Feds, Seattle agree to police reforms

Seattle officials have agreed to an independent monitor and court oversight of its police department as part of an agreement with the Justice Department following a damning report that found officers routinely used excessive force.

City and federal negotiators were involved in tense talks over the scope of a deal for months, and Justice Department lawyers had threatened to sue the city if a deal was not reached by July 31.

The agreement was announced Friday at a City Hall news conference by Jennifer Durkan, U.S. Attorney for Seattle, and Mayor Mike McGinn. The deal also calls for a special commission to concentrate on use of force issues.

The Justice Department launched its civil rights investigation early last year after the fatal shooting of a homeless, Native American woodcarver and other incidents when force was used against minority suspects.