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What were Seattle officers doing in D.C. on day of deadly Capitol siege?

KOMO-TV Seattle logo KOMO-TV Seattle 2/24/2021 Michelle Esteban, KOMO News Reporter

As the U.S. Senate works to answer questions about security failures - a related investigation happening here in Seattle regarding SPD officers who were in Washington D.C on the day of the siege.

The question investigators and Seattle's top cop want answered: What where they doing there?

We’ve just learned interviews with the officers are happening now and should wrap up in about a month and due to Seattle's Surveillance Ordinance combing through all the video from that day could take months.

"Right now we have six officers being investigated," said Chief Adrian Diaz during a sit down interview with KOMO-TV Monday.

Investigators know the office were all in D.C. the day of the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, what they don't know yet for certain is what they were doing.

Diaz reiterated his position has not changed since news first broke in January that some of his officers were in D.C. on Jan. 6.

"I cannot have any officer involved in any level of extremism in this department i won't tolerate it," Diaz said, as he waits on the findings of an investigation.

What Diaz doesn't know yet is whether any laws were broken; the case in part will answer whether any of the officers crossed police barricades, participated in property damage, or entered the U.S. Capitol.

"We have no indication right now that any of them violated the law," said OPA Director Andrew Myerberg. "We are approaching the case seriously to evaluate that."

OPA, or the Office of Police Accountability, is investigating. He underscored the public interest in this case and said they are working to complete the investigation - that could take anywhere from three more months, but up to 180 days.

"We are interviewing the officers , the six, to say, tell us what you did and the second o part of the investigation is to do our due diligence by looking at video and other evidence to say can we confirm or deny that’s the case," Myerberg said.

We learned new Tuesday in addition to videos shot by people in D.C. and many posted to social media, OPA hopes to access the video from the U.S. Capitol building, with the intention of reviewing it. At this point Myerberg hopes to work with their 'partners' to access the video, but doesn't know yet if that will happen.

He cautioned pouring through the video won't be fast, but insisted reviewing any available video evidence must be done.

"We are not allowed to use facial recognition is not permitted under the city's surveillance ordinance, so if we’re doing it (reviewing the video) is really going to be a manual review of the video," Myerberg said.

Four of the six officers said they were in D.C. on Jan. 6, while the two officers who did not self-report are on pad leave. The others are on duty while under investigation.

"I believe we've been open and transparent with what we are doing so that we ensure the community that if officers are a part of that insurrection they will be terminated," Diaz said.


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