Will anything be done about a biased and incomplete OPA investigation?

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Notes from the Emerald City
Will anything be done about a biased and incomplete OPA investigation?
By Amy Sundberg • Issue #19 • View online
Also a bunch of election news (looks like Compassion Seattle will be on the ballot in November) and some news about SPOG.

Between the excruciating heat and no SCC committee meetings this week (due to it being a rare week 5 in the month), this has been a relatively slow news week. You can catch up on this week’s Seattle City Council Briefing here:
Amy Sundberg
Good morning. May this Seattle Council Briefing divert you from the miserable heat.
OIG finds deficiencies in OPA investigation
Once again, Carolyn Bick has published an excellent piece of investigative journalism, this time about a partial certification memo from the OIG about the OPA investigation of a protest outside SPOG headquarters last September. The OIG memo states: “OIG cannot certify the investigation as thorough or objective, but OIG does certify the investigation as timely. Per 3.29.260 F, no further investigation is being directed at this time because OIG finds that the deficiencies of the investigation with respect to thoroughness and objectivity cannot be remedied.” You can read the full OIG memo here.
It is worth reading the article in full to get all the details of the investigation’s flaws, but perhaps the most damning quotation is as follows:
In other words, the OIG memo is saying that the OPA’s investigative report appears to be specifically designed to support the officers’ actions and their narrative, rather than approach the situation as a neutral body.
When we see a partial certification like this, where no further investigation is being directed even though the original OPA investigation was not found to be either thorough or objective, we see clear evidence of how the accountability system is failing the residents of Seattle.
The OPA has not released the CCS for this case but says they intend to do so soon, at which point Director Andrew Myerberg will be able to comment.
Election News
If you’re interested in this year’s elections in South King County, the South Seattle Emerald has you covered:
Today the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission voted unanimously to release mayoral candidate Andrew Grant Houston from the democracy voucher program’s $400K primary-election spending cap, due to Bruce Harrell’s campaign hitting the cap.
Daniel Beekman
The commission has agreed (6-0 vote) to release Houston from the $400,000 cap. https://t.co/NBq37k6OjV
Also today, Compassion Seattle announced they have collected enough signatures to get their measure on the ballot, and it looks like they’ll hit the deadline to be on the November ballot, which is what they wanted from a strategy perspective (November will have a much higher turn-out of voters).
Erica C. Barnett
Compassion Seattle just sent out an email saying they've collected more than 64,000 signatures to get their initiative, which would require the city to fund shelter by diverting funds from other purposes in order to "clear" encampments. That's about twice what they need.
Meanwhile, The Stranger published a story about mayoral candidate Colleen Echohawk’s change of heart over Compassion Seattle. She began by supporting it, but no longer does so.
Seattle Police Officers' Guild News
Illustrating the continued erosion of public mores, SPOG tweeted this week, taunting the community with news of a fatal shooting, implying the small amount cut from SPD recently caused this outcome. To be clear, there have still yet to be ANY police officer layoffs from SPD and their staffing plan was fully funded in the 2021 budget.
It’s also worth noting that after a long pause, there is a new batch of appeals from SPD officers over disciplinary decisions being processed by the City Attorney’s office. To put this into context, Paul Kiefer writes:
But the latest group of appeals reached the city attorney’s office as the next election for SPOG’s presidency looms on the horizon, as does the beginning of the next round of contract negotiations between the union and the city.
And that’s all for now. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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Amy Sundberg

This newsletter covers Seattle politics and policy with a particular focus on police accountability and criminal legal reform, while also referencing relevant news in Washington State and beyond.

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