Civil Rights Groups Want Tougher Talk From McGinn on SPD

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee December 21, 2011

Thirty five civil rights groups say they are "concerned" Mayor Mike McGinn isn't quite committed to fixing problems with misconduct in the Seattle Police Department, outlined by the Department of Justice in a blistering report last week.

The Department of Justice blasted SPD for failing to monitor officers' use of force, calling the department's internal investigation system "broken."

In a statement released Wednesday, the coalition of civil rights groups—which includes the ACLU, El Centro De La Raza, Seattle Human Rights Commission, and NAACP—addressed McGinn, saying "some of your public comments give the impression of a reluctance to embrace the recommendations of the report" and called on the mayor to "make a strong public statement" on his plans for addressing problems brought up in a DOJ's report.

"We agree...that most Seattle police officers are good, dedicated public servants," the statement said, "However, the issues pinpointed by the DOJ...are longstanding problems. Organizations in the community have voiced concern about them for years. "

The coalition also asked to be invited to the table for any discussions on a consent decree.

Mayor McGinn's office was not immediately able for comment. We will report back.
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