When Seattle police officers write use of force reports they no longer call a suspect a suspect.
“Community member” is the new term. Several officers say the term is offensive, explaining their work with violent suspects.
Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.
Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.
“I think this is all in an effort to make sure our report writing sounds politically correct,” Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Kevin Stuckey told KIRO 7.
The online use of force reporting system, called Blue Team, is used for more than just use of force reports and while the terminology changed for multiple forms, it’s only in the use of force reports that officers find offensive.