Police File Federal Lawsuit Over 'Use Of Force' Policy
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[May 29, 2014]
By Victoria Cavaliere
(Reuters) - Seattle police officers filed
a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging new policies that restrict
use of force, saying the rules endanger lives of both officers and
More than 120 officers have joined the lawsuit, which seeks a
complete dismantling of a new use of force policy hammered out
between the Seattle Police Department and the U.S. Department of
Justice to stem an alleged pattern of excessive force.
The Seattle Police Department has been under federal monitoring
since 2012, following an investigation into a series of incidents in
which officers appeared to engage in excessive force, particularly
The lawsuit says the policy, which went into effect this year,
"unreasonably restrict and burden Plaintiffs' right to use force
reasonably required, to protect themselves and others from apparent
harm and danger."
The officers are seeking financial compensation and a complete
overhaul of the policy, calling it "unconstitutional and beyond
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the city of Seattle and Mayor Ed
Murray are among those targeted in the lawsuit.
Murray declined to comment on the lawsuit, but told local media "We
are under a federally mandated court order. We will follow that
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"The Justice Department and the federal courts say we need to deal
with issues of use of force as well as other issues in our police
department," he told Seattle's Fox affiliate.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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