Lawyers: Seattle police in compliance with reform pact

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal attorneys say Seattle police should not be found out of compliance with court-ordered reforms because of an arbitrator’s reinstatement of a fired officer who punched a handcuffed woman.

The Seattle Times reports that attorneys called the arbitrator’s action in court papers filed Wednesday an “individual incident.”

Attorneys for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle and the Department of Justice joined with the city of Seattle in urging U.S. District Judge James Robart to find that the ruling doesn’t conflict with a 2012 consent decree. That order required the city to adopt reforms to address what the Department of Justice cited as a pattern of excessive force and issues of biased policing.

In a 19-page brief, the federal attorneys also urged Robart to find that the city’s new contract with the Seattle Police Officers Guild, signed in November, also doesn’t conflict with the consent decree.