May 30, 2014
By Victoria Cavaliere
Seattle police officers filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging new policies that restrict use of force, saying the rules endanger lives of both officers and civilians.
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More than 120 officers have joined the lawsuit, which seeks a complete dismantling of a new use of force policy hammered out between the Seattle Police Department and the U.S. Department of Justice to stem an alleged pattern of excessive force.
The Seattle Police Department has been under federal monitoring since 2012, following an investigation into a series of incidents in which officers appeared to engage in excessive force, particularly against minorities.
The lawsuit says the policy, which went into effect this year, "unreasonably restrict and burden Plaintiffs' right to use force reasonably required, to protect themselves and others from apparent harm and danger."
The officers are seeking financial compensation and a complete overhaul of the policy, calling it "unconstitutional and beyond repair."