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