Ex-Seattle Police Chief Diaz reveals he's gay after allegations, exit

Embattled former Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz is still fighting accusations of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and "grooming" female cops — but in his only sit-down interview since he was forced to resign, Diaz announced he is gay.

Diaz was on The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH/MyNorthwest.com Monday, where he said that recent events essentially forced him to publicly out himself as gay.

"It’s a story that [I've] struggled with, over the last four years, that I’m a gay Latino man," said Diaz in the interview with Rantz. "You know, it doesn’t bother me. It’s more of my concern for my kids because they’re going to have to deal with a lot of the struggles that I might not have to deal with."

Diaz is married and has three children, but told Rantz he only started to realize he was gay around 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the interview, Diaz said he had "tough conversations" with his wife and kids, but never found the right time to make a public announcement. First, there was the pandemic, then the George Floyd protests, then he was named police chief.

"I have not been able to just come out. And that has been a struggle," said Diaz.

Among the few who knew he was gay was his female chief of staff, about whom allegations spread that they were having an affair. Diaz told Rantz that she promised not to share his secret, even if it meant her reputation was put through the wringer by the relationship rumors.

According to Diaz, he informed Mayor Bruce Harrell of his sexuality in February.

"I want to make sure people understand who I am," Diaz explained. "I want to live my truth. I don’t want to be hidden behind any curtain or anything like that. I want another opportunity to serve a city. And, you know, it’s not easy when you have some false allegations against you. I don’t want to have any secrets if I decide to go to another city."

Diaz told Rantz he did not necessarily want to leave Seattle, but says he may have to. Right now, he's aiming for a law enforcement position in Austin, Texas.

"I think Austin is a very progressive city, very similar to Seattle. And there’s a lot of similarities. A lot of struggles with staffing and a variety of different challenges. They had crowd management issues during 2020," Diaz said, in addition to drugs and homelessness.

The Seattle Police Department issued the following statement after Diaz's announcement: "We are happy that former Chief Adrian Diaz is able to share his story and be open and confident with his true, authentic self."

Victoria Beach, who sits on SPD's African American Advisory Council and supported Diaz when the allegations first came out, says she learned about the news on Sunday.

"He felt like he needed to share his story, and it's his story to share, and he wanted the public to know it from him," Officer Beach said. "I love him even more for being brave and having the courage to come out. I want the community to look at this and to embrace him and love him and support him as he’s been through a lot." 

This is a developing story; check back for updates.


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