The Seattle Police Department will not reinstate misconduct findings against six officers at the center of simmering controversy over officer discipline, the mayor’s office announced today.
The misconduct findings were reversed by Interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey last month as part of a review of pending appeals of discipline. But Bailey’s action was reopened to determine if all or some of them should be reinstated.
A review by Bernard Melekian, a special adviser to Mayor Ed Murray, found that the reversals were made in accordance with current procedures and should not be changed.
At the same time, Melekian found “serious flaws” in the current disciplinary-appeal system that need to be addressed, according to the mayor’s office.
The six cases were found to be different from a seventh in which Bailey reinstated a misconduct finding against an officer who threatened to harass a journalist observing a police incident last summer. In that case, there was a breakdown in the appeals process, Melekian found.
In that case, Bailey made the decision to lift a one-day suspension in favor of additional training, touching off a firestorm of criticism and questions.
The other six cases ranged from an officer who failed to arrest a domestic-violence suspect to one who lost a container with cocaine in it.