Members Present: Chair Girmay Zahilay, Vice Chair Kathy Lambert; Committee members Rod Dembowski, Reagan Dunn, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Dave Upthegrove and Committee Staff Nick Bowman and Marka Steadman.
Others Present: The parents and aunt of Tommy Le.
Virtual Meeting Highlights: The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Systemic Review of the Officer Shooting of Tommy Le on 6-14-2017. The League Observer attended the whole meeting attended from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Presentation of Systemic Review by Michael Gennaco
The Council heard the results of an outside review by Michael Gennaco, President of OIR Group, who previously worked as a Department of justice civil rights lawyer and lead attorney for L. A. County’s Office of Independent Review. Gennaco had also made similar recommendations in February of this year about the 2017 shooting of death of 17 year old Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens.
Mr. Gennaco stated that an Internal Review is to stop shootings from occurring. New law mandates Internal Reviews. The Sheriff’s Office still does it’s own review also.
Mr. Gennaco stated the following problems with the original shooting:
Q: Should departments review themselves?
Gennaco: Waiting 5 weeks to do interviews left out so many questions. Hard questions were left out as to the state of mind of the officers. Tommy Le was moving away from the officers and was shot in the back. Reviews are not open to the public. The George Floyd case changed all that. The public wants to know. Gennaco gave the King County Sheriff’s Office a C or B for its Reviewing Structures, but not a passing grade in application.
Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht: Stated she had had only a few days to respond to the Independent Review by Gannaco. She stated the King County Sheriff Office had structures in place and had made improvement since she took office in 2018. The public got less under the previous Sheriff. The Office is taking Gannaco’s suggestions for more complete discussion of officer-related shootings and had them at the time but they only showed in footnotes. They had modernized their tazers and given officers first aid kits for shootings.
Follow-up: It was pointed out that the Review Process happened under the current Sheriff. The Police Guild is trying to stop Systemic Reviews with which the current Sheriff disagrees.
The remainder of the meeting was taken up with Proposals that all passed unanimously as follows:
1. Proposed Ordinance #2020-0227- Adopting the updated 2020-25 King County Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
2. Proposed Motion #2020-0036 - Acknowledged receipt of proposed detention policy for youth report concerning solitary confinement concerns of damage to juveniles and youths tried as adults.
3. Proposed Motion #2020-0108 - Acknowledged receipt of first of two individual monitor reports as relates to the damage of solitary confinement to juveniles in county detention and continuance of individual monitoring.