Seattle police union files labor complaint over mayor’s body-camera order

The complaint follows Mayor Ed Murray’s sweeping executive order last week directing the Police Department to equip patrol officers with body cameras.

The Seattle police officers’ union has filed an unfair labor-practice complaint with the state of Washington’s employee-relations commission over Mayor Ed Murray’s executive order directing the Police Department to begin equipping officers with body cameras.

“This executive order, which was prepared in consultation with Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, is unprecedented and a clear violation of state law,” the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) said in a news release Tuesday.

Murray issued the executive order on July 17 amid the city’s stalled negotiations with the union over deployment of body cameras, declaring additional delays would deprive Seattle residents of a necessary police-accountability tool on a timeline consistent with the department’s needs and community expectations.

“Let us be clear. SPOG is not opposed to body cameras,” the union said in the news release, underlining the second sentence.

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The union, which represents more than 1,300 officers and sergeants, said it is opposed to what it called Murray’s “disregarding” of state bargaining laws.

It also accused the mayor of misleading the public and the federal court overseeing Seattle police reforms by “insinuating that this has been negotiated ‘round and round.’ ”

“This is simply not true,” the release said.

Under the executive order, bicycle officers in the West Precinct, which includes the downtown area, began using body cameras on Saturday.

All West Precinct patrol officers will be equipped by Sept. 30, followed by a “good-faith” deployment on all patrol officers on a monthly, precinct-by-precinct basis, according to the order.

The union said it previously negotiated a body-camera pilot program that…

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