Last week on The Daily Weekly Nina Shapiro wrote a post concerning a new video DUI attorney James Egan has released depicting another apparent Seattle Police Department brutality oopsy-daisy. As Shapiro reported, the video captures a December 29, 2010 altercation between SPD officers and then-18-year-old Isaac Ocak.
In the video police begin to question Ocak for leaving his car running in front of Marshalls while reportedly returning Christmas gifts he had bought for his nephew. After bringing up very minor issues such as the number of keys Ocak had on him, the police decided to call Ocak's girlfriend since he was driving her car. When Ocak lifted his hands off the police car to reach for his cellphone, the officers on scene went ballistic.
As is par for the course in such situations, officials within the Seattle Police Department have expressed the opinion that the actions taken by the officers in the video were acceptable.
As noted in Shapiro's post:
Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said this afternoon the force depicted in the video released by Egan was "reasonable and necessary," but added that the behavior probably doesn't serve as a good example for other officers.
"I think it's fair to say that if the LEED training was in place [at the time], this would not be an example we would use for training," Whitcomb told reporters, referring to a training program adopted in 2011 that emphasizes verbal, rather that physical, tactics for de-escalating situations.??
Whitcomb justified the officers' actions by saying that the officers were being "proactive" in trying to reduce property crimes, and that "having a key ring with a bunch of keys on it, in our experience, is consistent with property crimes."
Whitcomb also said that the officers looked up Ocak's record and found a "caution" by his name. As a juvenile, according to a police report distributed at the press conference, Ocak was questioned for suspected shoplifting of a water bottle and became combative with a security guard.
Not surprisingly, several Daily Weekly commenters disagree, arguing that the video of Isaac Ocak getting whaled on is just another example of SPD using unnecessary excessive force and failing to do their job in a professional manner.
As commenter Emily Knudsen writes:
According to SPD's facebook page, their mission is to deliver "respectful", "professional" services. I saw no hint of that here. Not only is it outrageous treatment but it also decreases the effectiveness of SPD's services and value to the community. Once again, it's clear that drastic change needs to happen in order to address these systemic issues. It seems the first order of business should be assessing this situation thoroughly and properly reprimanding the officers involved.
And as commenter Kelly Lynn Maxfield states:
When is something going to be done to the Seattle Police Department for abusive, illegal activity against innocent citizens? Typical man in a uniform with an "above the law" attitude. Too many keys on his ring? Are you kidding me?