The Seattle Human Rights Commission will hold a public meeting on police professional accountability from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the University Heights Community Center, 5031 University Way N.E.
The meeting is in response to recent news reports about the system for dealing with complaints of police misconduct through the Seattle Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability. A panel composed of members of government and community representatives will discuss the current system of police accountability.
"This is an opportunity for the general public to gain an accurate sense of how our system of law enforcement functions, and to offer feedback on the current OPA system," said Julian Wheeler, Seattle Human Rights Commissioner and co-coordinator of the public meeting.
Panelists will include Kathryn Olson, OPA director; Peter Holmes, chair of the OPA Review Board; Kate Pflaumer, OPA auditor; Regina LaBelle, legal counsel for Mayor Greg Nickels; Terry Carroll, chair of Mayor's Blue Ribbon Panel; James Bible, president of Seattle/King County NAACP; the Rev. Phyllis Beaumonte, Church Council of Greater Seattle; as well as representatives from additional community groups. Those in attendance will have an opportunity to pose questions to panel members and express their own views. The Seattle Human Rights Commission will utilize information from the event to develop appropriate recommendations to the mayor and City Council to improve the complaint process.
"The meeting offers a chance for officials from the police department and OPA to hear directly from community members while the City Council and the mayor's Police Accountability Review Panel address questions about the police accountability process," said Michael Fitch, chair of the Commission's Public Safety Task Force and also a co-coordinator of the meeting.
The Seattle Human Rights Commission advises the Mayor and City Council on human rights issues.