Skooter reporting 08/16/12
A Seattle police officer pushing a homeless and believed to be a mentally ill man onto a patrol car was shown on a newly obtained video.
The action was “reasonable,” the department officials argued, but critics say the three-years it took to get the video proved that the department isn't really steadfast enough to cleaning up its act.
The incident occurred three years ago outside of a Belltown restaurant when police took action to a call about a potential assault.
Officers came up to the suspect, who they believed might be armed, and ordered him to the ground. Seconds later an officer is seen pushing him forcefully onto the hood of a patrol car. Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle Police Department said the officers didn’t want to get hurt, he might be armed, and they handcuffed him as quickly as possible, with a reasonable amount of force.
Police reports didn’t mention of alcohol or other substance abuse, but agreed that the suspect may be mentally ill.
Three witnesses to the incident said the force was excessive, but an internal investigation cleared the officers involved in the incident of any wrongdoing.
The lawsuit is currently before the state Supreme Court, over how quickly law enforcement must release dash cam videos.