Justice Department faults Seattle police policy

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The Justice Department is criticizing the Seattle Police Department's policy of protecting officers from criminal prosecution when they are compelled to give statements on their use of force.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/v8dltp ) the department delivered a nine-page letter Wednesday to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. It says the policy may result in the exclusion of important evidence and undermine public confidence.

The Justice Department recommends Seattle amend its policies to allow officers to make voluntary statements without the promise of protection from criminal prosecution.

In March the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division opened an investigation of the police department, following a string of confrontations between officers and minority citizens caught on video.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com