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Federal monitor 'troubled' by lack of cameras at police shooting

Federal monitor 'troubled' by lack of cameras at police shooting »Play Video
Merrick Bobb
SEATTLE -- The court-appointed monitor in charge of overseeing reform in the Seattle Police Department said it's "troubling" that somehow no police cameras were rolling during a fatal officer-involved shooting.

In late February, two men separately called police to say their brother was holding their father hostage at knife point in their North Seattle home.

Police say 21-year-old Jack Keewatinawin later grabbed a piece of rebar and made a move toward an officer. Police opened fire and killed the man.

During a Tuesday committee briefing, Councilman Bruce Harrell, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, mentioned an officer involved shooting where no dash board cameras were turned on.

Federal monitor Merrick Bobb responded.

"It troubled us that there were eight officers present at a particular incident and not one of the cameras was on, even though there was sufficient time for some of the officers to turn on their cameras," Bobb said.

Harrell said he and Bobb were talking about the February shooting of Keewatinawin.

The bombshell came as Bobb was briefing the committee on his first report about the Department of Justice's oversight and reform plan. In that report, Bobb recommends the department immediately upgrade its technology for easier recording and retention.

Harrell said he sent a letter to interim police chief Jim Pugel on Wednesday asking the department to review its policies and procedures. Pugel has yet to respond.