Seattle city attorneys have attacked the “reliability and trustworthiness” of the U.S. Department of Justice report that found Seattle police officers routinely use excessive force, even as city and federal lawyers attempt to negotiate a plan to fix the department, reports the Seattle Times. The city is challenging an effort to admit the Department of Justice report as evidence in a lawsuit against the city over an officer’s threat to “beat the (expletive) Mexican piss” out of a Latino man who was being questioned in a robbery two years ago.
The city argues that then-Detective Shandy Cobane’s “Mexican piss” remark was intended to control the man during a robbery investigation. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the department was “deeply troubled” by the sworn statements of officers, saying they appear to be attempts to “shortsell the unacceptable nature of this event.” The officers’ sworn statements have added to the DOJ’s insistence on imposing a court-monitored consent decree on the Police Department to address findings that its officers routinely use excessive force, the spokesman said. The DOJ has said it found strong, but inconclusive, evidence of biased policing.