Frank Sumrall, KIRO, June 16, 2022
A King County audit released Tuesday revealed racial disparities in arrests and uses of force, a lack of comprehensive data to analyze the role of race in officer relations, and highlighted several steps the King County Sheriff’s Office can take to improve its equity and transparency.
Black people make up 7% of King County but account for 25% of the arrest in the county, according to the report.
“This means black people are 350% more likely to be arrested by the King County Sheriff’s Office on a per capita basis,” Gee Scott, co-host of the Gee and Ursula Show on KIRO Newsradio, said on air.
“The auditor took the raw data, but in their audit, they do say they did not look at the individual situation,” said King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall on the Gee and Ursula Show. “So we don’t know what the underlying facts were, and what led to the arrest or to the use of force. And I am committed to doing a thorough analysis to figure out what were those underlying facts.”
White Officers were also more than twice as likely to use force than officers of other ethnicities according to the report.
Hispanic residents of King County are 50% more likely to have force used on them, while Black people are 29% more likely to have force used on them. Meanwhile, white people are 35% less likely to experience use of force, according to the report.
Cole-Tindall also stressed that she believes her deputies don’t stop people based on their skin color, ethnicity, or socio-economic background.