Seattle City Council members heard more evidence Monday that police are not treating people of different races and ethnicities the same.
The data was presented in a 65-page report by the Seattle Community Police Commission. The commission was established as part of the 2012 Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the Seattle Police Department.
The commission is responsible for giving a voice to Seattle’s diverse communities and hard to reach populations as the reform process takes place.
According to the Community Outreach Report presented to the council, more than 3,000 survey questionnaires were completed last fall, with more than 464 translated into languages other than English.
A large majority of survey respondents (68%) said they do not believe the Seattle Police Department treats people of different races and ethnicities equally. Two thirds or more believe Seattle police do not treat the homeless of people with criminal records as well as others. Sixty-nine percent said police engage in racial profiling.
The survey was not intended to tap a cross section of the city. The commission co-chairs said it deliberately sought out people who tend to go unheard and the findings make it clear there is a lot of work ahead to repair frayed relationships.
"I would say that regrettably the trust is low at this point as indicated by the survey and as known by many people who are active in communities of color,” said Diane Narasaki, Community Police Commission Co-Chair.