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Fri February 4, 2011
Friday morning's headlines
Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:
- Angry Crowd at Seattle Police Accountability Forum
- Investigation of John T. Williams shooting Deemed Fair
- Legislature Nixes Governor's Plan for Regional Ferry Authority
Anger, outbursts at forum on Seattle Police conduct
A Seattle police accountability forum at City Hall turned into a shouting match at times, and some demanded the resignation of Police Chief John Diaz.
KOMO News reports the goal of the Thursday night meeting was to restore trust between police and minorities.
According to The Seattle Times' Steve Miletich, some questioned the sincerity of the event:
James Bible, president of the local branch of the NAACP, interrupted the forum, angrily referring to it as a "puff piece" as the U.S. Justice Dept. launches a preliminary review into the Police Department's dealings with minorities.
The incidents include the shooting death last summer of a homeless woodcarver and racial language used in detaining a Hispanic man. Diaz says there is no pattern of brutality against minorities. He and McGinn promised they would work to improve officer training and community relations.
Review Shows Probe of Williams shooting fair
Meanwhile, a second review by an outside law-enforcement agency has determined that the Seattle Police Department's internal investigation into the Williams shooting was fair and thorough. A peer review by the Austin, Texas Police Department concluded that the S.P.D., "worked hard to produce the most accurate and complete investigation possible, according to The Seattle Times' Christine Clarridge:
The unidentified Austin reviewers praised Seattle investigators for allowing witnesses to talk about what they saw "in their own words without asking leading or prejudicial questions" and for photographing a re-enactment of the shooting.
The review did fault SPD for not taking DNA and fingerprints from Williams' knife before it went to the crime lab for testing.
Governor's Regional Ferry System Plan "Dead on Arrival"
The Washington State Ferry system won't be turned over to a group of counties anytime soon, if ever, after the chilly reception governor Chris Gregoire's plan has gotten in the Legislature.
The Herald of Everett's Jerry Cornfield reports that since Gregoire delivered her bill a week ago, not one lawmaker stepped up to pilot it through the Legislature, effectively sinking it without even the courtesy of a public hearing:
"It's in my drawer. It's not coming out," declared state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, (D-Camano Island), the chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee whose been opposed to the bill since Gregoire first mentioned it.
Edmonds Democrat Marko Liias told Cornfield the bill, "...has too many flaws."