Seattle Judge Moves Forward With Police Department Monitor Search
News broke this week that a Seattle federal judge who is overseeing a historic settlement between the city and the Department of Justice that looks to cut down on excessive force wants more control over picking a monitor to track changes within the Seattle Police Department according to the Seattle Times.
The recent reorganization of law enforcement control comes from a series of high-profile cases between Seattle residents and police officers. One of the biggest cases was the fatal shooting of John T. Williams, an American Indian woodcarver, in 2010.
James Robart, U.S. District Judge, approved the recent plan and set in motion the search for a monitor and a Community Police Commission on August 24 according to the Times. A time limit has been set in the monitor search, which Robart, has strongly stated is the top priority. Sixty days has been set for both sides, the justice Department and Seattle officials, to submit a name to the court for consideration as the new monitor.
In talking about the monitor position to the Times Robart said, “I view this as the linchpin to making this work.”
The monitor will also be responsible for making available public reports twice a year.
According to Reuters a joint statement released by both sides said, “Both parties look forward to working together with the monitor and the community to ensure effective and constitutional policing in Seattle.”
In referring to the job requirements for the monitor position Robart to the Times, “a lawyer … a deputy chief, a deputy mayor and a being able to change his clothes in a phone booth.”
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