Say Sorry: Panel Tells Seattle Police to Apologize for 2020 Protest Response

Demonstrators raise their fists as a fire burns in the street after clashes with law enforcement near the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct shortly after midnight on June 8, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Earlier in the evening, a suspect drove into the crowd of protesters and shot one person, which …
David Ryder/Getty Images

The Seattle Police Department should offer a “sincere, public apology” for its response to protesters who took to the streets in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, a community panel urged in a report made public Tuesday.

An apology from the police department would be a significant step in building trust between police and Seattle communities, the report outlined.

In all 22 recommendations were delivered by Seattle’s Office of Inspector General, most of which address Seattle Police policies, tactics, and training.

“Acknowledge the harm to BIPOC community caused by Seattle Police actions over time and issue a public apology for the actions of Seattle Police during the 2020 protests,” was the direct summation.

In its fourth and final review of the Seattle police response to the months of protests in 2020, the city’s Office of Inspector review panel found officers and commanders repeatedly failed to recognize “the difference between the throngs of protesters exercising their First Amendment rights and the few troublemakers,” the Seattle Times reported.

Law enforcement from the King County Sheriffs Department guard the city streets during a riot on May 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Karen Ducey/Getty)

Protesters holding a Black Lives Matter banner shout at law enforcement officers on May 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

In response, the department referred to a 2021 public letter from Chief Adrian Diaz, who said he was “deeply sorry” to those who had lost trust in police or were hurting.

He also apologized “to members of the community and the department alike who bear the physical and emotional scars” of the 2020 protests.

“Reform means that we accept the responsibility that is ours to bear, we learn from our experience, and we consistently strive to do better,” Diaz wrote.

As Breitbart News reported, multiple buildings in Minneapolis burned as protesters turned to riots over the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer was seen on video putting his knee on his neck as he was handcuffed.

The violent unrest raged right across the United States for weeks on end with demands for reparations also made as part of the civil unrest.

In all, the panel reportedly made 139 recommendations to the department and city officials “intended to prevent such events from happening again.”

“SPD must truly protect and serve the community in ways that are just, fair and supportive,” the report concludes.

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin’s appeal for another trial over the death of Floyd was rejected on Monday, the news coming after he was sentenced to over 20 years in prison for the incident.

Read the Sentinel Event Review of Police Response to 2020 Protests in Seattle in full here.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.