Federal judge throws out Seattle cops' use-of-force policy lawsuit

SEATTLE -- A lawsuit brought by more than 100 Seattle police officers arguing that their lives are in jeopardy because of policies recently put in place restricting their use of force was thrown out by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman dismissed the lawsuit Monday, saying the officers' arguments were not supported by the Constitution, rejecting the claim that the use-of-force policy violated the officer's Second Amendment rights.

"The officers' constitutional arguments are not supported by the text of the Constitution or case law interpreting the COnstitution," Pechman said.

The revised use-of-force policies, put in place earlier this year, are a mandate of the federal government, which had previously found that Seattle officers engaged in a pattern of excessive force. The officers and their lawyers argued the new policies failed to protect officers from apparent harm and the significantly greater force used against them by suspects.

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The suit was brought against multiple defendants, including City Attorney Pete Holmes, court-appointed Monitor Merrick Bobb and Mayor Ed Murray.

Officers argued "prohibiting reasonable and effective force tools or techniques" significantly increased the likelihood that officers will get injured, and actually increased the likelihood officers would use deadly force in an encounter.

Following the suit's dismissal, Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said SPD is "entirely committed" to constitutional policing.

"As Chief, I will ensure that our officers have policies, training, equipment and support to do their jobs safely and effectively," O'Toole said.

Mayor Murray applauded the federal judge's decision Monday.

"Judge Pechman's dismissal of the suit today confirms that SPD's use-of-force policy is both practical and constitutional," the mayor said. "Today we move forward with police reform and move past internal divisions over policy."