Weeks of turmoil in the Seattle Police Department are threatening to engulf the hiring of a new police chief as a majority of City Council members privately urged Mayor Mike McGinn to reopen the search process, reports the Seattle Times. Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes raised the possibility of restarting the process as he assailed the police command staff over a highly publicized jaywalking incident near a high school in which a police officer punched a 17-year-old girl after she shoved him.
The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild favors Interim Chief John Diaz as permanent chief. The guild has said the other finalist for the job, Ron Davis, chief of the 39-member East Palo Alto, Ca., Police Department, lacks the experience for the Seattle job. A third finalist, Sacramento, Ca., Police Chief Rick Braziel, withdrew last week. McGinn is believed to be leaning toward Davis, but it is unclear whether there is enough support on the council for Davis. The police department has come under scrutiny over Monday’s jaywalking incident, which was caught on video, and is conducting a criminal investigation into the videotaped actions of two other officers seen kicking a prone Latino man on April 17, with one using ethnically inflammatory language.