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Chief’s Statement Regarding Judge Robart’s Temporary Restraining Order on the City Council’s Ban on Crowd Control Tools

I wanted to update you that early this morning, the federal judge overseeing the Consent Decree issued a temporary order halting the implementation of City Council’s recently passed legislation that banned SPD from using less-lethal crowd management tools that had previously been approved by the Court, including blast balls and pepper spray.  By staying the immediate implementation of the legislation, the Court Order provides SPD opportunity to meet procedural requirements of the Consent Decree that govern revisions to policy and training.   

SPD stands ready to continue its work with the DOJ, the Monitor, OPA, the OIG, the CPC, and members of the community at large to take the next steps towards re-envisioning how policing is done in Seattle.  The events over the past two months have been transformative both locally and nationally, and offer a monumental opportunity to build on the work of the past eight years to ensure the continued momentum of reform. 

In the spirit of offering trust and full transparency, I want to advise you that SPD officers will be carrying pepper spray and blast balls today, as would be typical for events that carry potential to include violence. This is consistent with existing policy and the Court’s order of early this morning. SPD promises the community that we will not deploy CS (tear) gas. 

The Seattle Police Department hears the community’s message and stands ready to partner in moving forward.  I implore all of you to remain peaceful and to encourage the peace of others.