Officer recorded kicking teen in buy-bust
VIDEO - Now, the Seattle Police Department is facing accusations of brutality for the fourth time in less than a year...
Seattle police detectives had surveillance video of an officer kicking a black teenage suspect several times after a narcotics bust last month, but they failed to notify top police officials.
Now, the Seattle Police Department is facing accusations of brutality for the fourth time in less than a year. The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the Justice Department to conduct a civil rights investigation into Seattle police practices.
The incident happened October 18 in downtown Seattle. Undercover officers and bicycle police were taking part in the buy-bust operation when things took at turn for the worse. Two officers ended up at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Police say a 17-year-old suspect fled the scene and ended up in a convenience store where the surveillance video was taken. A 10-year veteran officer, working undercover and wearing black clothing and a bandana, is seen running in and kicking the teen in the groin. The officer kicks the teen again and again before another officer pulls him away from the suspect.
At least one detectives had the video for weeks and had watched it, but, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer says he didn’t know about the video until Wednesday. The detective in question is now at home on administrative leave while internal affairs investigates his actions.
Reactions are pouring out from the community. “It’s pretty disturbing and disgusting and im outraged by it,” said Urban League President James Kelly.
“Videos like this should be forwarded up the chain of command,” said Mayor Mike McGinn.
The teenage suspect, who has a criminal record, is one of five people charged with attempted robbery. He pleaded not guilty. Kimerer says officers need to be aware that video surveillance is everywhere. “I think we have to grow up and recognize we are in a video age and nothing an officer does goes unnoticed,” said Kimerer.
The internal investigation will take approximately ten days, and it’s possible the officer could face criminal charges. Police will also investigate why detectives failed to turn the tape over to their bosses.
The tape and other video and materials were turned over to the King County Prosecutor’s Office and were reviewed by them as potential evidence in the case against the suspect.