Officials and Guests in Attendance
The Commission members who were in attendance were: Douglas Wagoner, Joseph Seia Rev. Harriet Walden, Suzette Dickerson, La Rond Baker, Prachi Dave, Erin Goodman, Colleen Echohawk, Esther Lucero, Mark Mullins, Alina Santillan, Brandy Grant, Rev. Patricia Hunter, Dr. Navin Pinto, Austin Field, Tascha Johnson, Erica Newman, Katherine Seibel. Guests were Seattle Police Chief Diaz, and the new Counsel for the Commission, Edgar Sargent from the firm of Susman Godfrey.
The government officials were prepared, attentive and courteous.
Accessing the Meeting and Materials
The meeting started on time. I was able to observe the entire public meeting. I was able to see the agenda on the website. The meeting was accessible on Zoom.
Summary of Discussion
Executive Director Brandy Grant started the meeting by notifying the public how to make a comment, read the land acknowledgement and discussed her mixed feelings on the conviction of Derek Chauvin.
Chief Diaz of the Seattle Police Department appeared and talked about reimagining the Criminal Justice System. He discussed the need for Accountabiity in the Police Department and outlined some of the methods that the department has adopted to cope with expected disruptive demonstrations in the future.
After the attendance was called, the agenda, with the addition of an executive session called for by Suzette Dickerson, there was public comment by Howard Gale who called out the names of the people who had been killed by police in Seattle since the formation of the Commission, and felt that there was not more public comment because the community is disconnected from the CPC. There was then a long discussion by various Commissioners of their reactions to the previous day’s verdict of the conviction of Derek Chauvin.
There was general agreement that this was only the beginning of Justice and that the Commission had to strive for greater accountability on the part of the police.
Seattle Police Department Updates
Seattle Police Department’s Chief Grenon reported on the department’s readiness plan for the upcoming demonstrations in the Spring and Summer. They have studied the reviews of last year’s demonstration control by the CPC, IG, and OPA and they have incorporated their ideas. A large change is that there will be less of an obvious police presence at the demonstrations since that seems to provoke more violence on the part of the protesters. They will avoid forming a police line.
Department of Justice
Christina Fogg stated that she has read the methodology and the Monitoring Plan, and that she will be giving them her response.
City Council: Not represented at this meeting.
The Mayor’s Office’s: Dominique Stephens mentioned the intentionality of the office to support neighborhood parks for people to gather safely with the Community with no police presence. The Monitor Team’s Ron Ward said that they will meet with the CPC on May 5th to hear their response to the Methodology. La Ronde Baker called for the to be delivered early to the CPC so that they can study it carefully.
No updates from OPA or OIG.
Co-chair updates: There are two new commissioners: La Jaya Washington and Katherine Sebold. Only the latter was present and she stated that she has been active with the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
Executive Director Brandy Grant
She introduced the new Police Accountability tracker which is being released to the public today. It will increase transparency of actions by the police, and centers on the voices most affected by the Police. The CPC channel on YouTube will explain to the community how to interface with the tracker.
New CPC business
Rev. Hunter questioned the invitation of an anti-LGBT speaker to the police wellness committee.
Austin Field asked about he status of the officers who had been at the Jan. 6th rally at the Capitol
Douglas Wagoner noted the police use of force went up dramatically in 2020.
La Ronde Baker said that they would ask the OPA to update us.
Edgar Sargeant, one of the legal team advising the CPC introduced himself and noted the many aspects of the case before Judge Robards.
Work Group Updates
Reactivating the Police Response to Demonstrations group; some new work groups:
- Police Practice Work Group
- Complainant Appeal Process Work Group
- Strategic Planning Work Group
- State Legislative Agenda Group
- Community Engagement Work Group.
Commissioners are expected to work on at least two of those groups.
Public part of the meeting ended at 10:30, when the executive session began.
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