U.S. attorney general Lynch lauds Seattle police for reform efforts

Seattle will receive $1.5 million to combat human trafficking, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a visit to the city.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Seattle Thursday to praise the progress of police reforms, meet with community organizers and announce a $1.5 million grant to help fight human trafficking.

It was Lynch’s first visit to Seattle since being named the country’s top law-enforcement officer, and it coincided with the release of the latest report by a federal monitor overseeing Department of Justice-mandated (DOJ) reforms of the city’s police department. The report found the SPD had reached initial compliance with three out of four key reforms involving the use of force by officers.

However, the report by federal court-appointed monitor Merrick Bobb said the department still has a lot of work before it reaches full compliance with a 2012 consent decree between the city and the DOJ to curb the use of excessive force and avoid biased policing. Thursday’s report dealt with the first four of 15 initial assessments the monitor will conduct over the next several months.

Lynch’s visit was part of a six-city tour to promote Community Oriented Policing, a concept at the core of the efforts to reform the SPD. The department came under investigation after community groups complained about harsh methods and lack of accountability that had resulted in a loss of confidence.

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