When information leaks about what a major city's police chief is likely to be doing, it's usually because the chief himself wants it leaked. Of course, proving something like that is nearly impossible, but whatever the case, "people familiar with the case" have told the P-I that Seattle Police Chief John Diaz wants to fire Officer Shandy "Mexican Piss" Cobane.
For those who may have forgotten Cobane, or gotten him confused with one of SPD's other beat-down-happy officers, he's the one who was videotaped back in April last year stomping on a Latino suspect who was on the ground and saying "I'm gonna beat the Mexican piss out of you, homie! You feel me?"
Here's the video that caught the whole thing.
The video didn't surface until several weeks after it was shot. And it prompted former Q13 News Director Steve Kraycik to resign after it was learned that the station had at first refused to air the video because it didn't want to jeopardize its relationship with the Seattle Police Department, which had partnered with the network to do a cold-case TV program.
Also in the aftermath, Cobane himself delivered a public apology for the incident, saying "A day has not passed in which I wish I could rewind the events of that night and take back those hateful words expressed."
In the meantime, a storm of other incidents, including the death of woodcarver John T. Williams, the resignation of Ofc. Ian Birk who shot him, and the one-night-suspect-kicking-spree that undercover officer James Lee went on, has further tainted the department's reputation with the public.
All this while a federal investigation is underway to find out just how far SPD officers have gone in using excessive force.
So it's no surprise that Diaz may be looking to give as much of an impression that he understands the city's anger as he can. No announcement of the long-term law-enforcement future of Cobane is expected this week, however, and for now he remains on the force.