The announcement from SPD and the city came today, as a short-notice rebuttal press conference took place at 11:45 a.m. Seattle Police Headquarters. At the press conference, which was attended by Seattle Weekly, SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb noted that charges are still a strong possibility against Etherly, both for assault and hit-and-run. Whitcomb also showed the video in question to all in attendance.
As we noted earlier today, the events captured on the much-hyped SPD dash-cam video stem from an Oct. 6 investigation of hit-and-run involving a bicyclist, in which Etherly was stopped as a suspect by three Seattle police officers in front of a Central District liquor store. During the course of being detained, police say Etherly spat on three cops, and it's this alleged spitting that led to assault charges being filed against him (which were subsequently dropped, with the case handed over to the King County Prosecutor's Office for consideration of felony charges). Etherly contends that any spitting that occurred was a result of him being choked out by SPD.
Egan claims SPD officer Eric Faust brutally punched Etherly twice during the arrest, leading him to comment "[The dash-cam video] will make the public's jaws hit the floor."
Whitcomb said Tuesday that SPD believes Etherly is responsible for the hit-and-run that led to his arrest, and was seen leaving a van matching the description of the one involved in the crime shortly before being apprehended by police.
We'll post the video as soon as we have it.
Until then, here's a photo of SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb showing the video while James Egan shakes his head in disgust.
SPD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb shows the video in question while James Egan watches intently.