February 14 – Policing the Police

This month we will explore the challenges of citizen oversight of the Seattle Police Department (SPD).  We will be joined by several people deeply involved with police accountability and community engagement from various aspects of the system.  Our panel will be moderated by columnist and reporter Geov Parrish, and includes:

Pierce Murphy – Director of the Office of Police Accountability (OPA).  The OPA, an office within SPD, was formed by City Council in 1999 to oversee the intake, classification, and investigation of citizen complaints about SPD.  Findings and recommendations on disposition and discipline based on complaints are made to the Chief of Police.  The OPA Director reports to the Mayor and the City Council on OPA activity, issues concerning the professional conduct of SPD, and makes recommendations on improvements that could be made to complaint processing and investigation.  OPA is also involved in community outreach to promote and improve the citizen complaint process,.

Jay Hollingsworth – Commissioner with the Community Police Commission (CPC), which was formed in 2013 as part of the settlement agreement between the City and the U.S. Department of Justice following the federal investigation of excessive use of force by the SPD.  The work of the three year mandate for the CPC  is found in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes the community voice in ensuring bias-free policing and addressing the issue of use of excessive force.   The CPC has already made reform suggestions.

Stephanie Tschida – Chair, East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC), and long-time proponent of diversion and at-risk-youth engagement strategies.  The Precinct Advisory Councils are a means for citizens to meet with SPD leadership to discuss local issues.

Dawn Mason – former 37th District Representative, who noted the arrest of William Wingate last August, 5 months before it became last week’s headlines following SPD’s apology and return of the supposedly offending golf club.

Nikkita Oliver – activist and member of Outside Agitators 206, who insist upon accountability and reforms of the police and prison systems.  Nikkata is working on her Masters in Education and JD degree at the UW, and is part of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people.

Please join us on Saturday, February 14 at 9am for what should prove to be an informative discussion.

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