Judge OKs reform plan for Seattle police

SEATTLE — A federal judge on Friday has approved a settlement between the city of Seattle and the Justice Department to reform the city’s police department, following a scathing report that found officers routinely used excessive force.

The Seattle Times reported that U.S. District Judge James Robart on Friday made his ruling provisional, saying he wanted the deal modified to give him a greater role in selecting a court-appointed monitor.

In July, Seattle officials agreed to a court-appointed monitor and other changes, after months of negotiations with federal officials. The settlement deals with many aspects of police interaction with citizens, from casual contact to the use of deadly force.

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

City officials disputed the findings, but agreed on the need for reforms.

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