Ex-Seattle Mayor Won’t Be Charged in BLM Text-Deleting Case
According to MyNorthwest.com, a former Seattle Major, Police Chief, and current fire chief won't face criminal charges over thousands of text messages deleted during the Black Lives Matter protests and riots in Seattle in 2020.
Thousands of messages were deleted during a 10-month period
After an investigation by the King County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Unit, no criminal charges will be brought.
A whistleblower revealed a ten-month void in text messages from Durkin's phone, most of from the period of time during the Black Lives Matter protests and riots in 2020. According to MyNorthwest.com:
"The missing texts came from the summer of 2020 when police deployed tear gas against protest crowds and abandoned their East Precinct during the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Then-Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and current Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins also failed to retain their texts during roughly the same period.
The law requires both willful and unlawful action on behalf of the individual to constitute criminal conduct. Investigators found neither."
The investigation failed to turn up criminal intent. According to the report (by way of MyNorthwest.com, the reasons for the deletions were numerous:
“It was a perfect storm of training delinquencies, outdated and conflicting policies and procedures, and insufficient safeguards to prevent the loss of records that primarily contributed to the destruction of these text message,”
The Sheriff's Department had been asked to investigate the deletions in July, 2022.