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Monday, June 27, 2022

Data Showing Record Low Use-of-Force By Seattle Police

In 2019 and 2021, Seattle Police Department (SPD) is reporting that it recorded a record low amount of annual use-of-force incidents. During the 2020 protests, following the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer, usage of less-lethal gear spiked. These numbers show that it is a record high in the city. Their data shows that the most serious types of use-of-force, however, declined 60% from 2014 to 2019 through 2021. 

The SPD’s use of tasers decreased month-to-month by 61% when compared to 2001-2010 and 2014-2021 data. The number of use-of-force incidents significantly decrease over the last three years, according to their new report from the Seattle Police Monitor.

Their reported data show that while the most frequent subjects in force incidents were white, the most serious types of use-of-force incidents were most often focused on Black individuals. But data based on race has not been fully reported. 

The SPD said that the lack of data regarding race in almost a third of its use-of-force cases was due to an issue in its reporting system. The police said that the lack of racial data is not because of a data integrity problem or a deficiency in officer reporting.

The monitor reported that SPD’s use of force declined to record low numbers. It stated a decline of 33% from 2015 to 2019 and nearly 50% from 2015 to 2021. The 2020 protests factored in to the numbers. Those protests resulted in “historic levels” of protest-related uses of force and misconduct complaints

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