Among all the complaints of police abuse filed over a three-year period in Seattle, nearly half were filed by African Americans and others from minority groups, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Sam Pailca, director of the police Office of Professional Accountability, said that statistic was a shock, though she reviews every complaint that comes to her office. “It surprised me. The extent of it surprised me a great deal,” Pailca said.
To others, the finding confirmed a long-held belief. “We definitely believe that there is a disproportionate use of force, basically against people of color,” said Seattle attorney James Bible, president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP. Pailca released a 25-page report on complaints regarding police use of force. Her agency examined the 268 complaints of excessive forced filed in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Of those, 125 were filed by minorities. “It’s a pretty strong statement from the OPA,” said Sunil Abraham, a Seattle attorney who is studying the link between race and law enforcement through the Racial Disparity Project.