Last week, the Renton Police Department released its own webpage where they detail the “8 Can’t Wait” demands with their own department policies. We will be outlining the policies with the RPD webpage to give an overall review of how much they align. Readers should keep in mind, while the “8 Can’t Wait” are good practices for departments to have in place, it is the process for what happens if these practices aren’t met that is equally important. Unfortunately RPD is fighting accountability, and the City of Renton hasn’t taken it as an issue despite multiple calls from activists across both the city and the county.
We will be giving RPD up to five stars for each policy. One star if they do not meet at all, three stars if most measures are met, and five stars if the platform in its entirety is achieved. The average of these will result in their overall rating.
OVERALL RATING: 3.8/5
Ban Chokeholds: 3/5
Renton Police Department does not train on chokeholds, but special units may have training. No effective ban, chokeholds are considered lethal force.
Require De-Escalation: 3/5
Renton Police Department has some outlined requirements and guidances for de-escalation along with the state mandatory training.
Require Warning Before Shooting: 5/5
Renton Police Department follows state law requiring warning, when feasible.
Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting: 3/5
Renton Police Department asks the amount of force appear necessary but do not have strict guidance on exhausting all options before firing.
Duty to Intervene: 5/5
Renton Police Department requires when possible an officer intervene on excessive use of force and report to their supervisor.
Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles: 4/5
Renton Police Department prohibits shooting at vehicles except in limited circumstances.
Require Use of Force Continuum: 4/5
Renton Police Department uses a spectrum which starts force at the same levels police perceive them to be in.
Require Comprehensive Reporting: 4/5
Renton Police Department requires documentation for most uses of force and review by chain of command.
Good Rules but what about accountability?
As mentioned, the Renton Police Department has refused to join on the new county police inquest process, and was part of several municipalities suing the county to block it. The City of Renton does not have a civilian oversight commission, and the Renton Police Department reviews internally. RPD should join the county process, or the City of Renton should mirror the practices locally to ensure if a violation of these rules is made that the impacted families might see justice.