Paging Radley Balko

More of the new professionalism here (via):

My favorite part of this vicious assault is after he has kicked her, punched her, banged her head off a wall, thrown her to the floor and beaten her some more, they then handcuff her and have her completely subdued, and pull her to her feet. By her hair. And then, of course, perjury being the native tongue for some in law enforcement, he lies about the event in the report.

She is 15. Story here, including what she is arrested for, but really, does that matter?






95 replies
  1. 1
    Ed Marshall says:

    My neice will be 15 in October and cop or not if an adult beat on her like that, I’d tune somebody up. I’d go to jail over it and never regret a bit.

  2. 2
    Josh Hueco says:

    Nice job, coming back in to the cell to make sure there’s no evidence. Disgusting.

  3. 3
    Robert Johnston says:

    Execution is too good for that "officer." He’s a brutal bully who abuses his position of power to beat and shoot citizens without anything like sufficient provocation. He should be thoroughly humiliated and degraded before being thrown in a ditch to rot. Sadly, he’ll most likely never receive even marginally significant punishment.

  4. 4
    jg says:

    Well what did you expect, a blood filled pocket developed on his shin, he had to take her down. And she was lippy.

    Don’t officers know there are cameras in the cells?

  5. 5
    northquirk says:

    I live here in Seattle and this just makes me sick. Sadly enough, ever since learning about the Stanford prison experiment in college, these incidents are not surprising. blech.

  6. 6
    Stooleo says:

    Jeebus… what the fuck is wrong with some people.

  7. 7

    My favorite quote from the piece:

    "We had argued strenuously that the videotape released to the media this morning not be released because it does not tell the whole story of the incident," attorney Anne Bremner said in a statement.

    I completely agree. It is not readily apparent from the video that the person being assaulted is 15 years old.

    He should spend a long stretch in prison–not in a special protective unit–but in the general population. Then we’ll see who gets beat like an unarmed 15 year old girl.

  8. 8
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    Fuck. Crying.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.

  10. 10
    Matt says:

    Hmm….keep it classy police force

  11. 11
    max hats says:

    The worst thing about the article is towards the end, where it says this officer was involved in two separate police shootings, both ruled justified.

    Sure they were.

  12. 12
    WMass says:

    The backlash against cops is coming. Not for a while, unfortunately, as it takes the average person a good five to ten years to grasp a changing reality. It has taken much too long, but public opinion is finally starting to change. The internet helps as does having cameras everywhere.

  13. 13
    Ed Marshall says:

    In Sweden there is a tradition of the public service unions demonstrating in a way by having everyone show up regardless of shift. Say all the nurses would plan to be there, for the AM shift to show how much more could be done if you increased their ranks.

    The cops decided to do this. So all the cops are out in full force covering Stockholm. A group of protestors dressed up as cops and started citing people for imaginary, ridiculous, crimes. Sometimes the real cops got involved with the fake cops and tried to back them up, and other cops realized what was going on and started trying to arrest the fake cops. They got so confused they had a cop civil war going on, pepper spraying and beating on each other. It basically decended into a cop riot.

  14. 14
    Ben says:

    Enough to get my fat ass of the chair and in front of the computer to do something…..dunno what I"m going to do but I’m going to be mad as hell. Horrible.

  15. 15
    Dr. Squid says:

    "Injury and pain" from a basketball shoe? The cop’s a whiny, wimpy weenie boy. And a drunk.

  16. 16
    Sean says:

    Fucking fuck.

  17. 17
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    If this video did not exist, she would be the criminal and he would be the hero. End of story.

    If that was my daughter I would go find that fucker off duty and get myself thrown in jail kicking his ass. A man never strikes a woman, no excuses. I have drilled the very same thing into our son; a man striking a woman is unacceptable and if I ever find him doing it I will knock the crap out of him. Restrain her if you have no other choice and can’t get away, but never strike her. The physical differences between men and women don’t even make it close to a fair fight.

    It is clear that this cop has an attitude problem. If he don’t get the respect and deference he thinks he deserves as a LEO then he will make you regret it. It was clear that she just kicked off her shoe and she was just starting to kick off the other one when he hit her. You can see his leg strike the metal toilet, thus his injury he blamed on her ‘panic attack’. That the only reason he is not being charged with a felony is that the paramedics decided that she did not require hospitalization sets a new standard for deciding if an attack is a misdemeanor or a felony.

    ‘I didn’t put her in the hospital judge, so it was no big deal.’

    I know that the 101st Chairborne like to believe that every single military member is honorable (until they say something that they disagree with, but I digress…) but the fact is that bad ones get in to every field of employment and make a bad name for the good ones. It happens, get over it.

    My question is if the Sheriff’s department runs the jail then why did it take until December 1st for a detective to discover the tape? Why wasn’t this violation reported by the jail personnel after it occurred? The fact that this officer acted with impunity despite the presence of the camera tells me that he wasn’t afraid of being discovered. There is more to this than meets the eye and more questions should be asked of the jail staff.

    The real irony is that the girl is related to the car owner. Are they going to be as inclined to call the cops the next time the kid steals the car? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  18. 18
    El Tiburon says:

    Liberals and normal people: My God, how terrifying, I hope that cop goes straight to fucking jail.

    Conservatives: She was being "lippy."

  19. 19
    Comrade Stuck says:

    It looked like she flipped one of her shoes off at the cop, that triggered the assault. I’m sure his attorney will point out the threat a size small 15 year old girl sneaker poses to this cop, and how the level of force was justified. This is what happens when you hire an idiot and give them a badge and gun, and probably pay them an idiot wage. I bet he walks, like so many of the others.

  20. 20
    Leo says:

    @max hats: Jesus. That’s horrifying.

  21. 21
    gwangung says:

    Liberals and normal people: My God, how terrifying, I hope that cop goes straight to fucking jail.
    Conservatives: She was being "lippy."

    You’re underplaying the conservative douche bags here.

  22. 22
    kay says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    I work with an older bailiff who is about my size, so small. He regularly has to chase my juvenile clients down the hall when they panic and bolt, handcuffed, from the hearing room, and down the stairs. I’ll hear their breathing increase and they’re out of the chair and out the door. It’s that fast. The most physical he has ever gotten is sort of a bear hug when he catches them, if they’re kicking. Probably 90% of the boys are bigger than him. The girls he doesn’t touch at all. They all stop. I’ve never seen one reach the exit to the street, and I’ve never seen the bailiff get angry. His voice stays even, and he uses their name.

  23. 23
    Sam Simple says:

    A few thoughts:
    – Being a cop is a really tough job in the best of circumstances.
    – Most cops are decent people doing their best in a tough job (see #1)
    – There are some cops who are sick animals and they are some of the most dangerous people on the planet, because they hold all the cards, especially when they get you one on one. I know – I have ran up against one of these creeps.

  24. 24
    Cassidy the Racist White Man says:

    @ Conservatively Liberal

    Apparently we don’t know the same kinds of girls. I’ve known more than my fair share of those you better knock out before they do the same to you.

  25. 25
    cyntax says:

    That’s absolutley f*cking disgusting, but I guess the bright spot is that she didn’t get shot.

    As described in the Balko article, Scalia’s take on the police and civil rights sounds about as intentionally obtuse as Greenspan’s contention that the bankers and mortgage lenders would never do something that served their own short term interests at the cost of their companies’ long term interests.

  26. 26
    Brandon T says:

    That’s it. I’m through with this cop defense/respect concept–we need to make our cops realize that their JOB is to take shit from people, except when it poses an obvious dangerous threat to their lives or the lives of others.

    The "under siege" and "epidemic of social disrespect" nonsense most police departments believe in these days is utter lunacy, and we’re letting them get away with it. We have cops tazing people for talking back, shooting people for offering mild resistance–all this says to me that cop egos have gotten totally out of control.

    Really, would it be so hard to train them to think like firefighters rather than soldiers?

  27. 27
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Cassidy the Racist White Man:

    One time I had a drunk girlfriend of an ex of mine start whaling on me in a parking lot. I picked her up and set her ass first (and up to her armpits and knees) in a 55 gallon drum that was used as a garbage can and I walked away. That is the most physical I have ever had to get with a lady and I have seen a lot of shit pass under the bridge in nearly 50 years. There are some crazy women out there but that don’t matter.

    Sorry Cassidy, I just won’t hit a woman. Never have and never will, I will walk away first or stop them in some way. In my book, a real man just doesn’t hit women.

  28. 28
    scarshapedstar says:

    Well, if it weren’t for all the liberal whining about Taser abuse, they could have simply electrocuted her instead.

  29. 29
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I can only imagine that as brain science improves, there will be (should be) much more stringent tests to weed out the guys that just aren’t wired the right way for stress.

    Give me Sully Sullenberger with a badge and gun over the turd in this clip any day.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    I think many of you are missing the point. It doesn’t matter if the person in question was male, over 18, and had been arrested for murder. This response is still way over the top.

    This was not restraining someone. This was a beating.

    And I am sympathetic to the fact that many cops are in tough positions, and have to spend their days dealing with the absolute worst in society. I am willing to cut some slack in cases in which there is grey area. This isn’t one of them. This was an assault, and the fact that he lied in the report and played up his injury (which was not caused by her, but was self-inflicted in the course of his own crime), makes it clear that the cop understands exactly what happened here.

  31. 31

    I spent an interesting hour talking to a Police Lieutenant who is getting ready to retire soon. He sees stuff like this all the time. He, like other PD "graybeards" I have spoken to put the blame for this on not military veterans, but the kids that are coming out of college criminal justice programs. One soon-to-retire cop called them "Hitler Youth". Said he hated to work with them.

    The Lieutenant said that they were cocky, lots of them used steroids, rude to the public, not bright at all, many live at home with mom and dad while making $80,000/yr and he could not wait to get away from them. He painted a bleak picture.

    I have heard one common thread in all of these disussions, however: the quality of graduates from college criminal justice courses.

  32. 32
    Dr. Squid says:

    @kay:

    The bailiff: Not a whiny, wimpy, weenie boy.

    The normal words for describing the 6’2" 195 pound LEO that beats up on a skinny 15yo don’t get used cuz I’ve got a daughter who I don’t want to be brought up thinking she’s something lesser because she’s female.

  33. 33
    bago says:

    Just so everyone knows, Burien is a bit more white trash than Seattle proper. Seattle police in general are pretty cool, except when the douchebag police chief orders them to stand still when rioters are fighting 5 feet away and wind up murdering some dude while surrounded by a hundred cops.

  34. 34
    Shygetz says:

    The problem is, even the "good" cops will often cover for the bad ones in a misguided solidarity, and often the prosecutor will refuse to prosecute unless they are publicly forced to do so because they rely upon police good will to gather their evidence. In my cynical opinion, it will never stop…the best we can do is get video and audio in every police/citizen interaction, and make the A/V public. All of it.

  35. 35
    Davis X. Machina says:

    That’s absolutley f*cking disgusting, but I guess the bright spot is that she didn’t get shot.

    Hey, we can’t all> live in Oakland, now can we?

  36. 36
    Cassidy says:

    @Conservatively Liberal: Like I said, we don’t hang out with the same kinds of women. The women I knew growing up could fight just as well as the males and used that to their advantage.

  37. 37
    edo says:

    This is my first time here so I will preface by praising your site. The dogs are a little weird, but the writing is entertaining and the observations tend to be spot on. Keep up the good work. That said, I have a couple of random observations: As the proud owner of a thriving adult daughter who was once a ‘lippy’ 15 year old with a whole herd of ‘lippy’ 15 year old girl friends, I can assure the world that 15 year old girls in this country are very ‘lippy’. When they are not ‘lippy’ they are either ill, asleep or out of earshot. Kicking a 15 year old girl in the stomach for "lippyness’ is like kicking her for possessing limbs. Pretty damn disgusting and cowardly. It’s a safe bet this superhero cop has kicked the crap out a number of people for having an ‘attitude’. One has to question the intelligence and professionalism of the brass and fellow officers for protecting this guy. The effectiveness and safety of a police force is largely dependent on a cooperative and supportive public. This sort of behavior completely undermines that support.

  38. 38
    gwangung says:

    I think many of you are missing the point. It doesn’t matter if the person in question was male, over 18, and had been arrested for murder. This response is still way over the top.

    No fuckin’ kidding.

    Guy’s an ass, through and through. No doubt about it.

  39. 39
    cyntax says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Exactly.

    I wonder if they’re really going to go to trial with the murder charge or if they’ll step it down. I’m sure his lawyers will try to get a change of venue.

  40. 40
    YellowJournalism says:

    "As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion….

    Well, duh.

    …and will severely impact the deputy’s right to a fair trial."

    Translation: "Severly impact his ability to receive a stern warning with a slap on the wrist."

    I’m sure this girl is no demur little flower, and like Cassidy, I’ve seen some 15-year-old girls who could kick ass with the best of them, but this officer supposedly has the training and skills to deal with the situation without resorting to a beat-down like the one we see on the video.

  41. 41

    I spent an interesting hour talking to a Police Lieutenant who is getting ready to retire soon. He sees stuff like this all the time. He, like other PD "graybeards" I have spoken to put the blame for this on not military veterans, but the kids that are coming out of college criminal justice programs. One soon-to-retire cop called them "Hitler Youth". Said he hated to work with them.

    My experience, derived mostly from a series of jobs where we hired off-duty cops as security, is that background mattered little, and the culture of the particular department mattered a lot. Grizzled vet, college graduate didn’t make much difference. However, the bad cops were overwhelmingly from the Minneapolis police. St. Paul cops tended to be pretty good. Minnesota state troopers were, hands down, the most professional, reasonable, competent police officers I have ever dealt with in any capacity.

    Of course, the other cops tended to hold the state police in low regard, because they have a reputation for not letting other officers skate on traffic tickets.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    and like Cassidy,

    And just for clarification, by no means am I attempting to defend the CO’s actions. Those assholes deserve some serious hurt. I’m strictly referring to the "don’t hit the woman" stance of some people. Some old fashioned beliefs will get you shanked.

  43. 43
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Cassidy:

    Oh I have seen plenty of those types, some real ‘biker bitches’. I have been around plenty of biker gangs, Hell’s Angels, Gypsy Jokers and the like, and I have seen some pretty nasty, bloody knock out-drag down fights between the sexes. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood and have seen plenty of domestic violence, up front and sometimes right in front of my face. I know exactly what you are talking about, and I still stay above it.

    I am smart and just stay out of the fights, leaving if necessary. Let them act like animals, they don’t need me. If some lady thinks she can insult me into a brawl I just leave. It ain’t worth it.

    Do what you like, that is what life is all about Cassidy. ;) I prefer to hold that one standard above all when it comes to women. It ain’t even a fair fight, even if they are tough enough to dish it out and they expect to take it back in return. Most guys I have seen beat by women were because they refused to fight back. When they fought back (and I mean really fight back), the woman may get a few licks in but in the end she loses. Usually pretty badly.

    Nope, it just ain’t worth it.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    Nothing that tax cuts and a purity ring couldn’t have prevented.

    It just starts with flicking off your shoe, then it turns into lesbianism and terrorist support. A good head-knocking will adjust her attitude. Now she’ll go to church, marry a hedge fund manager or mercenary for hire or other similar upstanding member of society, and live a good heterosexual tax-avoiding lifestyle.

    Country First!

  45. 45
    WMass says:

    @Cassidy the Racist White Man:
    Just a thought, but maybe some one who thinks it is accurate or funny to refer to themselves as a racist hangs out with the scum of the earth? That might explain your experience with women.

  46. 46
    gil mann says:

    Yo Dre, I got somethin’ to say.

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    @WMass: You don’t get the joke. And i’m not sure which post it was to refer you to an explanation.

  48. 48
    DFS says:

    Seems in keeping with the fine tradition of Pacific Northwest law enforcement.

    For folks who haven’t ever lived around there, you might be interested in the story of David Brame:

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/.....vid_brame/

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    He has a certain authority, derived from…I don’t know what. I do what he tells me to do, generally. I once choked on a Jolly Rancher at hearing and he calmly moved toward me, to do the Heimlich, I’m guessing. He was ready for anything. That could have been tragic, and he gave me the candy.

  50. 50
    Singularity says:

    If it were one of my daughters, that cop wouldn’t be findable in about six months.

  51. 51

    I ain’t watching the video lest I give a random uniform the finger,* but a question:

    Why the fuck was a male cop alone in a cell with a female suspect (and a minor to boot)?

    Doctors aren’t allowed to see female patients without a female employee (usually the RN) in attendance, so I find it hard to believe this is accepted procedure.

    Looks like the problem goes a bit deeper than one giant asshole.

    *’Cos I live in PG County, MD and I don’t what a bullet in the face.

  52. 52

    @bago

    Just so everyone knows, Burien is a bit more white trash than Seattle proper. Seattle police in general are pretty cool, except when the douchebag police chief orders them to stand still when rioters are fighting 5 feet away and wind up murdering some dude while surrounded by a hundred cops.

    Bago, you are one stupid piece of shit. I live in Burien, it’s hardly "white trash", or at least no more so than any other area around Seattle. Even if it were it hardly justifies this sort of behavior on the part of the police, which is what you’re smugly implying with your stupidly ignorant "white trash" comment. The fact is that the King County Sheriff’s Office has a bunch of fucking psychos working for them. The PI did a series three yeas ago on the problems in the KCSO called "Conduct Unbecoming". You can check it out at:

    Conduct Unbecoming

    The response of Sue Rahr, was to go and whine about how the PI was biased. Our worthless county executive, L. Ron Sims promised action, but like every other promise that L. Ron made nothing was ever done.

  53. 53
    John Cole says:

    Wile- You have anger issues. First, bago has been posting here a long while, so maybe you should get to know him/her before going full metal jacket. Second, it is entirely possible you have different concepts of white trash and what is and what is not.

  54. 54
    gil mann says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Hey, you stupid piece of shit, here’s some further reading on the subject, should your schedule permit.

    Fuckin’ love this place.

  55. 55
    colleeniem says:

    Vigor,
    Its worse, there was another cop with him.
    Why he didn’t take steps to calm the other officer down (once the girl was in handcuffs, and not going anywhere) is just as damning as the beating itself, IMHO.
    What is the official use of force policy for cops? Does anyone know how much emphasis there is in public relations in their training? I’ve had some federal law enforcement training, and those two were taught just so these types of things don’t happen. I could see, as another commenter pointed out, that culture at an individual unit could negate a lot of that type of training .

  56. 56
    ericvsthem says:

    2nd blog post that I’ve read today on the subject of police abuse. This was the 1st:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....855/702911

    I’ve been telling my friends for the past several years that the rate of incidence for police abuses would only increase as a result of the lack of prosecutions of former members of the Bush administration. They told me, in not so many words, that I was full of shit.

    Of course, no one could have predicted this.

  57. 57

    @Sam Simple: Bullshit. If that were true, then you wouldn’t have the blue wall of silence. Every goddamn officer who doesn’t throw these guys to the wolves is complicit–in a sense, they’re personally responsible for the next helpless kid who gets beaten or shot.

    This is the same apologetic twaddle that oozes out of fraternities when it turns out they’ve been sheltering serial rapists. It is profoundly disgusting no matter its source, and seeing someone belch forth the same half-assed defense of these bullies turns my damned stomach.

    The system is rotten. The fact that good police work gets done is incidental, and in no sense excuses anything else.

    @kay: When my car got stolen, the cop who took my statement and went looking for it explained that he had a good idea of where it might be, because he knew everyone in the area–because as he said, a good cop knows everybody.

    I had no idea that police work involved something other than investigation after the fact. I admired that idea. Of course, I don’t know how good the work the guy did apart from that was, but he did find the car within a day or two. (I don’t think he found the guys who stole it, though.)

  58. 58
    bago says:

    Wow. I started a blog fight!

    At any rate, I have lived for about ten years in the sub-urbs / ex-urbs of Seattle, and I have lived in Seattle proper for about ten years. I know of what I speak. I have gotten pulled over for having a guy with dreadlocks in my car before (this would be the *urb) sections of the area), and I’ve also been at the Mardi Gras riots where that guy was killed. I’ve also had some of my best friends murdered in the zombie rave massacre on Capitol Hill. I believe I know what I’m talking about, having lived here since I was ten years old. In the city proper, you tend not to find too many mall ninjas but that becomes less true the further out you go.
    When you trend towards Kent, Renton, Tacoma, and Everett, you get a lot more of the nouveau riche types who bought cheap land in *urbia, who tend to favor Randian/Eyman type policies. These people also tend to be a little bit less permissive in the social sphere, and favor policies that keep those punk ass kids locked up.
    This is a clear cut case of authoritarian projection, the kind that happens when your idea of a real crime is a teenage girl kicking off her shoes, and not murder.

  59. 59
    colleeniem says:

    @ericvsthem: Jebus wept.
    That OS video is horrifically awful.
    I don’t know why people are so goddamn afraid of trying GTMO folks to be sent to American prisons. It seems the guards and policemen are perfectly capable of the requisite cruelty here, and that in spite of all the legal safeguards.

  60. 60

    @John Cole

    Wile- You have anger issues. First, bago has been posting here a long while, so maybe you should get to know him/her before going full metal jacket. Second, it is entirely possible you have different concepts of white trash and what is and what is not.

    John, I’m not angry about the fact that Bago seems to think that my hood is "white trash". I could care less about that. I’m angry about the fact that Bago seems to think that cops beating up on prisoners is OK because it happened in a "white trash" section of town and I’m angry because of Bago’s ignorance in thinking that this sort of behavior by the King County Sheriff’s is only confined to the "white trash" sections of King County.

  61. 61
    woody says:

    People who join the cops are drawn by the power.

    Once you’re in custody, it’s like being Drafted: You’re as good as dead til they let you go. They got you and they can do anything they want, and there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing. They can kill you (see, i.e., the Fruitvale/Bart shooting), and walk away. The guy who pulled that stunt got bailed out. Nobody now is saying where he is.

    The most distressing trend I now see is the avidity with which cop-shops are recruiting former military. The militarization of the Cops is Not A Good Thing. They recruit people who came out of combat WITHOUT PTSD: the whackos, the crazies, the guys who LOVE it. That, along with the provision of military supplies, equipment and tactics, strikes me as fundamentally at odds with the notion of civl rights, etc,.

    Cops hate civil rights. To cops, you’re guilty. Period. You’re a perp, or a skel, or some such classification of low-life. You’re NOT a "citizen," unless the lights are on….

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but any cop will abuse her/his power given the chance. Gay-ron-TEED, chers…

    By the way: folks who diss lawyers probably have never been defendants…

  62. 62
    bago says:

    At what point did I say the beating was OK?

    All I said was that it was more likely to happen in the lower rent exurbs than downtown because of fundamental cultural differences.

  63. 63
    El Tiburon says:

    As a 40-ish, middle-class white dude who lives a pretty-clean lifestyle, I’ve had a couple of run-ins with Johnny Law as an adult, one in my mid-30s.

    Let me just say that I wouldn’t mind going the police force going the way of the Iraqi Army.

    I’m just saying.

  64. 64
    Comrade Stuck says:

    John, I’m not angry about the fact that Bago seems to think that my hood is "white trash". I could care less about that. I’m angry about the fact that Bago seems to think that cops beating up on prisoners is OK because it happened in a "white trash" section of town and I’m angry because of Bago’s ignorance in thinking that this sort of behavior by the King County Sheriff’s is only confined to the "white trash" sections of King County.

    Wile, we often speak in abstract snark mode that doesn’t always apply directly to the precise thread topic, which is how I took bago’s comment. And if you got to know bago, you would know this, and that he/she is snarkier and abstractier than some, which is appreciated because it gets my brain un-Stuck, as it were.

  65. 65
    DrDave says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    What you said.

    Jesus. I have a 15 year old daughter. Anyone does that to her and they end up in the hospital. Or worse.

  66. 66
    mistermix says:

    What caught my eye is that this is in the P-I — another Hearst newspaper that’s "up for sale" (read: "about to be closed"). I wonder who will do the FOI requests that uncover this stuff when they’re gone.

  67. 67
    bago says:

    The stranger.

  68. 68

    Oh, and if Bago thinks that the SPD is somehow cool he should think again. SPD has just as many perjurers in its ranks as does the KCSO. Including ones who have been caught on camera lying about arrests they’ve made. This story has a really nice video that shows a couple of those mostly cool SPD officers busting a man in a wheelchair for dealing drugs. Except that the video from a drugstore security camera showed that the police report the officers filed was full of inaccuracies, and later the King County prosecutor dropped the case because of accusations by the man arrested, that the drugs had been planted on him by these two stalwart officers of the SPD. The SPD has just as much of a history white-washing the behavior of its officers and resisting any oversight as the King County Sheriff’s Office does.

    I’ve probably seen a lot more of the SPD in action than Bago has. I was stuck in downtown Seattle for two days during the WTO keeping an eye on things in Amazon.com’s data center and watched how the police fucked up and lost control of that situation and then overreacted. I was on Capitol Hill in October of 1994 when they had a small police riot. But my favorite story is when the SWAT team occupied my house in December of 1991.

    Back then I was living in Lake City (is that one of the "white trash" areas of Seattle Bago? Is it OK for cops to beat people up when they arrest them there?) one of my neighbors went insane, shot his father and barricaded himself inside of his house with a bunch of guns. His father’s gunshot wound wasn’t fatal and the man got to a neighbor’s house and called the police. So I get home at around 11PM on a Tuesday night after working overtime and find out that the SPD Swat Team has commandeered our deck, kitchen, dining room and living room because we have the best field of fire at this guy’s house. The SWAT guys told us that if we wanted to be in that part of the house that we should low crawl and keep our heads down to stay out of any potential field of fire. Needless to say this is not how you want your day to end after you’ve spent the last 15 hours grinding barnacles off of sonar transducers.

    I wake up the next morning, take a shower, low crawl to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and tell the three SWAT team members who are using my stereo rack as a rifle rest that I’m going to work and to lock up if they resolve things before I or my roommates get home. Things weren’t resolved that day and the next morning I wake up thinking "Hmmmm, that sure sounds like someone is firing an M-203 grenade launcher". I get up, take a shower, low crawl to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and sure enough a member of the SWAT team is out on the deck firing tear gas grenades into this guy’s house. This tactic didn’t do any good because the guy just went around and opened all of the windows up and let the tear gas out.

    Finally, on Friday morning the cops went in and got this guy out of his house. He had a history of mental illness and from what I heard later had stayed hidden inside of the house because he was incredibly scared by what he had done and by the fact that he was surrounded by the police and didn’t come out because he was afraid of being shot. I have to say that those cops were pretty cool, but that I have no illusions about the SPD as a whole based upon their behavior. In fact one of the SWAT team guys told me that they tried to weed out the really crazy and gung-ho guys because guys like that got people killed. Pity they don’t do that in the rest of the department.

    I’m a white home-owner (even though my house is in one of those "white trash" areas in King County). I don’t have as much to fear from the police as say a black teenager, or a 15 year old girl, but I don’t have any illusions about them as Bago seems to. I have no illusions that the cops who decided to brutally beat a 15 year old girl and then lie about it, or that the cops who would lie about arresting a handicapped black man would somehow not beat the hell out of me, a white, crew-cut, 43 year old home-owner (albeit in one of the "white trash" areas of King County) and then lie about it if they wanted to and thought that they could get away with it. I also have no illusions that this sort of thing only happens in the exurbs because of the "cultural differences" that Bago talks about. It happens wherever cops think they can get away with it. I don’t know what part of Seattle Bago lives in, if indeed he lives here at all but I wouldn’t want to bet that I’d be immune from a police beating because of the culture or geography of my neighborhood.

  69. 69
    Terri says:

    Had I not known before I watched the vid, that this was in the Seattle area, I would have sworn this happened in my neck of the woods. Here in Tampa, or better yet Hillsborough Co., this sort of shit happens all the time. Remember the detention deputy that dumped the parapalegic from his wheelchair? Here. That incident prompted a much wider investigation which then turned up a whole slew of similar videos. I’ve always said that Florida will be like Mad Max at the Thunderdome in 50 years anyway, and I believe this sort of police conduct is merely a harbinger of that.
    I’d be willing to bet this guy probably treats the women in his life in a similar fashion. He needs a good ass whipping himself.

  70. 70
    AhabTRuler says:

    I’ve always said that Florida will be like Mad Max at the Thunderdome Waterworld in 50 years anyway

    Sorry, but MSL rise ain’t your friend.

  71. 71
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Idiot.

    Let’s assume for a moment that she had done something actually violent in resistance. In fact, let’s say instead of a 15 year old girl that she was a 6 foot male, heavily muscled, and this individual took off his steel-toed boot and threw it directly at an officer’s face, following it with apparent intent to either assault the officers or escape.

    1 – shut the door. Yeah, could need a suicide watch. That’s what the observation port is for, and there is (or had d*** well better be) a reaction team for that step.

    2 – Assemble the entry team. This is a gang of officers who are going to charge the person in the cell and pin them against first the wall and then the floor.

    3 – Mass rush the suspect. Yes, kicking toward is allowed as it distracts. Bring the suspect up hard and fast against a wall. Ramming them head first is wrong, though it does happen accidentally. (half a dozen people trying to move you really really fast to the wall results in a lack of control in that regard.) Other than the fact it was one officer doing the rush, this part was done right. In fact, if it had been our hypothetical 6 foot male his doing this would have gotten a combination attaboy and hand-slap — attaboy for controlling a threat larger than he was supposed to be able to handle, hand-slap for potentially putting himself and his partner at risk. 6 foot male, not our 5 foot something underage female.

    4 – Move suspect to floor for control. The movement is done by moving arms and body, not head via hair. Hair/head is secured to prevent biting. NOT "grab them by the hair and use that to slam them to the ground." The officer probably contended he had to grab the hair to control and prevent biting. Again, no. As disciplinary review I’d reject the contention.

    5 – while on floor, one officer brings hand to back for cuffing. The other officer present does this absolutely correctly. (In fact, that two second bit could be used as textbook.) There is zero need for any blows at this point. I don’t know what he was hitting or why he thinks it was necessary, he and the other officer had total control of the arm for cuffing. Further we see the other arm pulled after that to complete the cuffing.

    6 – lift suspect to feet to escort out. NOT BY THE F***ing HAIR. If I was feeling lenient, I could have given some benefit of doubt for most of the preceding. Maybe, assuming it was a 6 foot well-muscled male who the officer took down. Once the cuffs were on the suspect ceased having "will". Lifting by the hair forced a review of all the preceding steps with an eye toward prejudicial or abusive behavior.

    Now all this gets worse when we note some facts. He knew she was 15. He was the arresting officer. He took her ID and ran it. If he wasn’t told the name of the owners (parents) he might not have made that connection, but he knew prior to putting her in the cell he was dealing with a juvie. I’m willing to lay money that if I go looking I’ll see a special set of rules that apply when the arrestee is underage.

    There are three things that concern me about this.

    1) I’m concerned he will keep his job. This is his third strike, though he was cleared of the first two. (He’s shot two people before. Testimony and benefit of doubt and witnesses combined cleared him, but any officer who’s had to pull the trigger is a potential troublespot even if he was completely in the right.)

    2) I understand why the partner didn’t do anything at that instant – up to the two blows and the lifting by the hair (and if that’s allowed in policy, add another problem). I am concerned at the report that he didn’t do anything after. No report to higher of the problem, no cranking down, just shrug and look away. It makes me wonder how much more cess is in the pool.

    3) I am concerned at the joys the decent police are going to face because of this. Lack of trust not only on the street, but when there’s an allegation of abuse the benefit of the doubt no longer exists. "Innocent until proven guilty" except you and your peers have this… history, officer.

    On behalf of the girl, on behalf of good officers, on just general principle as a citizen who actually knows how it’s supposed to work, I’m pissed. And being across the country know there isn’t a d*** thing I can do about it.

  72. 72
    bago says:

    And Seattle cops used a ladder and hoses on a mentally ill dude with a sword. What’s your point?

    Mine was that in my personal experience, Seattle Police don’t have some hard-on about how proving how tough they are unless the Police Chief does something retarded. Seen that twice. (WTO and Mardi Gras). In fact they saved quite a few of my friends lives. I am not arguing that, nor am I arguing that cops are inherently corrupt.

    All I’m saying, is that in my experience, the smaller the town, the less effective the media, and the more likely you get mall ninjas with badges.

    Mister "shot two people got a DUI and beat multiple women" here qualifies as a mall ninja.

  73. 73

    Sorry to bum your high Bago, but the SPD has just as many mall ninjas with badges as does the KCSO. Working downtown and living on Capitol Hill during the WTO I saw plenty of them in action. Oh, and Burien is hardly a small town, unless your definition of small town is wildly different than mine. Burien is a suburb of Seattle. It’s all of 12 miles from downtown Seattle and if traffic is good you can get there in 15 minutes. FYI, Mercer Island, that other small town bastion of culturally different white trash is eight miles from downtown. I don’t know man, your knowledge of the geography of King County seems to be strangely deficient, let me guess, you live on Capitol Hill and think that anything south of Pike and north of the Ship Canal is out in the hinterlands where the white trash live.

  74. 74
    bago says:

    Only lived here for 20 years. Thanks for the geography lesson.

  75. 75
    Jager says:

    The summer I turned 11, 3 of my pals and I slept out in my backyard. Around 5 in the morning we decided to walk to a all night coffee shop and have breakfast. It was June, the sun was up and off we went on our 15 block jaunt. The 4 of us, buzz cuts, Chuck Taylors, shorts, typical 50"s grade school kids strolling along in the beautiful morning air were spotted by a cop…he swung his cruiser around and we panicked and ran into a baseball complex. He chased us in his car, the 59 Ford bouncing it over the pitcher’s mound, skidding around in the infield. He got ahead of us, jumped out, gun in hand and yelled "stop or I’ll shoot!" The 4 of us stopped and the next thing we knew we were face down in the dirt being asked for our ID (I didn’t even have a wallet, much less an ID) he was in a rage, screaming at us, wanting to know what were we doing, we were all crying, scared shitless and I blubbered something about going to breakfast! We were loaded into the cruiser and taken to the jail, upon arrival I asked the cop what we were arrested for. He screamed "what are you a fucking lawyer?" I said no, but my Grandfather is a County Judge and he’ll probably want to know what I’d done to end up in jail. The cops face went white and the air went out of him, the desk Sgt asked the cop what we had done, when he was told he said "take these kids home and you better hope the little lawyer doesn’t say anything to the judge. I did and the cop’s ass was in a sling. Everytime I saw him after that he glared at me and would say "you better watch your ass, punk!"

  76. 76
    Bob Weber says:

    The weird thing is that some of the commenters on other sites try to turn this into a racial thing. The apologists for the cops, that is, not the critics. The cop apologists think she’s black or Asian or Hispanic or something. Of course, the video is too low resolution to see her features well.

  77. 77
    Justin says:

    I grew up in Portland, Oregon and the entire NW is white-trash.

    So chill out folks. The cops here can be just as dirty as the cops in Brooklyn, Atlanta and Oakland.

  78. 78
    Robert Fredson says:

    The girl learned a valuable lesson that day, and lived to walk away from it. I’ll bet her days of crime and disrespect for Law Enforcement are over.

    Many of the socialists posting here would benefit greatly from a similar such lesson. And, with any luck, some of you soon will.

  79. 79
    iluvsummr says:

    @Robert Fredson: Too obvious. Try again.

  80. 80
    biggerbox says:

    Based on what is generally known about the behavior of pouty teenagers, what would be a teenager’s likely response to an authority figure putting them in a room and telling them to remove their shoes?

    A) Saying, "Yes sir" and slowly taking off the shoe and placing it gently aside, or
    B) Slipping the shoe loose and tossing it petulantly off the foot, most likely in the general direction of the authority figure?

    It’s so predictable that it deserves a ridiculing laugh, not a beat-down.

    Not only was the officer committing a savage and criminal assault, but anyone who can get that violent that quickly when put in contact with normal teenage behavior really shouldn’t be in that job.

  81. 81
    Michael af W says:

    Ed Marshall wrote:

    "In Sweden there is a tradition of the public service unions demonstrating in a way by having everyone show up regardless of shift. Say all the nurses would plan to be there, for the AM shift to show how much more could be done if you increased their ranks.

    The cops decided to do this. So all the cops are out in full force covering Stockholm. A group of protestors dressed up as cops and started citing people for imaginary, ridiculous, crimes. Sometimes the real cops got involved with the fake cops and tried to back them up, and other cops realized what was going on and started trying to arrest the fake cops. They got so confused they had a cop civil war going on, pepper spraying and beating on each other. It basically decended into a cop riot."

    Sorry Ed, I am Swedish and I have NEVER heard this story. And I am quite sure that I would have, if it were true. Urban myth, I would say.
    In any case, all over the world it seems that the police profession attracts a very large share of assholes. I have met nice cops in many countries, but I have also met some real, real assholes who seems mostly attracted to the opportunities to abuse their power. As late as last week I ran into the policeman who is in charge of all foreigner affairs in the Chinese city where I live. Such a fucking asshole!

  82. 82
    Sophists says:

    Compare the video to the officer’s account:

    In his own report from the incident, Schene wrote that the shoe hit him in the right shin, "causing injury and pain." He wrote that he "placed" her into handcuffs and that she needed medical attention for a "panic attack."

    Now imagine the camera wasn’t there. The girl would have absolutely zero chance of any justice, because it’s her word against his. And this shit happens all. The. FUCKING. TIME. Cops will add a charge of ‘resisting arrest’ whenever the hell they fell like it, and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it. They’ll knock your ass down for saying something they don’t like, and then charge you with obstruction to justify it. And almost every one of the ‘good’ cops will cover for them. Because they’re a fellow cop, and you’re not.

    And I have no idea how the fuck we can fix this.

  83. 83
    Anastasius says:

    "We had argued strenuously that the videotape released to the media this morning not be released because it does not tell the whole story of the incident," attorney Anne Bremner said in a statement.

    I tried brainstorming different scenarios that could justify it but the most credible I could come up with was "…and then she tried using her voodoo magic on us so we had to act fast."

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    Of course, the other cops tended to hold the state police in low regard, because they have a reputation for not letting other officers skate on traffic tickets.

    This is only a feeling, but don’t there tend to be a lot fewer problems with state police than with city or county officers, generally?

    I have this theory that you don’t hear much about the California Highway Patrol abusing people because a big part of their job is to interact peacefully with the public — helping people stranded roadside, clearing traffic obstacles, dealing with accidents, etc. They can’t approach their jobs as though every single person they deal with is a criminal because they’d never get through their day if they had to rough up every guy who had a flat tire.

    But I may just not hear about them and they may be as bad as everyone else.

  85. 85
    Max Renn says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My worst experiences with law enforcement have been with the CHP. I’ve had three really bad encounters with them.

    1) I was a passenger in a car my mom was driving when we were rear-ended by a woman who was looking at a CHP officer on the shoulder rather than at the traffic. The CHP officer was unbelievably rude and aggressive to my mom, who was the person who was hit. The County Sheriff personnel actually apologized to her when they arrived because he kept barking at her while she was dazed.

    2) A CHP officer attempted to falsify evidence against my fiance in much the same manner as noted by the SPI in the ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ article regarding a hit-and-run. We had to get a lawyer to write an e-mail to the cops letting them know that we were represented by counsel. Their initial response was threatening, but our attorney wrote a follow-up that was pretty aggressive, and suddenly, the whole thing went away and we never heard another word about it. We were lucky: lawyering up scared them off.

    3) CHP officers tried to incite a riot during anti-Iraq war protests, but were prevented by County Sheriff staff in my old hometown. There were very nasty words exchanged between agencies.

    Maybe it’s the CHP on the Central Coast of CA, but these instances were disturbing to say the least.

  86. 86
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Don’t officers know there are cameras in the cells?

    This gets to the crux of it. Cops are all about organization and hanging as a group. If you want bad cops to stop screwing up, their organization has to dissuade/punish/present an opposing groupthink. So, yes, he has to know there is video, which could lead us to conclude that, in general, a cop can expect that the video will not be reviewed. Which means we have a bad organization, which can be fixed if there is the political will to do it. Kudos to the guy who brought the video forward. I just hope there’s no retribution on him/her too.

    If it’s a "white trash" precinct (as some contend), that might explain the lack of political will. It doesn’t excuse the reduced rights. As a progressive, I’d argue that people in these areas can least afford to have cops f*cking their lives up and their police forces should be overseen more stringently than others (who can lawyer up, for example). Like that serial killer in LA who’s still killing black prostitutes and other undesireables and has been for 2 decades with no resolution, but they are finally on the case (whoa, the president is black, maybe we should catch this guy!). You have to push politically to get a longer term solution to this kind of crap. Sending this one guy to jail (where he WILL be paid back because he’s a former cop) will be a start, but it doesn’t address the problem, which is bad cop culture.

    And parents of lippy teens… if you’re worried about the kiddies taking a joy ride, take the effing fuses out, or hide the keys or something. Sheesh.

  87. 87
    iluvsummr says:

    The most read article on BBC’s world news website right now (about 7:55 a.m. pacific time) is this story (it includes the video). Paul Schene now has world-wide fame and can be an example to cops the world over on how to subdue skinny 15 year-old teenage girls for being "lippy."

  88. 88
    Nazgul35 says:

    Sure seems like a real good argument to record everything cops due during their time on the job.

    Might make them less likely to ask for breaking down our civil rights…

  89. 89
    Aaron says:

    Clearly we need more video cameras. Lets have police wear a small one right near their badge. We could certainly find something nice that gave a full day on duty, and then was downloaded at the end of every shift.
    And of course require cameras in all police cars and all ‘in custody’ locations.
    We have the technology.

  90. 90

    "Excessive force" is banging a perp’s head against your cruiser when sticking him in the back or putting a boot in when he’s cuffed and down. That cop is guilty of assault and battery; he’s also been in two officer-involved shootings, one that was fatal. That man doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a badge or a gun.

  91. 91
    ImJohnGalt says:

    And this is why Obama getting legislation passed that required the Chicago PD to videotape all interrogations from start to finish was so important. That he got it passed with the co-operation of the PD is even more impressive.

  92. 92
    Glocksman says:

    Some observations and comments:

    1. For those who say they’d go after the cop if it had been their daughter/niece/whatever, while I agree with the sentiment, I hope you’re ready to just kill him outright because the odds are that he’s carrying a gun while off duty.

    Now while I’m not encouraging anyone to just walk up quietly behind him and stick a knife in his kidneys instead of a beatdown, I’m just sayin….

    2. I got busted at 18 for stealing hubcaps.
    The city cop who hauled me downtown was a decent guy who wasn’t abusive and acted professional.
    Since I was a first offender, the charges were dismissed upon completion of the ‘pre trial diversion program’.

    Since then, my only interactions with the police have been traffic stops and an interview as a witness of a robbery.

    3. When I was 19, I got pulled over for speeding on US41.
    The state trooper asked me if I knew how fast I was going, and I was scared shitless and stammered out ‘Nnoo, my speedometer only goes to 100’.

    He laughed and said I was doing 115 and accelerating when he flipped on his lights, but he was going to take it easy on me and write me up for my average speed of 79 in the 45 zone instead of arresting me for reckless driving.

    I didn’t like the ticket, but the trooper was professional during the entire encounter and I bore him no ill will.

    4. I got pulled over by a detective in a unmarked car for speeding 10 over the limit and only pulled over for him once I reached an occupied parking lot.

    Under state law, he couldn’t write me a ticket because he was out of uniform and in an unmarked car, but he screamed at me that he ‘ought to kick my ass’ and waved a D-cell maglite around like a club.

    Luckily, I had pulled into a hospital* parking lot at shift change and there were about 30 people standing around watching this exchange, otherwise I have no doubt that he would have busted me up with that flashlight.

    He wound up throwing my wallet on the ground after pulling my license out and continued to threaten me with violence until he drove off after finding out that I was ‘clean’ and had no outstanding warrants.

    This SOB later ran for county sheriff but lost by a large margin. :)

    To sum it up, most cops are just doing a job but there are some like the asshole in the parking lot who shouldn’t be trusted to be a school crossing guard, let alone a police officer with arrest powers.

    *The one where my mother was an RN, ironically enough and a couple of her co-workers recognized me and told her what happened.
    I had to talk her out of going downtown and raising hell. :)

  93. 93

    I’m a police officer and I got a chubby watching that video.

    People who don’t break the law have nothing to fear–except me, after a cough-syrup bender.

  94. 94
    Ali76 says:

    I think this HAS to be one of the most repulsive things I’ve seen in years. My first thought was "Oh god, a guy with a short fuse temper like that has a gun and a right to shoot people", then I come on here and read that he already HAS shot people. No surprise there really, but what did they do? Throw a paper plane at him?

    I’m from the UK, so I’m not sure what I can do to express my outrage about this apart from post on a hell of a lot of message boards and spread the video round, but I certainly hope the good people on here who are throwing their hands up about this won’t just let it go. One day it could be you or yours in that cell with someone who believes a basketball shoe to the shin deserves a beating like that.

  95. 95
    KMac says:

    here’s a thought in return. the c-word is the worst word i know. the absolute worst. the kind of word i almost never speak aloud because of the connotations of disgust and disrespect that go along with it. as paul schene, from what little i know of him, appears to be the most execrable filth on the planet, what other word should i use to describe him?

    How about you not utilize a slang word for a female body part (one that most Het men regard fondly) as: ‘the worst word you know, with connotations of disgust and disrepect, and execrable filth’. Do you feel that way about all women?

    And I find it interesting that the worst thing you can think of to insult a man is to equate him with a woman.

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