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Seattle police officers challenge new use-of-force policies in court

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(File photo/KCPQ)

SEATTLE — There was a courtroom battle Thursday between Seattle cops and their own police department over new use-of-force polices.

Lawyers for more than 100 cops argued in front of a judge that their lives are in jeopardy because the policies restrict what they can do out on the street.   They claim the interests of suspects are being put above that of officers and the public.

“It restricts their ability to defend themselves,” said attorney Athan Tramountanas, after the hearing.  “The requirements of delay and de-escalation, and consideration of all these options, it’s not reality in a fast-evolving, dangerous situation.”

The policies went into effect earlier this year.  They are a mandate of the federal government, which had previously found that Seattle officers engaged in a pattern of excessive force.

The judge is expected to decide in two weeks whether the officers’ claims are legitimate enough to go to a full civil trial.

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4 comments

  • David

    I fear for my life whenever I see a police officer. Do I have the right to shoot the police on sight? If the police fear for their life they shoot unarmed citizens and pets.

  • B

    The police have brought these Federal Guidelines on themselves. It reflects a long witnessed trend of so called militarization of police. But not even the military operates under rules of engagement like we have seen from the police. The police culture of “us vs them” and shoot first and “let God sort em out” does not serve anyone. It’s time to reflect on the rights of the people enumerated in the Constitution, and a return to the culture of “serve and protect”. These police unions do not represent the interests of the public.