goes before the full council on Monday.
The Seattle City Council committee that oversees public safety approved a proposed law Wednesday that codifies the Police Department’s bias-free policing policies.
The policies have been in place since Jan. 1, 2015, under the terms of a 2012 federal consent decree between the city of Seattle and the U.S. Justice Department, which required the Police Department to adopt reforms to address excessive force and discriminatory policing.
The proposed law, which also creates a right to bring a civil court action seeking remedies and monetary damages over alleged biased policing, now goes to the full nine-member council for consideration on Monday.
“This legislation sends a strong message that the City is committed to ensuring constitutional policing now and in the future,” Council President Bruce Harrell, who sponsored the measure, and Councilmember M. Lorena González, the committee chair and co-sponsor, said in a statement.
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“Even after the police department is no longer under the scrutiny of a monitor or federal judge, the City is committed to providing bias-free policing to all residents,” they said, referring to the consent decree.
Harrell, González and Councilmember Sally Bagshaw voted in favor of the legislation. Councilmember Tim Burgess abstained.