Seattle police officers have launched a $100,000 GoFundMe fundraising page in order to raise money to help fund a lawsuit filed to fight federal reforms targeting use-of-force policies.
The lawsuit, which was filed in May, counts more than 100 officers with the Seattle Police Department as plaintiffs. It alleges that US Department of Justice reforms meant to reduce police brutality, “favor criminals over the personal safety of law enforcement officers.”
“This policy is the greatest threat to the city’s public safety in our time,” says the fundraising page created Aug. 30 by Officer Robert Mahoney under the category “emergency.”
“Instead of allowing officers to respond to immediate threats of harm with reasonable force, they want us to first go through a complicated, contradictory and confusing checklist of requirements, criteria and options, under circumstances that are by nature tense, uncertain, and rapidly unfolding – even in the face of deadly threats,” Mahoney says.
The fund-raiser hopes to earn $100,000 to cover legal costs as the lawsuit, which targets the U.S. Attorney General and several Seattle city officials, was filed without any legal representation after the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild rejected the litigation.
The city adopted the policies Jan. 1 to put a stop to police brutality after a DOJ investigation found Seattle officers frequently used excessive force and biased policing.
“This case may affect American law enforcement and public safety for decades to come,” Mahoney says. “We are prepared to pursue it as far as necessary.”
In the past week, the fund-raiser has failed to raise more than 3 percent of its goal, receiving just $2,720 from 26, primarily anonymous, donors.