According to the Seattle Times, the staff of Jesse Wineberry, an African American Democrat running for Congress, forgot to renew a rental agreement. According to Seattle Police, an automated license plate reader notified officers that the vehicle Wineberry was in was reported stolen. Wineberry was arrested. He filed a bias complaint with the police department.
Questions: What is the protocol for people who have overran their rental agreements? Given that he did in fact overrun his rental agreement even if he had fully cooperated would he still have been subject to arrest?
Opinion: The publication of the video is exactly what I asked for when Ron Sims alleged racial mistreatment. I’m pleased that Seattle Police published this video and hope this becomes standard practice.
I think both sides were argumentative. With the limited info I have I don’t think this is a bias incident. What needs to be done is a through analysis of every traffic stop to determine if African Americans are treated differently than Caucasians. With that library of videos we’ll be able to determine what’s likely racially motivated.
For me the primary concern I have about this incident is whether or not the officers were professional and de-escalated. See http://www.seattle.gov/police-manual/title-6—arrests-search-and-seizure/6220—voluntary-contacts-terry-stops-and-detentions item #5. Instead of saying “It’s old because you’re driving a reported stolen vehicle.” in response to “It gets old because of the color I am.” say “Sir I understand you believe you are being targeted because of the color of your skin. We will notify our chain of command that you believe you are being targeted. They will do an investigation into that.” Police officers should not be arguing with people. That’s what the court room is for.
Regarding the discussion at 11:50 about wanting to see proof that the car was stolen, I believe its true that officers can’t print out stuff not in some report system called SECTOR. That’s based on what I learned on ride along while employed by the department. That said I’ve seen officers with cell phones that look like what I was issued by SPD and by now it’s likely officers have phones with access to the info the man was asking for.
There’s a lot more to this incident that needs to be undercovered starting with who the officers were.