Officials and Guests in Attendance
In attendance: COC Commissioners- Co-Chairs La Rond Baker and Erin Goodman, other commissioner members - Reverends Walden and Williams, Suzette Dickerson, Prachi Dave, Joseph Saia, Esther Lucero, Colleen Echohawk, Douglas Wagner, Alina Santillan.
CPC Staff: Brandy Grant (Exec. Director) Nia Franco, Jesse Franz.
All participants were prepared, attentive and courteous.
Accessing the Meeting and Materials
The meeting started on time. I observed the entire meeting. A copy of the agenda was available on the CPC prior to the meeting. The meeting was easily accessible.
Summary of Discussion
The agenda was followed.
Public Comment: No one registered.
Co-Chair Updates: Co-chairs introduced 2 new commissioners, Victoria Beech, who is a Mayor’s appointee and Erica Newman, a CPC appointee. Each had a moment to speak. Their appointments will be confirmed at a SCC meeting on March 9th. Additionally, the selection of Brandy Grant as the executive director of the CPC will also be confirm.
Executive Director Update: Grant relayed that an onboarding process for new CPC commissioners is in the works. Grant noted that she had published an onboarding process previously with the City of Seattle and stressed the importance at providing people with information. Secondly, Grant mentioned the recommendation tracker and that they are in process to launch it, first sending to accountability partners and community partners. She mentioned that there will be a flow chart to show how CPC recommendations are or are not implemented. This will make clear the need for real authoritative power for the CPC.
Department of Justice (DOJ) update: Christina Fogg present, no update.
DOJ Monitor update: Ron Ward reported that the monitor team is meeting with the City and DOJ to finalize the plan to move forward with the third phase of the consent decree process. The monitor will update at the next meeting of the CPC. Reverend Walden mentioned that she had a question for the monitor had reached out and not heard back. The question had to do with police accountability and that SPD is out of compliance. Ryan Ward said that he would investigate it and bring it to the attention of the monitoring team and maybe they can also address it at the next meeting. Co-chairs and Reverend Walton were concerned that it does not get lost.
City Council update: Newell Aldrich reiterated that the confirmation hearing for CPC executive director and commissioners’ March 9. SPD will also report on their budget at the public safety and human services committee meeting on March 9.
Mayor's Office update: Austin Miller present, no report.
Office of Police Accountability (OPA) update: Andrew Myerberg provided updates; 1) investigation continues into the 6 SPD officers presence in DC on January 6th. All six officers will be interviewed in the next 30 days, and search of available video will continue, 2) OPA is also looking into an officer's refusal to wear a mask at a hospital. The results from that investigation will be available soon, 3) investigation into 2020 summer protests continue. They just completed the complaints from the investigation of the July 25th protest, and the next group of complaints to be investigated are those arising from the September/Labor Day protests, 4) investigation continues into 4 police shootings – findings will be released in March, April and more recent shootings will continue to be investigated.
Myerberg also reported that he is optimistic about legislative actions. The legislature is collaborating with Seattle Police Department. revisions in policies regarding use of force and crowd management continue. He is happy to discuss with CPC. The OPA annual report will be issued on 4-15-21. OPA is hiring an investigator supervisor, Myerberg asks that CPC please forward job announcement to good candidates.
Office of Inspector General (OIG) update: Lisa Judge reported that there is lots of ongoing work into systems aspects of SPD. They are looking into the complaint about mask wearing, they issued alert about a concern raised regarding SPD pursuits, also are working on developing an alert about SPD approaches people in mental health crises. Also looking at the existence of racism and extremism in law enforcement culture. Judge said their will be product related to the sentinel review sometime in mid-April. Lastly judge reported that the annual report for OIG will also be released in mid-April.
Update on Legislative Session:
Baker introduced new staff, Nia Franco who is the lead legislative advocate for the CPC. Baker also read Franco’s bio. Franco presented a table listing all the bills CPC is supporting, action CPC has taken and where the bills stand. The table is posted on the CPC website. She noted the next significant date for the legislature as March 9, which is the last day to pass bills in the house of origin. NIA request that commissioners be prepared to provide support for CPC supported bills including testifying in support. She noted that 2 commissioners had given testimony this legislative session. There will be postings on the website so everyone can keep track of legislation.
PowerPoint Update to the bylaws:
Goodman and staff Jesse Franz presented an overview of updated by-laws (2021) specific to the CPC communication strategy. The bylaws specify who has what authority to answer community questions and questions from the media. Goodman noted that one of the goals of the rewrite was to develop a roadmap to streamline responses to questions that require a quick response. Another focus was clarification regarding the policy about how commissioner may disagree publicly with a position taken by the CPC – in these instances, commissioners can respond to public inquires in an individual capacity, as a representative of an organization, but not the CPC. The goal of the rewrite was a clear communication strategy.