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Police beating hard enough to watch without hype

Post by Brian O'Neill on May 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm with 10 Comments »
May 12, 2010 7:57 pm

Let’s be clear – it never should have happened.

It, in this case, was another police brutality incident involving officers and gang detectives with the Seattle Police Department. A citizen’s video captured the boot-stomping and a racist threat made by officers in the wake of a downtown robbery investigation.

It all unspooled two weeks ago after police detained a possible suspect in the robbery. The Hispanic male was prone on the sidewalk when first observed on video, an appropriate position given the nature of the alleged crime. That was when a gang detective launched an idle threat, along with the “Mexican” identifier, and the professional demeanor unraveled.

The KIRO news reporter who narrated the citizen’s video indicated where officers stomped on the prone individual’s head and kneecap. Next, an expert in police tactics, ex-Bellevue Police Chief Don Van Blaricom, commented on the incident.

By this time the “story” had gone into full spin cycle.

When I watched the kicks that supposedly connected with the prone individual’s head and kneecap, I saw the individual pull his hand towards his body (a big “No, no” for officer safety). This was followed by a cop’s admittedly harsh boot crunch on the individual’s hand, NOT the head. The alleged kick to the individual’s kneecap by another officer was an assumption, because the officer’s foot was not in view. It could have hit the kneecap, or it could have hit the pavement.

KIRO then showed the video to Van Blaricom, a former chief who now makes his living testifying in civil cases, both for and against police officers, then makes the following statement, “There is never an excuse to step on a subject’s head…”

Never? Not even if a prone subject were reaching for your firearm, or trying to pull a knife out of his boot? There were plenty of salient points to make on this video, but this was neither the right point nor, in my opinion, the right expert.

Again, let me be clear. That video was difficult to watch for several sobering reasons. If anything, it reminds those of us in law enforcement that it takes only one thuggish moron with a badge to stain our honor and tarnish the goodwill built on our dedication, our professionalism and our shared grieving for the brother and sister officers we have lost.

This event was not as bad as KIRO news made it out to be, but it was bad enough.

And we’re better than that.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. nonstopjoe says:

    Hopefully, the cops checked these guys’ status – legal or illegal.

  2. derekyoung says:

    What makes you think he’s not a citizen?

  3. derekyoung says:

    You make a good point Brian. Local broadcast news has always leaned towards the sensational, but it’s become worse over the years. Clearly something went wrong here since the officers have already admitted as much, but there’s no reason to make stuff up.

    The Fox News trend seems to be spreading.

  4. tacoman1 says:

    So the guy was a innocent by stander. The police assaulted him , they did not want to call for a aid unit as it would lead to a wider investigation. What is troublesome is that out of the several officers present NONE stood up to serve and protect. All present should be ashamed of their conduct and lack of conduct , and be terminated as employees. Sometimes things are just what they appear to be. Anyone whom tries to sugar coat or white wash the video and actions is simply being a lackey. Shame on you officers in the video. You are supposed to be some of our best and brightest.

  5. Toyoaki says:

    OMG not Van Blaricom again……What rock did he crawl out of? How is he an “expert” in police tactics? When he was a cop there was no taser, pepper spray, computers, cell phones and cops carried revolvers.

  6. Seriously, any attempt to justify or excuse this, or pretend like the cop was trying to step on his hand, or anything is stupid. Brian-your attempt to justify this action is a negative reflection on you!!!! This is another Seattle police officer abusing the public. I’m sure nothing will be done about it either(remember the girl getting beat down in the cell a few months ago). And people wonder why the general public has no respect for the “biggest gang in the world “the gang in blue””. Those are recorded comments from Seattle police detective Ron Smith. He was threatening a Nomad(Hell’s Angel member). Seattle PD response? A re-training of Detective Smith. Google it- it’s real, this is a corrupt force. Something needs to be done!

  7. fatuous says:

    TMell, you see this video and believe the police are totally evil. I don’t buy that.

    But I suggest you see the movie “Crash”. The movie’s premise is that we are more complicated then initial perceptions.

    Anyhow , what the police did was wrong. And I suggest that the two officers who struck the suspect need to find another job.

    As a side note, I certainly hope all officers see this video and reflect on whether on not they are cut out to be police officers.

  8. fatuous, I don’t think all police are totally evil. Just pointing out the repeated problems the Seattle Police Department has had, and their refusal to do much of anything about it. The guard that beat that girl up in the cell-no assault 1 charges. Ron Smith, a detective, threatening an alleged gang member-the phone conversation being taped and turned over to the Seattle Police Dept. Retraining-that’s what he got. And if you don’t remember, this is the same Ron Smith who got in a fight in Sturgis. 5 Iron Pigs(a law enforcement/fireman wannabe 3 piece patch group). They wear a 3 piece patch and mimic their rituals and membership, etc. after what they call “Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs”. These 5 are jawing forever with 2 Hell’s Angels members. They get in a fight in a bar, he is getting his As% kicked. Pulls out a gun and shoots the guy he is fighting with. A grand jury indicted him, and subsequently a judge decided to drop charges. Only people to see the videotape of the incident are the grand jury that indicted, and the judge that dismissed the charges. He claimed under HB217(pretty sure that was the law) that he had the right to carry in a bar off duty. Nobody breathalyzed him to see if he was “under the influence of alcohol”, in which case HB217 wouldn’t apply. Nope-another cover job and he’s back on this force.

    I don’t think all cops are bad. I just wish they’d clean up the ranks, so the public perception of law enforcement will improve. Protect and serve used to be the motto.

    Christopher Coy Clark-State Trooper arrested March 20, 2010 for DUI. He is currently on paid administrative leave, and there is absolute silence in the media on his situation. I have made a public records request from the WSP for this info.

  9. Sorry, HR218 is the law they cited allowing them to carry in a bar. Erik Pingel was a firefighter who was carrying too in the Sturgis incident.

  10. LOL, facts are now “hype”. Guessing the FBI is just creating “hype” against this department? I’m guessing you must be related to Rich O’neill, the other talking head for the Seattle PD Officers Guild? Best part of my story above-Ron Smith just sued the Seattle Police Dept for emotional distress, etc(April 29th, 2010 I belive). He got his feelings hurt over some comments Kerlikowski made after he pulled a gun in a fistfight(that he was losing) and shot the guy that was kicking his butt. Yeah-169,000 worth of emotional distress. Sounds like a good, mentally strong person to me. Sounds just like what we shouldn’t have patrolling the streets. If situations like this force the attitudes to disappear, and people who genuinely want to protect the public to get back into the police force, they will have served the good of the people. Washington State Patrols motto-Service, with Humility. Remember when that was what policing was about. Protecting the citizens, not using your nightstick as a substitute for manhood.

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