Editorial: Clear communication from law enforcement is crucial

The King County Sheriff’s Office recently got a much-deserved slap on the wrist for sharing inaccurate information with the public and the press and not correcting it in a timely manner.

After the June 14, 2017, fatal shooting of 20-year-old Tommy Le by a deputy, the law enforcement agency told the press and the public that he was carrying a knife or another sharp object. The department took more than a week to correct that mistake and say Le was actually carrying a pen when he was shot.

An outside review says the law enforcement agency must improve its communication efforts, and the new sheriff says the department already is working on it. But action, not words, will be the test of that promise.

The University of Florida’s Brechner Center for Freedom of Information examined the department at the request of King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, a civilian watchdog group, and came up with some smart, common-sense recommendations. Read more…