Diaz, who has been with the Seattle Police Department for 30 years, was officially named chief in 2010 by Mayor Mike McGinn. Despite a tenure filled with allegations of excessive force and claims of racial bias that led to an investigation from the Department of Justice, Diaz was known for being “very likeable and extremely knowledgeable” but also largely out of sight of the public eye.
As Diaz told Seattle Weekly in February:
“I’ve never tried to be out in front getting publicity for myself. Frankly, I’ve never been very good at it.” Public speaking, he explains, is not his strong suit. Rather, he says, “I’m much better working in small groups.” He also declares himself a big believer in “listening,” a skill he says he picked up early on in his career, when he spent three years as a criminal investigator for the Army.
Assistant Chief Jim Pugel is expected to be named in the interim police chief.
A press conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today, where it’s expected the Mayor will make a formal announcement.