shandy cobane02.png
Shandy Cobane: still one of the worst people in the world.
Such was the admonishment that King County Judge Joan DuBuque handed out to the


Judge to SPD: "I Have Not Seen a Case This Poorly Prepared or Investigated in My 22 Years on the Bench"

shandy cobane02.png
Shandy Cobane: still one of the worst people in the world.
Such was the admonishment that King County Judge Joan DuBuque handed out to the Seattle Police Department and King County prosecutors last week when she dismissed the assault-of-an-officer case against David Rengo, the man accused of "pushing" defamed SPD officer Shandy Cobane. But as brutal as the judge's scolding was, looking at the implications of what the "poorly prepared" case means for Cobane and SPD as a whole, her words may have been on the kind side.

KIRO-TV's Chris Halsne (who's been all over this story from the get-go) has the update on what began as accusations by Rengo of brutality on the part of Cobane, and then changed into what looks and smells like a full-on cover up.

Backstory: Ofc. Cobane (now in the 12th month of his suspension) is the guy who infamously stomped on the head of cuffed Latino suspect Martin Monetti after telling him "I'm going to beat the fucking Mexican piss out of you, homey. You feel me?"

Do we have video? Yeah, we have video.

But back to Mr. Rengo. This young man was outside Belltown nightclub Amber on April 24 of last year when a fight broke out. Police showed up soon and Ofc. Cobane was with them.

Rengo was quickly taken into custody, which, he has said, involved being shoved into Cobane's police car and repeatedly choked.

Here's Rengo description of what happened.

"I was laying on my back. They threw me from the street side into the passenger side back of the car. He came around the passenger side, opened the door up and just choked me until I lost, I couldn't, when I started kicking because I was about to pass out, he let me go, I took a breath, then he choked me again . . . I was held down and choked. He collapsed my windpipe with his thumbs over and over again. He allowed me to breath [sic] only to prevent me from passing out. He seemed to get pleasure out of it."

The upside of this story was that Rengo was charged with assaulting an officer and his accusations of being abused were chalked up as just that--accusations.

Which brings us to Judge DuBuque's rebuke of SPD and prosecutors.

When it came time to actually charge Rengo, the judge saw rather quickly that there was little evidence to support the accusations that he pushed any officer. And more than that, evidence that should have been there was gone.

KIRO reports:

In court, Team 7 Investigators discovered Cobane's "assault" story became impossible to corroborate. [Attorney Peter] Connick subpoenaed patrol car videotape and audiotape, and found important pieces were missing or erased.

Connick told KIRO-TV, "That crucial video of that initial contact, detention, and placement in the car is missing."

He added, "Certain things were intentionally not done. The video wasn't turned on specifically, which was admitted by all officers to be a breach of protocol and procedure. There were gang unit officers who specifically told arresting officers not to give statements."

That's a serious allegation, but one King County Judge Joan DeBuque found to be true, according to court records. She not only took the unusual move of dismissing Rengo's assault charge last week, but vented her frustration at the sloppy police work in a recorded courtroom conclusion.

Essentially, the dash-cam video that should have captured whatever it was that happened to Rengo was not there. And the only plausible explanation seems to be that Ofc. Cobane or someone else at SPD made sure it wasn't there.

This might not prove that Rengo was sadistically choked by a cop several times, but it certainly puts a lot of doubt into anything about Rengo "pushing" Cobane.

A civil suit against SPD on behalf of Rengo is already in the works.

Meanwhile, no word yet on when Cobane will actually be fired, as he was supposedly about to be.

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