BREAKING: Embattled Seattle police chief to step down

Diaz was chosen by Democratic Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell following the resignation of Carmen Best during the riots of 2020.

Seattle’s police chief Adrian Diaz announced he is stepping down at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He has been at the center of lawsuits and tort claims on allegations ranging from harassment, discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell named Sue Rahr as the interim police chief and said that Diaz has been reassigned to work on "special assignments." Rahr previously served as the sheriff of King County, Washington from 2005 to 2012. She does not want the permanent position and Mayor Harrell said a search for the new police chief is underway. According to the Seattle Times, Rahr will begin in the position on Thursday.

During his exit speech, Diaz told reporters: "I want to thank the men and women of the Seattle Police Department for their hard work and the community that has supported us through every challenge."

Last week, Captain Eric Greening filed a lawsuit against Diaz alleging he was punished for speaking out about gender discrimination in the department.

Last month, four female SPD employees accused the Chief and his top lieutenant, John O’Neill, of harassment, discrimination, and a hostile work environment and filed a $5 million claim against the city.

Diaz is also facing several lawsuits and tort claims from multiple SPD employees.

Diaz has also failed at recruiting enough candidates to offset the massive exodus of officers from the department. Due to the dire staffing situation following the city council’s efforts to defund the department, response times for emergency calls are getting worse. According to a new report, from January to March, SPD’s median response time citywide was 7.9 minutes, with an average response time of 11.4 minutes for a priority one call.

For priority two calls, the median was 33.1 minutes, and the average was 75.7 minutes with priority three calls clocking in with a median of 81.8 minutes and an average of 154.5 minutes. All times were worse than those in 2023.

Diaz was chosen by Democratic Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell following the resignation of Carmen Best during the riots of 2020. He was seen by many as a “yes man” for the mayor and was promoted from interim chief following Best’s departure. He served in the department for over 20 years.
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