Judge Dismisses Challenge of Seattle Police Reforms


U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 100 Seattle police officers seeking to block the new federally mandated use-of-force policies for officers in that city, reports the Seattle Times. She wrote that the new policies seem reasonable “to avoid a pattern or practice of excessive use of force” by police. The officers contended the policies are overly restrictive, violating their constitutional right to self-defense and use of their guns while putting them and the public in danger.

City attorneys argued the officers had resorted to “reckless hyperbole,” misstating policies that allow for flexibility and reasonable judgment. Pechman, who heard oral arguments Oct. 9 on motions to dismiss the suit, said the officers' arguments were unfounded in both case law and the Constitution. The new policies, which went into effect Jan. 1, were adopted as part of a 2012 federal consent decree to curtail excessive force and biased policing.

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