Seattle mayor, police chief parade their solidarity after DOJ pact

SEATTLE - One day after the city of Seattle avoided a federal lawsuit over an investigation by the Department of Justice for use of excessive force, the mayor and his police chief made a public statement of solidarity.

They say changes to the police department mean a path forward toward a better Seattle.

The annual Seafair Torchlight Parade brought out flag flyers, toe-tappers and motorcade maneuvers. There, too, were Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz.

"It was the chief's idea to come out," says McGinn. "We made this DOJ announcement on Friday, which was a big deal."

This was the first time the mayor and police chief stood side by side publicly since Friday, when the U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and city leaders laid out a plan to change the Seattle Police Department.

Durkan called it a "good, solid agreement" at Friday news conference.

The announcement of an agreement came out of a scathing Department of Justice report that found Seattle police routinely used excessive force and showed evidence of biased policing.

The plan sets up a court monitor who will oversee the changes. It also includes a community policing commission - one the city hopes will help satisfy skeptical community leaders.

Mayor McGinn and Chief Diaz agree - these changes will take time. But they insist the plan will pave a way to a better police force - and a better Seattle.

"It's a good deal, and it will give us a new path forward," says McGinn.

Some minority group leaders say they're hopeful, but they are skeptical the five-year-plan will restore public confidence in the department - and its chief.