Seattle Police Agrees to Reforms on Use of Force

Move comes after scathing report from feds
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2012 1:27 PM CDT
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz speaks in front of Thomas Perez, the Justice Department's chief civil rights enforcer, about the reform plans.   (AP Photo/, Joshua Trujillo)

(Newser) – Seattle's police department has agreed to a series of reforms after the Justice Department alleged that officers in the city routinely used excessive force during even minor arrests, especially against minorities, reports AP. A federal monitor will oversee the changes, which reach "into almost every aspect of how police officers interact with citizens, from casual contact to the use of deadly force," in the words of the Seattle Times.

The end result of seven months of negotiations will be a "sea change" in how the force operates, says a US attorney. "We think we got it right." Among other things, officers for the first time will have to file a report whenever they point a gun at someone. They also must undergo better training not only on the use of force but on "bias-free" stops, and must abide by stricter reporting requirements in general. The greater the use of force, the greater the scrutiny they will receive. (Read more Seattle stories.)

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