Seattle enacts policy against Seattle Police Department lying

Originally published at: Seattle enacts policy against Seattle Police Department lying | Boing Boing


My guess is that this will only be applied to broad department briefings. Qualified immunity will make it so that an officer lying through his teeth on a traffic stop will still be allowed to lie all he wants.


First time this gets tried the entire police department will get Blue Flu.

Police Chief will speak ill of the Mayor, budget cut threats will follow, along with police refusal to work overtime. It all ends with citizens under the boot and the cops determining what laws they care to enforce.


Or not. Let’s not wallow in pessimistic despair beforehand, please.


comedy central season 6 episode 2 GIF by Workaholics

1 Like

Yeah, this is a follow statement with zero enforcement. It’s a request to the police to lie less with no consequences even hinted at if they don’t.

The “Accountability” section contains the following hard-hitting policy changes

All uses of deception should require supervisory approval.


All use of deception must be documented. Remove “as appropriate” from procedures for documenting deception. Documentation must include pre-deployment justification, details of the deception, and after-action reporting on the outcome of the deception.

but don’t worry

Two accountability measures were also highlighted for review after deception is used: 1) documenting the deception in paperwork by describing why and how the deception was used; and 2) sharing documentation with appropriate city agencies for review.

The city is literally asking pathological liars to not lie and letting them decide whether to fess up to any lies that they make


Ask the cop if he’s allowed to lie. “No.” Tantamount to “this sentence is a lie”. (Seattleite here and used to this)

It’s intent needs to be matched by an intensive read between the lines.


Here is the actual policy just implemented. Read it. It’s short. Describing this as a policy against lying is some Orwellian DoubleSpeak bullshit. It’s actually the exact opposite. They already had a policy requiring all city employees to be truthful in all communications. The police always had an unwritten rule that they could violate this if they had a good reason (public safety, talking down a potential jumper, whatever…there are legitimate reasons to lie occasionally). All this policy does is actually formalize that unwritten rule. This is absolutely NOT a rule against lying. It’s a rule formally allowing lying under certain circumstances.

Can we please just stop fucking repeating press releases and pretend that’s journalism? I don’t mean BoingBoing. BoingBoing doesn’t hold itself out to be a journalism organization. I mean the actual journalists that report this bullshit. Do your fucking job and call these people out for this bullshit. Jesus.

ETA: This also doesn’t apply in any way, shape, or form to police interrogations, and that is where I would really like to see policies against interrogators lying to the people they’re questioning. Courts have held time and time again that LEOs are not obligated to be honest with people during interrogations. They can lie and use all manner of deception during interrogations. It’s one of the reasons why you should never talk to them without an attorney present.


There are alternatives.

Of course, the last thing that cops want is local communities showing that they are not wanted or needed.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.