The ACLU is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the fatal shooting of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams and other officer-involved uses of force, particularly against people of color, that have occurred over the past 18 months.
The organization cites a June 14 jaywalking incident captured on video by a bystander in which a police officer was shown punching an African-American teenage girl after a jaywalking stop, as well as the April 17 incident captured on video in which an officer was shown kicking a handcuffed man lying face-down on the ground and threatening to kick the "Mexican piss" out of him during a crime scene investigation. The man was later released from the scene.
Seattle Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the City Council's Public Safety and Education Committee, endorsed the ACLU's request.
"Our police officers should embrace this type of outside scrutiny and accountability that affirms their work and holds them to the high standards they set for themselves," Burgess said in a statement.