Last December (2020), the Seattle Police Department (SPD) quietly released their proposed changes to their SPD manual, affecting everything from the use of force and de-escalation to crowd control procedures. These changes affect all of us on an individual level and as a community. It concerns the next person who could be shot by police. It concerns everyone that is in the streets every day and every night, protesting, demanding justice and equality. These changes should concern us all, because none of us know the next time we will be subject to these tactics and policies.
The policies in question will be discussed at a Town Hall hosted by Converge Media and the CPC on January 26th at 6:00 pm (PST). The Seattle Police Department, the Mayor's office, and (hopefully) the City Council are expected to be present. This is an opportunity that does not come as often as it should, so it is imperative that we all use it to let our voices be heard. It is essential that we ask every question, make every comment, and address every concern, holding those in power accountable for their actions and ensuring that we the people are not only heard, but listened to.
With over 120 pages of policy and confusing terms and definitions, we at SGPA have made our own summaries of each policy, breaking them down, and highlighting our concerns. These documents can be accessed here. We hope that these simplified documents will help you comb through all of the proposed changes and prepare for the Town Hall.
8.050 Use of Force Definitions
8.200 Using Force
8.300 Use of Force - Tools
8.500 Reviewing Use of Force
14.090 Crowd Control
An SGPA representative (Braxton Baker) will serve as a panelist at the Town Hall and we want to ensure that we are not speaking for our group, but for the broader Seattle community. We have created a form where you can submit any questions or comments that you might have for anyone present and we will do our best to make sure they are addressed during the Town Hall.
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