While I’m generally a McGinn partisan, I haven’t been impressed with his handling of police reform. After the Williams killing, he was quick to do symbolic things right: he declared a John T. Williams day, and did his part to make sure the totem poll got a place in Seattle Center, something I think most mayors would have fought. And there are other times where individually or symbolically he’s been good. But after the DOJ report, he dragged his feet, when he should have lead.
So, I’m heartened to read, at least initially, that Connie Rice seems to be saying the right things.
“I need to understand the factions,” Rice told me after her first day of interviews with community groups, the mayor, and cops. She says a court order approved by US District Court judge James Robart last month to remedy patterns of excessive force and racial bias in policing is “just a document.” Before the city can make cultural changes, everyone involved—the mayor, council, city attorney, beat cops, community groups, etc.—must decide that “you all want to jump off the cliff together.”
Dominic Holden is still pretty skeptical. And perhaps rightly so. For now, I have some hope that things might work out.