SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb confirms that it is, in fact, legal for two consenting adults to fight in Seattle. He point to Seattle Municipal Code 12A.06.025 for guidance, which states that a fight becomes illegal if a person not involved in the fisticuffs risks injury, or if property risks being damaged.
"It's our job to keep the peace. We were actually called to that scene because one group was acting in an antagonistic manner. Unfortunately, the parties did not separate, and we asked them to," says Whitcomb. "The proper thing to do would have been to not engage in any type of violent behavior."
So did the officers watching Phoenix Jones and his unnamed sparring partner go at it act properly under the law? Whitcomb describes the situation as "unique," but ultimately he believes the cops did their job.
"That's subject to debate, but ultimately the officers did what they could with their presence to encourage people to walk away, and unfortunately that didn't happen," says Whitcomb when asked if the responding officers enforced the law properly.
"I'm not going to second guess the officers. I do know that this is a really unique situation, because quite often our presence will be enough to discourage people from being involved in violence. That didn't happen here," says Whitcomb. "But this is no different from a large group leaving a nightclub or a sporting event, and as is the case, sometimes there will be pushing and shoving that erupts, and usually when an officer comes by and says, 'Stop it,' people do. In other cases they don't."
The post inspired the usual array of reactions a post about Phoenix Jones does, including one from commenter ben.jamming44.
Commenter ben.jammin44 writes:
I want the 8 mins. & 56 secs. I just lost of my life back after watching this stupid video.