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Chief Orders Review, Transfers Officer As Department Moves Forward With Reform

Until yesterday I was unaware of Officer Whitlatch’s Facebook posts. I was shocked and disappointed to read her comments. We are working to reform the Seattle Police Department, and behavior of this nature seriously undermines our efforts. Today, I have taken these immediate steps:

  • I have ordered a comprehensive review of the cases involving this officer
  • I have transferred the officer to an administrative assignment, pending the outcome of the investigations, where she will have no interaction with the public.
  • I have communicated with Office of Professional Accountability Director Pierce Murphy, who is launching an independent investigation.

I was hired because of my track record for reform and my commitment to bias-free policing. I knew this would be a difficult job, but days like this make me even more determined. I will continue to work with Mayor Ed Murray, the City Council, the Department of Justice, the Monitoring Team, SPD members, the Community Police Commission and the greater Seattle community to move this organization forward.

Together we will address our challenges head-on, we will accomplish our goals, and we will be stronger in the end.