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Statement from Mayor Harrell on Racist Comments Made by Off-Duty Police Officer

Today, Mayor Harrell made the following statement:

“I appreciate that Chief Diaz acted quickly and decisively regarding the racist language used by an off-duty police officer. I support his immediate actions. While City law prevents me from commenting on the details of the event undergoing OPA investigation, racism has no place in our police department and in our city. Full stop. I led efforts to pass the bias-free policing law and remain committed to rooting out racism and building a Seattle Police Department that reflects the values of our communities and the diversity that makes them special. 

“This comes at a time when AAPI communities in Seattle and around the country have seen an unacceptable increase in hate-filled attacks. I understand and recognize the community outrage – and disappointment – that recent incidents have inspired. Our police service is responsible for helping keep our communities safe by responding when hate crimes occur – but that can’t happen when trust with those communities has been eroded. That’s why incidents like this demand a response that reflects our shared values and commitment to delivering public safety for everyone.”