Topic: Seattle Police Department
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November 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM
A drive-by shooting occurred in South Seattle this evening, but no one was injured despite a window being shot out in a car occupied by four people, according to the Seattle Police Department.
Police responded just after 5 p.m. to a report of gunfire near the intersection of Rainier Avenue South and South College Street, according to the department’s online blotter.
Officers found a vehicle, with four males inside, that had been hit by a bullet, with the driver’s side window shot out and another window cracked. The victims told police they had no idea why anyone would open fire on them.
A witness in another vehicle told police the shot might have come from a white van.
November 27, 2013 at 2:35 PM
Assistant Chief Nick Metz, one of the most visible and longest serving members of the command staff in the Seattle Police Department, is being removed in the wake of a highly critical report on the progress of police reforms, according to sources familiar with the move.
As part of continuing shake-up in the top ranks, Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel has given Metz an ultimatum: take an assignment to captain or accept a severance package, the sources said.
In an emotional written message to the community and department this afternoon, Metz said he has accepted the change and pledged to serve the city with the “same level of care and professionalism that I promised when I took my oath over thirty years ago.”
Pugel’s action represents the most dramatic personnel fallout since the city entered into a July 2012 settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing.
Word of the decision has swept through the department, sending shock waves through the ranks.
Metz declined to comment.
As part of the changes, Capt. Carmen Best, who heads the South Precinct, is to be promoted to assistant chief, one source said. Capt. John Hayes Jr. will take her spot in the South Precinct, the source said.
Pugel earlier this week informed the department of the demotion of Assistant Chief Dick Reed, who asked to return to the rank of captain.
Reed has overseen the department’s technology and data-collection operations, which came under sharp criticism in a Nov. 15 draft report by the federal monitor overseeing the city’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice. The agreement calls for reforms to address the use of excessive force and biased policing.
The draft report from the monitor, Merrick Bobb, also cited resistance to the reforms in the top ranks of the Police Department, although he did not provide names.
Previously, Metz served as one of two deputy chiefs, the second highest rank in the department, until Pugel eliminated the position when he became interim chief in April. Metz was moved to the rank of assistant chief, where he currently oversees the Investigations Bureau.
Metz, 51, joined the Police Department in 1983. He was promoted to assistant chief in October 2001.
Metz previously headed the Patrol Operations bureau, at a time when the department came under scrutiny.
City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the council’s public-safety committee, said today that Pugel had been asked who should be held responsible for public perceptions about decades of misconduct.
Pugel was asked to seriously look at the issue and make changes he believed to be appropriate, Harrell said.
“We’re asking him to make tough decisions,” Harrell said.
November 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM
The 82-year-old man arrested after he allegedly shot another man in Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission last month likely will not face criminal charges.
Roger Mize was arrested Oct. 30 after Darren “Jerome” Nelson, 45, was shot twice just before noon as both men were lining up in the Pioneer Square mission for lunch, according to Seattle police. The two were among the 70 or so men waiting to be let into the cafeteria when they apparently began arguing over money, shelter staff and police said.
The shooting is believed to be the first ever at the mission, which is more than 80 years old.
After his arrest, Mize told police that Nelson had tried to assault and rob him. Police released him a short time later ”pending further investigation,” police spokesman Mark Jamieson said at the time.
Police this week said they have determined that Mize was acting in self-defense and doubt that charges will be filed. A spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office said police have not forwarded a case to them.
Mize has no criminal history, according to a law-enforcement source.
Police said Nelson was taken to Harborview Medical Center. However, Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said this morning there was no record of a patient under that name, even for a discharge.
November 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Police have arrested a 32-year-old Renton man in connection with the slaying of a woman whose body was found Oct. 4 near the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
The suspect has been booked into the King County Jail on murder and drug charges, police said.
Police this morning released few details about what led to the man’s arrest other than to say it was the result of the combined efforts of homicide detectives, CSI, Technical Support Unit and SWAT. Police said members of the community helped to identify the suspect.
Detective Renee Witt told seattlepi.com the suspect is an “associate” of the victim who claims the slaying was an “accident.”
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Jowanna Gooden, 26, who died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police said they believe she was killed elsewhere and her body left by the trail.
Officers were called to a stretch of trail in the 2400 block of North Northlake Way around 4:30 a.m. Oct. 4 after a passer-by called 911 to report finding Gooden’s body, police said.
Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said investigators “do not believe the woman was randomly targeted.”
November 26, 2013 at 11:21 AM
A federal judge today denied a citizen commission’s request to formally intervene in court-ordered Seattle police reforms and refused to grant delays the panel had requested to offer its views regarding policy changes.
But in a 19-page order, U.S. District Judge James Robart permitted the Community Police Commission (CPC) to file memorandums with the court “commenting on any issue or motion” raised as part of the City of Seattle’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing in the Police Department.
Robart also granted “compromise” delays offered by federal attorneys to allow the CPC, which was created as part of last year’s settlement agreement, more time to comment on bias-free policing, brief detentions of citizens and the Police Department’s community outreach.
However, Robart denied the CPC’s request to extend deadlines to comment on use-of-force training curricula, an early-intervention system to identify problem officers and policy manual for the Police Department’s internal-investigation unit, the Office of Professional Accountability.
Robart’s ruling represented a victory for federal attorneys, who objected to the CPC’s request to intervene, saying it would cause undue delay in the reform. They also fully objected to some of the delays sought by the CPC.
In his ruling, Robart wrote that “permitting intervention would likely result in undue delay without a corresponding benefit to existing litigants, the court, or the process of reform because the existing parties are zealously pursing the same ultimate objectives as the CPC.”
November 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Update at 4:30 p.m.:|
The wheelchair has been found after the family put up fliers in their neighborhood, according to Seattle police.
Police say that someone called in an anonymous tip reporting the wheelchair had been found in a backyard. It’s unclear whether the tipster was the thief or a good Samaritan.
Someone stole a wheelchair belonging to a 4-year-old girl from outside her Seattle home, police said.
Seattle police were called to the home in the 1700 block of 13th Avenue South Saturday morning after a mother called 911 to report that someone had stolen the girl’s wheelchair. The mother told officers the family had last seen the wheelchair at 2 a.m. after they left it at the bottom of the stairs outside their home.
The mother told officers the wheelchair was built to the specific measurements for her daughter, and said she had no idea why anyone would steal it.
The wheelchair is black and has stroller-style handlebars and a hand brake, police said.
November 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Dick Reed, an assistant chief in the Seattle Police Department, has asked to take a voluntary demotion to captain in a highly unusual shake-up at the top ranks of the department, according to two sources familiar with the change.
The move comes shortly after a federal monitor handed the city a scathing draft report Nov. 15 on the progress of court-ordered police reforms, which highlighted significant lapses in data collection that occurred under Reed’s command.
As head of the Field Support Bureau, Reed’s duties included supervision of information technology.
Reed, 52, who joined the department in 1985, was granted his request to be returned to his previous job overseeing the 911 call center, the sources said.
Reed was promoted to captain in 2006 and served as director of the 911 center, where he led a staff of more than one hundred employees. He became an assistant chief in 2008.
It is rare for an assistant chief to take a reduction in rank.
Reed is to be replaced by Capt. Mike Washburn, 50, who joined the department in 1986. He will join five other assistant chiefs in the department brass.
Reed’s job as assistant chief was widely viewed by observers as being in jeopardy in the wake of the draft report from the federal monitor, Merrick Bobb, who cited errors and problems with data collection essential to the reform effort.
Bobb’s report also cited resistance among some in the Police Department’s top ranks to reforms, which were the subject of a settlement agreement last year between the city and the Department of Justice to curtail excessive force and biased policing. Bobb also faulted the Police Department over what he described as failures in reviews of shootings by officers.
Reed informed Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel of his decision last week, one source said.
Pugel initially made changes at the top ranks of the department after Mayor Mike McGinn named him as interim chief in April to replace retiring Police Chief John Diaz.
In that case, Pugel reduced deputy chiefs Clark Kimerer and Nick Metz to the rank of assistant chief in what was seen by some in and outside the department as a move to address concerns about the progress of reforms.
November 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM
Two people were rescued in Shilshole Bay early Saturday after one fell off a 40-foot sailboat and the other ended up in the water trying to help.
Three friends spent about 45 minutes trying to get the two men back on the boat, then called 911 at about 3:30 a.m., said Sue Stangl, Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman. The two men were wearing life jackets when authorities arrived, she said, which helped them stay afloat in the frigid water.
“In my opinion, that saved them,” Stangl said. She did not have the ages of the two men, but said they were not teenagers or young adults.
After receiving the 911 call, the Seattle Police Department sent one of its harbor patrol boats, and the Coast Guard responded as well, as did the King County Sheriff’s Office with a helicopter, Stangl said. The people on the sailboat, who were about a mile offshore, sent up flares so authorities could find them, Stangl said.
The two men had symptoms of hypothermia, and were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
The Coast Guard vessel accompanied the sailboat back to the marina, Stangl said.
November 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Facing critical issues in the Seattle Police Department, Mayor-elect Ed Murray today named a former federal official to advise him on law enforcement and public-safety matters during the transition.
Bernard K. Melekian, president of The Paratus Group, a law enforcement consulting company based in Santa Barbara, Calif., previously served four years as director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
He also served for 13 years as chief of the Pasadena, Calif., Police Department, beginning in 1996. His experience includes conducting internal reviews for the Oakland and Los Angeles police departments.
The Seattle Police Department is currently under a federal court order requiring it to adopt reforms to curtail excessive force and curb biased policing — issues cited by the Department of Justice in a 2011 report. Just last week, the federal monitor overseeing the reforms submitted a draft report to the city that sharply criticized the police department for resistance among some in the top ranks, error-ridden data production and faulty reviews of shootings by officers.
In a statement, Murray said, “During the campaign I talked about how public safety will be job one for my administration. Broadly speaking, this means restoring the morale of (the) police force, making critical reforms to our police force, and, ultimately, building confidence in our police force across our many diverse communities.”
Murray said Melekian has extensive experience in government, academic research and as a consultant to the private sector.
November 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM
Seattle police have arrested a man suspected of shooting another man in the knee last week during an attempted robbery.
The shooting occurred just after noon on Nov. 12 near the intersection of Renton Avenue South and South Ryan Street when the gunman attempted to rob the victim of his iPhone. The victim resisted and was shot during a struggle, police said.
Seattle police said robbery detectives developed information on the 20-year-old suspect, who was located yesterday at his Renton home. Police arrested the suspect as he was driving away from the house. A handgun was seized from underneath the front passenger seat, according to police.
The suspect was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery and assault warrant, police said.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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