Would You Trust These Guys?

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The King County Prosecutors office keeps a Brady list, a list of cops who have credibility issues. Does that list include the two sheriff's deputies who said a 15-year-old girl assaulted one of them when the video shows instead that one of them assaulted her?

By now, you've probably read the stories and seen the video. Eight-year veteran Paul Schene and rookie Travis Brunner accompany a 15-year-old girl to her cell. The 15-year-old kicks her shoe at Schene, who then slams her against the wall and the ground, and while he and Brunner appear to have her restrained, punches her twice.

Schene is on a "watch list," says Prosecutor's office spokesperson Dan Donohoe. Donohoe notes that Schene is not only facing criminal charges but also an internal investigation from the Sheriff's Department. "In order to make it on the Brady list there has to be a sustained finding of dishonesty or a criminal conviction."

Donohoe said he'd have to look into whether, absent a finding or conviction, the office might put an officer on the list because of its own interpretation of the evidence. Nevertheless, in June, 2007, the office voiced its intention of putting SPD officers Greg Neubert and Michael Tietjen on the list because of contradictions between their police reports and video testimony, despite the fact that the department's internal investigations had cleared them of lying and planting drugs.

Citing the policy of relying upon criminal trials and internal investigations, Donohoe said Brunner isn't on the list, even though Brunner, like Schene, reported that the girl attacked Schene and recommended that she be charged with assault. He suggested checking with the Sheriff's Office, who said that every aspect of the arrest and everyone involved is under investigation.

But to anyone who's seen the video of Schene and Brunner, it would be hard to imagine that either officer shouldn't have red flags for credibility. And it's particularly baffling coming from an office that, according to several sources, is rumored to be weighing false report charges against Schene and is already charging him with a crime that directly contradicts his and Brunner's reports.

 
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