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1.115 - Media Release: Officer-Involved Shooting

Effective Date: 06/01/2017


This policy applies to the Department’s release of information following an officer-involved shooting.  This policy is intended to balance the integrity and credibility of an investigation with public transparency. This policy does not supersede the release policies of other agencies, should those agencies assume investigative responsibility.

For information about the investigation and review of officer-involved shootings, please see 8.400 - Use of Force Reporting and Investigation, 8.500 - Reviewing Use of Force 

1. The Department Will Issue a Statement as Soon as Feasible to Inform the Public of the Investigatory Timeline and Process

2. Information Released by the Department Will Be Factual and Will Not Contain Any Pre-Judgement

The Department will not compromise the investigatory timeline in order to expedite the release of information. 

3. The Public Affairs Unit Coordinates the Release of Information Related to Officer-Involved Shootings (OIS) as Approved by the Chief of Police or Designee

Investigative units will provide all relevant information to the Public Affairs Unit. 

4. Except as Otherwise Required by Law, the Department Will Not Release the Subject’s Criminal History, Unless if it was Relevant to the Incident and Known to the Involved Officer(s) Prior to Engagement

5. Within 48 Hours of an OIS, the Department Will Release the Names of any Officers Who Discharged a Firearm, Absent Exigent Circumstances

6. Within 72 Hours of an OIS, the Department Will Release Video That Provides a General Overview of What Occurred, if Any Such Video Has Been Identified

This includes both Department-produced video (ICV, etc.) and private video (store security camera, etc.)  The Department will not necessarily release all video related to an incident, just a representative and relevant sample. 

Exception: The Department will not release video that may compromise an investigation.

7. Within 72 Hours of an OIS, the Department Will Release Photos of Relevant Evidence, if Any Such Evidence Has Been Identified

Exception: The Department will not release evidence that may compromise an investigation. 

8. The Chief of Police Will Neither Approve Nor Condemn the Actions of Officers During an OIS Incident Until the Department’s Process of Investigation and Review has Concluded

9. Except in Narrow Circumstances, all Information is Presumptively Releasable at the Conclusion of an Investigation

See Manual Section 12.080 - Department Records Access, Inspection & Dissemination


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".

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