Last night at approximately 1:30 a.m., four SPD East Precinct officers responded to a call on Capitol Hill near 11th and Pine. According to the officers, they were contacted by security personnel because a man with dreadlocks was spotted attempting to steal from patrons at a nearby bar.
Upon arriving at the scene, the four officers approached the bar and retrieved a black male with dreadlocks who appeared to be in his mid-20’s. Two officers escorted him across the street and instructed him on the curb. The man was visibly upset, but not uncooperative or violent.
Instead of drawing on the deescalation skills officers are expected to put to use in such situations, Seattle Police Policy Manual: De-escalation the officers proceeded to taunt the man:
“Sit down or I’m going to make you,” one warned.
“Why can’t you just talk man-to-man?” pleaded the man as he sat down.
“I’ve already used up all my nice,” snapped Officer John Chesney. (Note: Tim hasn’t been able to upload his video which captured this quote more clearly)
Video by Mike O’Dell
SPD’s policy guidelines require officers to “take reasonable steps to be courteous and professional” during their interactions with citizens Seattle Police Policy Manual: Terry Stops. Ignoring the standard of courteous professionalism and expectation of deescalation, officers last night forced the man to sit on the curb while four officers towered above, threatening and berating him with questions.
The man was not charged with any crime and was released unconditionally shortly following the encounter.
Event #16-774403 (Officer Chesney nicely complied with Tim’s request for his badge number and the event number.)