Police Liaison Committee holds first meeting in Central Area on August 11, 1968.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1942

On August 11, 1968, the new Seattle Police Liaison Committee holds its first meeting at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Avenue E in the Central Area and 200 persons attend. The committee, consisting of three whites and three African Americans, was established by Mayor Dorm Braman (1901-1980) to foster communication between Seattle's African American community and the police department.

The committee proposed the formation of a core unit of African American patrolmen within the police department. Until that unit was organized, the committee proposed the use of male African American volunteers to ride in all patrol cars in the Central Area from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

A group calling itself the Negro Voters League called for "an end to police brutality and racial injustice." The Concerned Citizens of the Central Area offered a motion to eliminate the Seattle Police mass-arrest techniques and to establish a visible and effective review process for complaints about police behavior.

Two days later, Mayor Braman announced that he would adopt a recommendation by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and would organize an internal investigations unit within the police department to investigate complaints of police brutality.


Sources:

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 12, 1968, p. 10; Ibid., August 13, 1968, p. 1.


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