Demand Transparency in Picking Seattle’s Next Police Chief

The search committee for the next Seattle police chief is comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders representing Seattle’s marginalized communities, city agencies, and several members of the Community Police Commission (CPC), Seattle’s civilian police advisory board. However, last week when the search committee submitted the names of five qualified candidates to the Mayor to be considered for our next police chief, that list was cut down to three names in a secret process. Further, in the initial press event it was made to look like only three candidate names had ever been submitted by the commission. In dropping two candidates from the list without notice, only external candidates were under consideration, excluding Carmen Best, the current interim chief, the only woman of color, and a candidate with strong local support.

Many believe that the process actually produced the result it was designed for: eliminating women and candidates of color. It’s important to note that at least one of the 3 final candidates is seriously flawed (Frizell was demoted 2 ranks after his own staff complained about him), and that only one of the candidates has command experience. The finalists list appears to be set up to include only one clear choice.

Sounding complicated? The bottom line is that community leaders have lost trust in the process, many are calling for a do-over, and we should back them up.

Please call or write Mayor Durkan and ask her to fix it! If you are so inclined, please also contact your city councilmember. Let them know you expect them to refuse to approve any candidate resulting from this flawed process.

Mayor Jenny Durkan
206-684-4000
Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov

Seattle City Council
206-684-8888
Council@seattle.gov
Find your councilmember at https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council

Script:

"Hi, my name is [NAME] and I am calling from [CITY]. We need a police chief who has the trust of the communities most affected by racist policing. We need a transparent and fair process of choosing the next chief. Community leaders have lost trust in this process because two names were quietly dropped without consultation. Please listen to community leaders’ concerns and either put those names back on the list or restart the process."

Background links:

https://crosscut.com/2018/05/emails-show-uproar-over-seattle-police-chief-picks
http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2018/05/community-groups-call-for-restart-on-seattle-police-chief-search/
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/despite-mounting-criticism-durkan-defends-selection-process-for-seattle-police-chief/
https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/police-chief-finalists-leaving-best-out-a-serious-mistake/
http://www.startribune.com/former-mpls-police-official-s-wrongful-demotion-lawsuit-thrown-out/385324921/

Events:

National Day of Action for Children rally is TODAY at noon, 700 Stewart Street, to protest the separation of children from their parents to the US Attorneys Office: https://www.facebook.com/events/170024137004122/

Flip the 8th Canvases This Weekend - Knock on doors to take back the House!

Saturday June 2
When: 10-2
What: Flip the 8th Canvas Sammamish (Issaquah)
Where:Starbucks
4566 Klahanie Dr. SE
Issaquah, WA 98029
Sponsor: Washington State Democrats
Sign up: https://www.wa-democrats.org/ngpvanforms/7233

Saturday June 2
When: 10:30-2
What: Flip the 8th Canvas Bonney Lake
Where: Cafe D'Arte at Tehaleh
19001 Cascadia Blvd E
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
Sponsor: Washington State Democrats
Sign up: https://www.wa-democrats.org/ngpvanforms/6878

Saturday June 2
When: 10:30-2:30
What: Flip the 8th Canvas Auburn (Federal Way)
Where:Jump Start Espresso
29005 Military Rd S
Federal Way, WA 98003
Sponsor: Washington State Democrats
Sign up: https://www.wa-democrats.org/ngpvanforms/7203

Sunday June 3
When: 11-3
What: Flip the 8th Canvas Covington (Kent)
Where: Starbucks
27177 185th Ave SE
Kent, WA 98042
Sponsor: Washington State Democratic Party
Sign up: https://www.wa-democrats.org/ngpvanforms/6893

Sunday June 3
When: 1-5
What: Flip the 8th Canvas Ravensdale (Maple Valley)
Where: Gravity Coffee
23912 SE Kent Kangley Rd
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Sponsor: Washington State Democratic Party
Sign up: https://www.wa-democrats.org/ngpvanforms/7213