Inside Opinion

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Tag: domestic partnership


The Seattle lesson: Police abuses start at the top

This editorial will appear in the Thursday print edition.

Could Seattle’s police force be that brutal? The U.S. Justice Department last week reported that many of Seattle’s officers know way too much about bashing suspects and not nearly enough about de-escalating confrontations.

A couple of numbers sum up the indictment: Justice’s Civil Rights Division concluded that Seattle police engaged in excessive force 57 percent of the time they hammered someone with their batons. Overall, the investigators decided that 20 percent of all use of force by officers was unconstitutionally excessive.

Members of the SPD are angrily challenging those shocking findings. From this distance, it’s impossible to say whether the department has been unfairly tarred by armchair experts. But there’s no doubt that Seattle police have a flair for doing outrageous things in front of video cameras. Read more »


R-71: Don’t change the rules after the game’s over

I know it’s asking a lot, but let’s take a step back from the angst surrounding the referendum to undo the new “everything-but-marriage” benefits for gay partners. Let’s try to look at the lawsuit against R-71 in the cold light of neutral legality and even-handed procedure.

Washington Families Standing Together, defending the new domestic partnership law, is asking the courts to keep R-71 off the ballot for several reasons. The only reason likely to get any legal traction is the claim that Protect Marriage Washington – the anti-benefits people – allowed citizens who weren’t registered voters to sign the petitions.

When petition-gatherers ran into would-be signers who weren’t registered, they had them fill out a registration card on the spot; the card was then sent to the local county auditor.

State code says that only registered voters can sign. The question is, can a citizens be considered registered when they complete the card? Or must they first be registered registered by county elections officials?

David Ammons, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, says Reed’s office has taken “sort of a liberal reading of that requirement.”
Read more »