Interim Seattle Chief-Designate Questions Federal Finding On Police Use of Force Level


Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel, who will become interim chief on the retirement of John Diaz, tells the Seattle Times he has seen positive changes in the department as a result of the settlement agreement between the city and the U.S. Justice Department, but he questions the federal findings that Seattle police engaged in a pattern of excessive force. Last month, a federal judge approved a first-year plan to overhaul the Seattle department, after the Justice Department found that 20 percent of police use-of-force incidents were excessive and that officers had displayed evidence of biased policing. Pugel met this week with Merrick Bobb, the court-appointed independent monitor who is overseeing the agreement. Pugel said, “We have some university professors looking at that, using a scientific and academic approach, to see if we really were at 20 percent.” He noted that no Seattle officer was ever federally charged with violating someone's constitutional rights. Pugel, 53, started with the Seattle Police Department as a volunteer reserve police officer in 1981.

Comments are closed.