SEATTLE – A Seattle police officer who threw a tear gas canister that hit a reporter, and other officers who threw blast balls that hit individuals during last summer's Black Lives Matter protests violated policies, according to new reports from an independent agency tasked with investigating police misconduct.
Protests erupted in Seattle and across the country after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. The Office of Police Accountability received more than 19,000 complaints about police misconduct during protests.
The office has released five batches of investigative reports since September, with the latest 22 cases posted Friday. To date, no officers have been disciplined for any of the sustained findings, Seattle police spokesman Det. Patrick Michaud said Tuesday.
Previous reports found that an officer who slammed a protester’s head to the ground, another who punched a demonstrator in the head a half dozen times and a third officer who put his knee on the necks of two looting suspects violated policies against using excessive force.
No officers are named in the reports because the union contract with the city prohibits disclosing their identities. The latest findings are separate from three other investigations into Seattle officers by the Office of Police Accountability.
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has fired an officer who made racist remarks about a Black man last year and has threatened to fire two officers who reportedly attended the riots in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Investigators are also looking into an officer who refused to wear a mask in the emergency room at a hospital.
In the latest reports, investigators found that officers and one commander violated department policies while responding to demonstrations in Seattle.
On June 1, officers were ordered to clear protestors from the area around the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park after some in the group damaged property and threw things at police, the report said.