An online reporting tool used by the Seattle Police Department has changed the term used for a suspect when officers write up reports.
Union officials say that officers have forced to use the term “community member” instead of “suspect,” even in cases involving violent criminals, according to KIRO-TV.
Following the incident involving Damarius Butts last month who shot three officers before being being killed by police after an armed robbery downtown, officers were required to use the more gentler term to refer to Butts.
“I think this is all in an effort to make sure our report writing sounds politically correct,” Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Kevin Stuckey the news station.
While the terminology changed for multiple forms in the department’s online reporting system called Blue Team, officers say that it’s only in the use of force forms that they find the term offensive.
Officials said that the decision to use “community member” instead of “suspect” was likely part of a larger update to the reporting system.
“The change appears to be part of a routine update by the software developer, which services more than 600 law enforcement agencies worldwide,” Seattle Police Spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said. “The department’s force review section has not received any inquiries about the change.”