Spokane NAACP condemns proposed Police Guild contract, calling it ‘tone deaf’

New police guild contract up for a vote

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane chapter of the NAACP released a statement Friday asking the Spokane City Council to reject the proposed contract with the Spokane Police Guild.

President Kurtis Robinson called the proposal “tone deaf,” adding that reducing police oversight fails to respect the City Charter.

The Spokane NAACP’s statement reads as follows:

“Thousands of people in Spokane are protesting the police murder of George Floyd and centuries of systemic racism and police violence towards Black Americans, Native Americans and Communities of Color. Yet Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward released a draft police contract this past week that reduces police oversight. 

“The Spokane NAACP condemns this new contract and calls on the Spokane City Council to vote to reject the contract unless it provides the independent investigative powers called for in the City Charter. 

“‘This proposed Police Guild contract is unacceptable. Reducing police oversight and failing to respect the City Charter is tone deaf and backwards. We call on the Spokane City Council to unanimously reject this contract,’ said Kurtis Robinson, President of the Spokane NAACP.”

The new contract has been getting mixed reviews. The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane says it will make officers less accountable by weakening the power of the ombudsman, who investigates claims of police mistreatment.

Mayor Nadine Woodward, who was endorsed by the Police Guild during her campaign, argues that before police reform can be discussed, a contract must be approved.

The contract has been in the works for years; the last contract expired in 2016 and has been under negotiations since.

The Spokane City Council is set to vote on the contract Monday, but Council President Breean Beggs said it could likely be delayed.

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