Washington State Commission on ... Civil Disorder criticizes police behavior in Washington cities on February 25, 1969.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 5/31/1999
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1186
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On February 25, 1969, the Washington State Commission on the Cause and Prevention of Civil Disorder, chaired by Secretary of State (and former Seattle councilman) Lud Kramer, cites "the failure to provide bias-free police services in the ghetto" as one of the preconditions that exists for unrest in Washington cities. The report mentions housing discrimination and disparities in the treatment of blacks by the criminal justice system as other causes.

The commission consisted of 19 members, including judges, lawyers, and educators, who conducted 420 interviews. The report provided 89 proposals and recommendations, including constitutional amendments and tax reform as solutions to this problem. One item mentioned as an aggravating factor in police-community relations was the Seattle Police Department's use of "warning shots," a tactic abandoned by almost all other big city police departments and discouraged by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 266; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 26, 1969, p. C.

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