Latest from The Spokesman-Review
SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire says she won't sign legislation to create licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state after the Justice Department warned it could result in a federal crackdown.
The two U.S. attorneys in the state told Gregoire in a letter Thursday that bills passed by the Washington House and Senate would permit large-scale marijuana growing and distribution systems in violation of federal law. They warned that growers, sellers, landlords and even state employees who license such operations could face prosecution.
Gregoire says there's no way she can sign a law that would open state employees to federal prosecution. But she says there are problems with the state's medical marijuana law that make it difficult for sick people to get the drug, and she'll cooperate with lawmakers to address those problems.
Good morning, Netizens…
The Department of Justice has informed the Seattle Police Department they are investigating whether Seattle officers have engaged in a pattern of unnecessary force and biased policing. Police Chief John Diaz (pictured) met with the Seattle Times Editorial Board Friday and informed them of the pending action, asserting that they have fully cooperated with the inquiry so far and will continue to do so.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez, who oversees the DOJ's Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., announced the department-wide “patterns and practices” investigation in a conference call with U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, whose office's civil division will oversee it.
Both Perez and U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, whose office's civil division will oversee the investigation, stressed that the investigation is a civil, not a criminal matter.
Perez said, is to determine whether there are “systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by officers of the SPD” and to correct them if they're found. Should problems be found during the investigation, the DOJ will work with the Seattle Police Department to fix them, stated Perez.
The DOJ also confirmed Thursday that they are investigating a separate criminal investigation into the August shooting death of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle police officer. The officer, Ian Birk, resigned from the force after prosecutors said they could not build a case against him.
There are a remarkable number of parallels between the DOJ investigation of the Seattle Police Department and historical events involving the Spokane Police Department where some citizens assert Constitutional violations have taken place but, to date, no DOJ investigations have taken place in Spokane.
If interested parties persist in asking questions of the Spokane Police Department regarding any of these events where civil liberties have ostensibly been violated, generally speaking you are informed to “move on, nothing has happened here”, and the matter is dropped. We apparently lack the clout necessary to invoke the U.S. Attorney's office.
Of course, your opinions may differ.