Seattle assistant police chief placed on leave after suit alleging hostile work environment

The four officers filed a claim of damages against the city on Friday, alleging "grooming" and harassment.

Published: May 26, 2024 11:31pm

(The Center Square) -

Seattle police Assistant Chief Tyrone Davis has been placed on paid administrative leave as the department sees a surge in internal issues.

The Seattle Police Department confirmed the move to The Center Square on Friday and referred further questions to the Seattle Office of Police Accountability.

According to a report from The Seattle Times, the investigation involves a complaint from the Community Police Commission, where Davis served as a department liaison.

Davis first joined the Seattle Police Department in 1999. Last year, Davis was promoted to assistant chief of the department’s Special Operations Bureau, which includes SWAT, hostage negotiations team, and the arson/bomb squad.

A recent 30×30 report showed women at the Seattle Police Department describing gender discrimination and sexual harassment happening within the department.

Last month, four female police officers filed a $5 million tort claim against the Seattle Police Department, alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

The four officers filed a claim of damages against the city on Friday, alleging the perpetrators of the "grooming" and harassment are Chief Adrian Diaz, Lt. John O'Neil and SPD's human resource manager, Rebecca McKechnie.

Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales successfully implemented an amendment to a recent bill to help recruit officers that requires SPD to regularly report on what it’s doing to address gender discrimination and its efforts to implement the 30x30 initiative.

SPD continues to struggle to recruit officers to the department. The department has realized a net loss of 337 fully-trained police officers since 2020, with 911 response times having increased as a result.

According to the city, in the last two years, the Seattle Police Department met approximately half of its annual hiring targets, reaching a high of only 61 hires out of 1,948 applications in 2023, a conversion rate of 3%.

The Center Square reached out to the Seattle Office of Police Accountability for more information, but did not receive a response at the time of this publication.

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