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Officer On Administrative Leave For Racist Comments

Statement of Police Chief Adrian Diaz

“This morning I listened to an audio recording that includes comments by an off-duty Seattle police officer.  A bias/hate complaint was filed with the Office of Police Accountability.

I have taken immediate steps to place the officer on administrative leave.  This action is consistent with our values and the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.

Although I will ultimately defer, as I am required, to the outcome of OPA’s investigation, racist language is completely unacceptable and is inconsistent with the high standards the department sets for its employees. While I’m grateful the complaint was filed with OPA, not knowing about this for one year causes me concern. For this reason, I have instructed my staff to review this officer’s arrest and investigation history.

As I have said from the beginning of my tenure as Chief of Police, racist comments and behavior by department employees will not be tolerated.

I and the entire police department deeply apologize to the person who was subjected to these offensive remarks, as well as to the community. We clearly have more work to do to build trust between the department and the people we serve.”