The Office of Police Accountability has announced that an officer has been fired after facing allegations of domestic abuse, recreational drug use, and a pattern of using slurs related to race, sexual identity, and gender.
The complaint submitted to the organization included instances during which the officer used slurs and derogatory language to refer to people of color and target individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender, including colleagues at the police department. The individual who filed the complaint alleges on multiple instances he heard the officer use racial slurs at home when speaking about Black people, including when referencing his sergeant.
OPA investigators stated that they reviewed a text message in which the officer referred to a new employee as "an angry Black lesbian," and other messages in which he commented on physical appearances and used other derogatory language about female colleagues. The group further stated that a disciplinary decision was reached after considering the officer's actions in this case, along with a prior complaint filed in 2017 that alleged insubordination, unprofessionalism, and dishonesty.
Bias in Policing
This issue of bias among law enforcement officers has gained significant national attention throughout the last decade. Many studies have found that implicit bias tends to affect police action. Police interaction is the first step in criminal justice system involvement, so if biases held by the police influence decisions such as who to stop to question, or search, and, subsequently, how to interpret responses, this can have far-reaching effects on the criminal justice system as a whole. It has been cited as a factor for why certain groups (most notably young black men) are so overrepresented in jails and courtrooms across the United States.
In an effort to keep policing bias-free in Seattle, SPD has instituted a policy that prohibits the different treatment of any person by officers motivated by any characteristic of protected classes under state, federal, and local laws as well as other discernible personal characteristics of an individual which include, but are not limited to: age, disability status, economic status, familial status, gender, gender identity, homelessness, mental illness, national origin, political ideology, race, ethnicity, or color, religion, and sexual orientation. Supervisors are required to ensure all personnel in their command are operating in compliance with this policy, and the Chief of Police is required to plan specific yearly training and regular updates.
Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
Police officers are human beings, and they can have both conscious and unconscious bias. These biases could affect how your answers or behavior is interpreted and lead to an arrest without appropriately demonstrated probable cause. A seasoned defense attorney will examine all the circumstances involving an arrest to find grounds to challenge, such as suspected biased motives. Steve Karimi is a former King County prosecutor who knows how to fight within the criminal justice system. Call 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form today to get started.