Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of 11 members to serve on the Office of Independent Investigations (OII) advisory board. The OII is a new office created to conduct independent, unbiased, competent and thorough investigations of cases involving police use of deadly force.
Inslee requested the creation of the new office based on recommendations from his 2020 task force convened following the deaths of George Floyd and Manuel Ellis.
The OII advisory board will provide advice and input to the director on the creation and operation of the office. The OII director has not yet been appointed and a national search is underway to identify candidates for the position.
"The Office of Independent Investigations will help provide communities, families, individuals, and law enforcement with reassurance that their cases are being examined and reviewed in an unbiased way. While we cannot fully heal the wounds of the past, we can work to support those impacted going forward. I thank these members for stepping up and for contributing to make Washington a better state for everyone," Inslee said.
“When police investigate other police, far too often families and communities are left with significant questions about the incident and doubt about the impartiality of the investigation. The Office of Independent Investigation is a major step towards rebuilding trust between our communities and police. This new independent office will provide real accountability when police take a person’s life with a focus on working with the families of those killed. Knowing that a thorough, unbiased investigation has taken place will help families and communities heal,” said Rep. Debra Entenman.
“The advisory board is the key to assuring an independent investigation framework is in place and maintained. The Board has an oversight role, which adds credibility to the new office. We are looking forward to the perspectives of this diverse group, and in particular the life experience and wisdom of the board member representing families who have lost loved ones to police violence,” said the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability.
OII advisory board members whose appointments are effective immediately:
- Monica Alexander, Tacoma, member of the Criminal Justice Training Commission
- Breean Beggs, Spokane, defense attorney representative
- Eric Drever, Tukwila, sheriff or police chief representative who is also a member of an Independent Investigation Team (co-chair)
- Norma Gallegos, Leavenworth, general public member
- Anthony Golik, Battle Ground, prosecuting attorney representative
- Philip Harju, Olympia, federally recognized tribal member
- Monisha Harrell, Lynnwood, general public member
- Susie Kroll, Snohomish County, mental health professional
- Faapouaita Leapai, Burien, general public member
- James Schrimpsher, Algona, representative of a police labor association
- Fred Thomas, Tacoma, general public member representing an impacted family (co-chair)