You've likely read the story and seen the video by now: King County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Schene--who was recently cleared in the shooting of a mentally ill man--beats a 15-year-old girl in her holding cell. (She had been arrested for joyriding with friends in her parents' car.)
King County Prosecutors are charging Schene with assault 4--a misdemeanor--and saying that there could be additional charges if Schene decides to go to trial. Dan Satterberg was just on Air America's Ron Reagan Show--we caught only the tail end--and said he expects the case to be wrapped up in a couple months. Archive of Satterberg's appearance should be available shortly.
A couple of notable things--one, of course, is the good fortune of having the camera present and Schene dumb enough not to care. Seattle lawyer Ed Budge says that in his ten years of working on police misconduct and excessive force cases, "I don't think I've ever had a case where the abuse was captured on video. My personal belief is that the police are probably aware when their actions are being videoed and when they're not, and act accordingly."
(Investigations of abuses at New York City's Rikers Island facility, for example, found that guards repeatedly disabled cameras or beat prisoners in areas that cameras didn't cover. Full disclosure: I performed research for some of these cases.)
He adds, that, without video, "I don't think prosecutors have any real interest in prosecuting these cases. Juries tend give benefit of doubt to police, and it's very easy for police come up with justifications for what they did.
"Let's say that had not been captured on videotape, could virtually guarantee you that they would have come up with a story on how she had resisted. I see this all the time, certain words and phrases--resisting arrest, superhuman strength, appeared to be under the influence of PCP, feared for my safety, thought she was reaching for my gun..."
(Schene, of course, said that he was defending himself against the girl's assault and attributed his shin injury to her kick, whereas the video revealed he injured himself by inadvertently kicking the room's metal toilet while he was assaulting her.)
Also worth noting is the fact that the officer is facing a misdemeanor assault charge, while the girl would have faced a felony charge if she had assaulted him.