What's New

June 20, 2017
(Updated June 22, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.)

The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) has received many calls and emails about the tragic event on Sunday, June 18, 2017 involving the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by officers of the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Currently, the SPD Force Investigation Team (FIT) is conducting an investigation as required by protocols put into place under the Department of Justice's Settlement Agreement with the City of Seattle. These policies and protocols require SPD to fully investigate and critically analyze every officer-involved shooting before determining whether or not to refer it to OPA for potential disciplinary recommendations.  

The FIT investigation can take a minimum of 90 days (extensions may be granted due to the complexity of the event). The results of FIT's investigation is then reviewed by the Force Review Board (FRB) to determine compliance with SPD training and policy - including biased policing, use-of-force and de-escalation polices. Any conduct the FRB concludes may have been in violation of SPD policy is automatically referred to OPA.  

We ask for your patience as the Force Investigation Team completes its investigation and the Force Review Board reviews the evidence.  

If you have any further questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact us directly at (206) 684-8797 or email us at opa@seattle.gov.  

Thank you,

Pierce

Pierce Murphy
Director, Office of Professional Accountability

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. 

OUR MISSION

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.