Dismissal of Seattle police chief due to discrimination and harassment lawsuits

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced on Wednesday that the city’s police chief has been fired.

During a news conference, Harrell revealed that he had a meeting with Adrian Diaz on Tuesday. As a result of their discussion, it was mutually agreed that Diaz should step down from his position. Harrell also mentioned that Diaz would now be assigned to special tasks within the police department, working closely with the mayor.

Diaz’s decision to leave his position follows closely on the heels of a lawsuit filed by police Captain Eric Greening, who accused him of engaging in discriminatory practices against women and individuals from marginalized communities, as reported by KUOW.

Several officers, including Greening, have filed lawsuits against the department, accusing them of sex and racial discrimination. Diaz has been specifically named in these lawsuits. In addition, a group of female officers recently filed a tort claim seeking $5 million, claiming they have experienced harassment and sex discrimination.

Diaz has strongly denied the allegations. Harrel had previously stated that he would bring in an external investigator to look into some of the allegations.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Harrell expressed his support for Diaz, acknowledging the distraction caused by the lawsuits. Both Diaz and Harrell agreed that stepping aside would be beneficial for the purpose of facilitating change.

“I have achieved a great deal during my tenure as chief over the past four years, but there is still much work to be done,” stated Diaz.

In 2020, Diaz assumed the role of acting chief after the resignation of Carmen Best, who stepped down amidst widespread protests against police brutality triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Eventually, Diaz was officially appointed as the chief.

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Diaz will step down from his position and be temporarily replaced by Sue Rahr, a former sheriff of King County in Washington state. Rahr, who previously served as the head of the state’s police academy, is known for advocating a philosophy of “guardians, not warriors.”

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