- "The Office of Professional Accountability was notified today, November 3, 2015, that United States Attorney Annette Hayes and the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice have declined to file federal color of law charges stemming from a June 22, 2014 use of force incident. The civilian OPA Director, Pierce Murphy, was notified shortly after the incident took place and, along with other OPA representatives, observed the work of the Force Investigation Team the night of the incident. Based on preliminary information available at the time, OPA Director Murphy opened an OPA investigation within 24 hours and referred the matter, via the Seattle Police Department (SPD), to the Washington State Patrol for a criminal investigation. In accordance with established protocols and governing labor contracts, the OPA investigation was suspended pending completion of the criminal investigation and review by the King County Prosecuting Attorney and the U.S. Attorney. With today's announcement of a declination from the U.S. Attorney along with a previous declination by the King County Prosecuting Attorney, OPA has activated it's administrative investigation into this incident."
- Please see OPA Director Pierce Murphy's memorandum regarding systems of accountability and review. The Director, among others, was invited by the U.S. District Court during a recent status conference on the Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Seattle to provide the Court with a framework for accountability.
- Check Complaint Status! If you've filed a complaint or are an employee involved in a complaint, you can track its status using your complaint number provided by OPA. The status will be updated at each stage of OPA's process. Read about what to expect after a complaint is filed here.
- We've created a new page where you can read about and stay up to date on Management Action recommendations. You can read the case summary, the Director's recommendations, the Chief's response and the status of implementation.
- We are posting real-time information about cases! The Closed Case Summaries include information about the complaint, allegations, analysis, findings and discipline.
The Office of Professional Accountability is an independent office within the Seattle Police Department (SPD) which investigates complaints of police misconduct made by members of the community and complaints made internally by members of the Seattle Police Department.
The mission of the OPA is to provide for civilian oversight of the complaint process; to promote public awareness of and full access to that process; and to advance accountability within the Seattle Police Department.
HOW IT WORKS
All public contacts are documented by OPA and evaluated to determine how best to respond. Every allegation of misconduct by an SPD employee goes through an extensive review process and is independently investigated.
Learn more about the complaint process
CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT IN SEATTLE
The structure of the OPA was designed to ensure objective, thorough and transparent investigations. All OPA investigations are reviewed by an independent Auditor. The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board furthers the mission of the OPA and assures public trust in the process.
The Auditor is appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The role of the Auditor is to ensure the thoroughness, fairness and timeliness of the OPA investigations. The Auditor reviews all the OPA complaints and investigations, reviews and assesses Police Department policies and practices, and makes recommendations accordingly.
The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) consists of 7 members appointed by the City Council. The OPARB's mission is to provide community oversight and awareness of Seattle Police Department practices and its employee accountability system. The OPARB works with the OPA to implement its mission.