Seattle — The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, the employees union representing approximately 1,350 sworn officers, publishes a newspaper each month called the Guardian. Written by and for cops, it’s not online, not for sale, and not in newspaper boxes. Most Seattle residents have never seen a copy. But if they had been reading the Guardian over the past year, while the city grappled with several high-profile incidents involving officers using force against racial minorities, they would’ve gained insight into the views of some police officers.
Take, for instance, last month’s issue featuring an editorial by Officer Steve Pomper, who’s angry about the five-year-old program to train all city employees on racial disparities and profiling issues.
“The city, using its Race and Social Justice Initiative, continues its assault on traditional and constitutional American values such as self-reliance, equal justice, and individual liberty,” Pomper begins. “But more to our concern, the city is inflicting its socialist policies directly on the Seattle Police Department.”
What’s that “socialist” program he’s so upset about? Approximately 1,800 officers have taken a “Perspectives in Profiling” class, says Kathryn Olson, director of the SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability. The eight-hour workshop involves officers watching several video clips of potentially suspicious behavior and discussing how they would handle the situations.