• Report paints picture of a police department unable to protect downtown Seattle


    SEATTLE - A new report details the chaos and confusion during last year's May Day riots.

    The report includes 38 problems and changes the Seattle Police Department needs to make before May 1st this year, when there will once again be May Day rallies.

    The 2012 May Day protests rocked Seattle. Anarchists broke apart from a noon march, damaged businesses and caused widespread violence.

    Problems also rocked Seattle's police department.

    An independent review from a former Los Angeles deputy chief said that protests "significantly damaged the police department's credibility."

    The review found officers were given "conflicting orders" from two department leaders and were left "unclear who was in charge."

    Officers believed "a hands-off approach" to crowd management was to be used, and that they were not to engage protestors.

    Seattle Police Chief John Diaz told the City Council's Public Safety Committee that the problem last May was not officers, it was their leadership.

    "The issue is the commanders involved," said Diaz. "Could we have done a better job on how we deployed officers? The issue isn't about what we did, but about how we can do things better."

    The police chief says his department started implementing changes soon after last year's protests.

    While he won't make all changes public, he did say that more than 300 police officers have already received crowd management training.

    In an effort to try and prevent another round of violence in downtown Seattle, the department's leadership has also developed a consistent strategy and message for officers on how to handle protestors.

    Next Up: