SEATTLE - The fatal police shooting of native woodcarver John T Williams.
An undercover officer kicking an African American teen who appears to be surrendering.
A veteran gang detective using racially charged language.
These and other cases were at the heart of the ACLU's call for a federal investigation into the Seattle Police Department's use of excessive force.
It showed a pretty consistent pattern that people of color were being targeted, said Jennifer Shaw, Deputy Director, ACLU of Washington.
The Department of Justice is pushing for a Consent Decree - a court enforced settlement with the City of Seattle - for major reforms in how police officers do their jobs.
Yet the city's proposal - recently delivered to Justice - deals only with curtailing excessive force. It says nothing about ways to ensure minorities aren't treated differently.
And that signals to the communities of color in Seattle that they aren't important enough to be included in these very important documents, said Shaw.
The chairman of Seattle's Human Rights Commission calls it a glaring omission.
We want to have effective reforms that address excessive use of force AND biased policing, said Chris Stearns, Chairman, Seattle Human Rights Commission.
DOJ didn't make any findings of bias, said Mayor Mike McGinn. They omitted any finding of bias so we're under no obligation to respond to them. But we are responding to the community concern by including it in our 20/20 plan.
The 20/20 plan was released in March. It outlines 20reforms SPD plans to implement in 20 months. McGinn says it goes far beyondthe reforms DOJ is asking for.However, it is not enforceable in court.
There arenow growing concerns thatthesettlement negotiations aimed at reachinga Consent Decree are being conducted in secret.
Thirty-four community groups backed the ACLU's call for the federal investigation, which found that Seattle Police illegally use force 20 percent of the time.
Yet the very community groups that asked the Department of Justice to step in say they have been left out, with no seat at the table as the Department of Justice negotiates with the city for an agreement
We asked over and over to be at the table, said Estela Ortega, Exec. Director, El Centro de la Raza.
Ortega says she will ask the mayor and the Department of Justice again to give community groups a voice in settlement negotiations.
We're the ones that raised the issues. We are the communities that have suffered the brunt of police brutality and racial profiling, she said.
McGinn said the city's negotiations with the Department of Justice are very challenging and attorneys for both sides agreed to confidential talks in order to allow a free exchange of ideas.
But a collaborative approach has worked well in other cities. Cincinnati hammered a Memorandum of Agreement between the DOJ the city and police calling for more than a hundred changes in procedures, training and use of force.
Cincinnati didn't stop there. A Collaborative Agreement between the ACLU, black leaders, the city and police union led to more reforms, including a citizen board to investigate police misconduct.
I am very intrigued by the idea of a community agreement because if you have the buy in of the police union and the buy in of the community, I think those are very good predictors of success, said McGinn.