A federal judge admits he was "taken aback" when he reviewed the tentative agreement Seattle reached with the police officers' union, but he's not going to weigh in until the Seattle City Council votes to approve it.
Now several community groups are also coming forward with concerns. There are 24 coalitions urging the city to reject the tentative contract agreement with the Seattle police guild. The dozens of community organizations will explain their concerns at a press conference Thursday morning.
Since 2012, the Seattle Police Department has been implementing a long list of policing reforms under a federal consent decree.
Judge James Robart, who has been supervising those reforms, said just because he found SPD to be in full and effective compliance with that consent decree, it does not mean that the tentative agreement is also in full and effective compliance.
Just the opposite.
After reviewing it, he thinks there are some controversial aspects to the collective bargaining agreement when it comes to police accountability.
The Community Police Commission argued the new contract rolls back progress when it comes to disciplining an officer.
But the mayor and the city attorney disagreed.
"When we negotiated this agreement we were looking at real-life policing not the what-ifs that lawyers can imagine," said Mayor Jenny Durkan. "And we believe this agreement addresses those things that are fundamental to policing to make sure we have the most accountable police department anywhere but we also pay our officers fairly."
Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez admitted the tentative agreement has some flaws, but that bargaining is a give and take process. She supports the contract and firmly believes the officers deserve a raise, which they haven't had in almost four years.
Gonzalez is sponsoring the legislation to get the council to approve the contract a week from Tuesday.
She said while they did not schedule a special public hearing for the matter, that people will be able to comment during the public comment process Tuesday afternoon.