Seattle cop punches jaywalker in the face

Seattle cop punches woman in face over routine jaywalking stop (VIDEO)

Ah. Another piece of evidence that we are officially becoming The Asshole Society.

The Asshole Society requires two basic ingredients. First, the believe that a person can do anything they want just because they want it. (Like park in a fire lane, drive aggressively, lie, cheat, steal, and even jaywalk.) Second, that when the first rule doesn’t work out, absolutely never should responsibility be taken.

I just watched this video and I have to say I’m really angered by it. I’m angered that someone who was breaking the law would react that way to a police officer. I’m angered that the officer was left along for so long and had to wait for backup while an ugly crowd formed around him. I’m angered that the crowd taunted the officer and supported the suspect. I’m angered that this police officer is now going to be subjected to unreasonable criticism and scrutiny simply for doing his job.

And, unbelievably, I’m stunned to hear that actually police officers are enforcing pedestrian laws. Somebody pinch me. That simply can’t be true!

When a police officer tells you do so something, you do it. Especially when you are in the act of breaking the law.

Jaywalking is irrelevant here. This is another one of those world famous misleading headlines. What is seen in the video is an officer attempting to enforce the law then encountering a pretty severe case of resisting arrest. The woman pushes the officer, fails to follow instructions, and struggles fiercely to get away. Her actions were illegal and put the officer at risk.

Jaywalking is usually considered an infraction or a misdemeanor. Resting arrest, however, may be a felony. That is exactly what I hope she gets charged with.

A snippet of conversation from the video:

Cop: You are under arrest!
Suspect [yelling]: Get the fuck off of me!

One thing from the video is abundantly clear. The alleged jaywalker is an asshole. Just another person who believes, “The rules do not apply to me.” Just another person who becomes angry when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Just another person who can’t take responsibility for the choices they make.

A few years back I got a ticket for going 70 mph on a section of highway where the speed limit was 55 mph. I was the only car on the road as far as the eye could see and the cop felt I was a problem worth fixing. Did I agree with that? Not exactly. But I was breaking the law. Was I happy I was pulled over? No. Did the cop have any personality at all? No. But what I did do was everything I could to make the cop’s job easier. I kept my hands visible on the steering wheel at all times, I did not move, I did not get out of the car, and I obeyed every instruction he gave me. He even listened to my story but didn’t buy it. A few minutes later it was all over, without incident, and I was on my merry way. I paid my ticket and that chapter was closed. I took responsibility for my actions.

The minute that woman actively resisted the copy she became, in my opinion, a felon. No doubt she’ll get away with what she did to that copy because of the video and the publicity. That makes me sad and angry.

The president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild has spoken about the incident:

Rich O’Neil told KCPQ-TV that punching her in the face was an appropriate use of force as the officer struggled with two women and a crowd formed. O’Neil says it’s wrong to call the punch police brutality or racist.

I agree. But not everyone does. Some are saying the incident is reminiscent of other videos that show police brutality. All this cop did was try to do the handcuffs on his suspect that he had placed under arrest.

It is sad that an asshole has jeopardized the career of this police officer.

17 responses

  1. I saw this on the news this morning as well. The girls shouldn’t have acted that way and unfortunately he lost his cool and it was caught on tape. Which reminded me of something related. I read a couple weeks ago that some states are making it illegal to record or photograph on-duty police officers. Because of stuff like this. Even if the encounter involves you and takes place on a public street. One guy in Chicago was charged with a Class1 felony, which is punishable 4-15 years.

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    1. I say thank God for the video! Otherwise it would have been that officer’s word against the crowd and he would have been screwed for sure.

      I am inventing the phrase “The Righteous Punch” on behalf of that police officer. Let us not overlook that one on hell of a punch.

      The officer was placed in an unfortunate situation by the reaction of the suspect and the growing crowd. Once the woman disobeyed his lawful order and resisted arrest, he had one and only job to do: Get the suspect he had arrested in handcuffs and secured. He was all alone out there and each passing moment put his safety further at risk. He did what he had to do, and as the video illustrates, it clearly wasn’t enough.

      I know many will think he lost his cool but I humbly disagree. I think he did a fantastic job. The only real worry is political fallout. I sincerely hope it doesn’t go down that way.

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  2. Although this is serious…I’ve meant to stop by and say, “I love you, Abyss!” I don’t tell you enough. Your blog is so damn good. You always make me think..or smile…or both. So, when I don’t tell you enough…know that I adore you!

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    1. You must have noticed the world famous Abyss snub today, i.e., the lack of my daily comment on your blog. Mwuhahahaha! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Seriously though, thanks. Your blog is a little slice of heaven and awe inspiring. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve been a little out of pocket lately due to being completely hosed down by life. I’ll write for my daily, “nice story but here’s a bit more about me” post on your blog at the regularly scheduled time tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Just for you, a little bit of Boss Trivia: Employees have been instructed to park far away from the front door to our building. The boss, however, parks his gigantor truck directly in front of the door and does it sideways so he consumes three full parking spots reserved for our customers.

      I thought you might enjoy this bonus round of Boss Trivia. ๐Ÿ™‚

      More trivia will be upchucking soon as more trivialities become available…

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  3. You’re absolutely right: people who cross the street against the light deserve to be arbitrarily harassed by poorly educated civil servants; especially when they present absolutely no clear and present danger to that officer and their crime is mostly victimless. That person should absolutely get punched in the face.

    It’s not that I don’t like the police and think they make their career choice based more on their lack of aptitude for anything other than bullying minorities, it’s just that I have a problem with people abusing their discretionary authority.

    Just because the cop CAN punch the 17 year old girl in the face, doesn’t mean he SHOULD. In fact, it’s that kind of overreaction that is a pretty clear indication that the officer knew he was in the wrong. Humans tend to be a lot more calm and level headed when they know they’re in the right; they tend to react violently when they have no rational justification for their behavior and they’re been backed into a corner in front of witnesses with whom it is important not to lose face.

    Unsurprisingly, this is not the only time I’ve seen a police officer hit a girl in the face. The other time, I was standing right next to the poor girl, and while she did mouth off to the officer, he waited until his partner put the cuffs on her, before decking the woman in the kisser.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Sincerely. And I appreciate the sarcasm.

      People who “jaywalk” are breaking the law. It is my humble opinion they contribute to unsafe traffic conditions in downtown areas. If you think that only the drivers of vehicles should have to obey the law then I’ll respectfully disagree with you.

      I’ve seen pedestrians shut down a major thoroughfare by ignoring pedestrian signaling devices. This created a traffic jam on the main street through town. If you want me to describe what happened in excruciating detail I’ll be happy to do so. It was frustrating as hell.

      I’ve also seen pedestrians walk out in front of traffic that had green lights and the right of way. I’ve seen pedestrians almost cause accidents. I’ve seen pedestrians ruin the day of innocent drivers by negligently causing vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents. It is my opinion that in the vast majority of these cases pedestrians who were guilty and/or negligent suffered no consequences and indeed responsibility may have even been shifted to innocent drivers simply because they were in a car.

      Perhaps for these and other reasons the Seattle Police Dept. decided to enforce jaywalking laws. I don’t know. But as a safe and law abiding driver who has been repeatedly frustrated by pedestrians for years, I heartily appreciate their efforts.

      The suspect wasn’t arbitrarily harassed. She was arrested for breaking the law. There is no law that says someone has to be a “clear and present danger” to others to be arrested. They have to be breaking the law.

      The cop didn’t abuse his authority. In fact, based on the video I watched, he acted with remarkable restraint.

      If the suspect had obeyed the lawful commands of the officer the incident would have been nothing more than a citation. Resist arrest and you become a potential felon.

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      1. People are constantly in violation of the law in more benign forms than jaywalking. One of my favorites, told to me by a former police officer, is that if your vehicle is parked on the street, it is illegal to enter on the side facing traffic… even if that means going in through the passenger side and climbing over to the driver’s seat.

        There are enough illegal things in the law books that police are reasonably justified in arresting anyone at any time… and that was before the patriot act. Now all a cop has to do is say they overheard someone mention drugs or terrorism and they can arrest them. Sure, there is the possibility of a wrongful arrest lawsuit, but the nice thing about black people (like the woman in the video) is that they’re more likely to not have enough money to hire a lawyer.

        When is it “remarkable restraint” for a much larger man to punch a woman in the face? If these were two civilians, people would be calling for the fella’s blood.

        Luckily, there were enough people around recording this to make sure that the cop loses his job.

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    2. Sex Mahoney, you’re an idiot. Sorry about that.

      Many responses I’ve seen act as though the cop turned a minor infraction into a major event, whereas it was the GIRLS who turned a simple ticket into a free-for-all. The cop was doing his job. Please open both your eyes while watching the complete video; that ‘sweet, innocent’, foul-mouthed 17 yr old never stopped resisting arrest for a single second. By the time the 19 yr old ADULT attacked him, the punch was the quickest, easiest method the cop had to protect himself. How many hands do you think he had available? The gathering crowd was hostile, and if any other cops HAD seen what was happening they would have been there already. He was alone. One of those girls could have easily grabbed his gun, and a bullet leaves a gun in a split second. I’m sure he would rather go home to his family than die because he was forced into a fight with a couple of idiots. But he’s a cop and it’s his job to complete the arrest, not let them go because they struggled – or because they were girls – or because they were teens. Give me a break, have you already forgotten the 14 yr old little flowers who kicked the sh*t out of another teen last month, and in front of crowds of people? If a cop assumes that teen girls are helpless, their careers will be fatally short. I can’t believe some of the asinine comments people make. In addition, the 19 yr old was punched for assaulting a police officer, not for jaywalking; nice sound byte though. Personally, I think he should have punched the 17 yr old early in the confrontation, so he could have gotten her cuffed; then he would have had two hands to deal with the second offender. If the teen felt the jaywalking arrest was incorrect, she could have fought it in court. You do not EVER fight a cop. And people need to stop using race as an excuse for bad behavior!

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  4. i haven’t watched the video but i agree with you completely. The pussification here has gotten completely out of hand. if the cop had tazed her he would have gotten in trouble too probably. I find it idiotic that they suspend/fire people for doing their job.
    i think they should shoot more people. then maybe people would quit acting like retards.
    (i have probably offended way too many people using puss and retard… but i never claimed to be PC… which is a whole different topic!)

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  5. Many issues here. All small microcosms of our somewhat ill society. Mahoney has a point in that cops tend to be of a certain personality type and seem to have difficulty determining reasonable behavior on their part at times.

    Shutterboo is correct as well regarding the move to make illegal the photographing and filming of police activities. THAT is scary. They behave badly enough knowing their activity may be video’d (filmed? – we don’t have “film” anymore do we?). Think how they’ll be when they know they can’t be video’d. Not good. Besides, so now I can’t walk out my door in to a public area and video something like a cop beating someone up? How about make it illegal to ask any politician a question that they haven’t written for you? That might be nice as well.

    Another point is related to best use of resources. Is that cop, as a public resource, being best utilized by arresting jaywalkers? Yes, the jaywalker is breaking the law. Somewhere in Seattle there is most likely a murderer or robber etc. that has not been apprehended and will commit another heinous crime. Do I feel much safer now that the jaywalker is in the slammer and the murderer is still loose?

    Last point. Is it possible that it could be a big mistake to do everything a person in a position of authority asks you to do? Cara Knott? I may pull over when they hit the lights and I was speeding but I still don’t come anywhere near trusting the under-educated, aggressive personality, bloated pension scammer cops – that’s for sure.

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    1. Cops tend to be a certain personality type? Perhaps. Also there is a phenomenon of human behavior that was documented in the Standford prison experiment. In short it showed, quite alarmingly, how humans can be affected by the roles they play. It is my understanding that police departments have rigorous training, standards and evaluations to try to nip that sort of thing in the bud. No doubt, like most human activities, it may not be a perfect system and may fall short from time to time. Without evidence to the contrary, however, I tend to side with the police officer and not with the law breaker who is resisting arrest.

      I agree with you and Shutterboo about the dangers in outlawing the photographing of police. I’d say the overused term of “chilling” might apply, and I’d suspect that such a law or policy would never withstand legal challenge.

      Yes, you can walk out your door without a cop beating you up. Generally speaking I would guess that applies most of the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say you seriously ramp up the odds of such an event if you start breaking the law and ignoring the lawful commands of police. I’m just guessing, though. I have no personal experience testing those limits. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’d probably call the “murder across town” thing a logical disconnect. A causal relationship almost certainly does not exist. There is a recent trend toward “proactive enforcement” in some communities. A community might say, for example, “we want a standard of 30% proactive enforcement.” In my town this standard is set by the city council. Police departments may apply for grants to meet these standards. A common example is the “Click it or Ticket” program that I plan to write about soon.

      Your last point is a good one. However I don’t believe it applies to this situation. The incident involved a duly authorized and sworn police officer giving lawful commands to persons who were breaking the law, and in a safe and public setting. There was no need, for example, on the basis of personal safety, for the suspects to travel one more block down the road to find a “safer” place to be contacted by the police.

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  6. Sex Mahoney, thanks for the additional comment. I know you’ve been a regular reader of this blog and I have always appreciated your interest.

    I agree with you. There are too many laws and none of us can obey them all, even if we tried really hard. Heck, we can’t even keep up with them all.

    That’s what the benefit of the doubt is for. The police officer didn’t just walk up to this suspect and punch her in the face. At every point she had decisions to make. And frankly, she always chose the wrong one. If she had simply walked over she would have a warning or perhaps a citation and would have been on her way in just a couple of minutes.

    Yes, I think the officer showed remarkably restraint. A hostile crowd was forming around him while he attempted to subdue a suspect who had interfered with an arrest in progress and while another suspect was also harassing him from behind. I would describe the behavior of the two suspects as “belligerent.” My biggest regret is that the officer should not have been alone and that he is the true victim here.

    Do you agree that the suspects acted like assholes?

    I guess time will tell which one of us is correct. I doubt the officer will lose his job. I sincerely hope he doesn’t. If a police officer isn’t allowed to subdue suspects who are actively resisting arrest, then what? I think the officer will have grounds for a lawsuit against the City if terminated for doing his job.

    As always, just my humble opinion…

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  7. It is obvious that cops need more training – The fact that the cop could not punch her out with one punch is regrettable. Cops should be trained to hit the aggressor very hard to stop them from attacking. If he had knocked her out he could have dealt with the other agressive criminal. “GO COPS, HIT EM HARDER”. The absolute defiance to the law needs to be stopped.

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    1. I really felt for the cop in that situation. Too bad so many people in our society are flaming douchebags.

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  8. Breaking news:

    The teen has apologized. She is only being charged with third-degree assault, punishable, if convicted, with 30 days in jail.

    She just lucked out. She should have been charged and convicted of felony resisting arrest. Guess it was her day to win the lotto. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  9. Sorry for my very lateness in adding my two cents worth to this but I just found your blog today. I just wanted to add whether applicable or not that I agree with you 100% shoutabyss. The teen was WRONG. It could have bery easily been avoided had she chosen to be respectful of an authority figure and listened rather than reacting beligerantly. Just so others know how quickly these things can escalate for the poor civil servants. I have a really good friend whose husband was a police officer in NC several years ago and went to a club parking lot to serve a warrant on a club goer. Someone ran inside and yelled that the cop was trying to arrest their friend. Long story a little shorter. He was by himself, called for back up but his back up got stopped by a train for less than two minutes. In the two minutes time, someone from the club came out and grabbed my friends husband from behind while he was trying to cuff the suspect and with the crowd screaming out “Kill the pig” someone else took his gun out of his holster and shot him dead. SO…. innocent cop trying to do his job brutally murdered because of someone resisting arrest for something they were gulty of!

    Obey the law or pay the consequences and be respectful of law enforcement. Whether they are right or wrong, you will get your day in court and things will go so much better for you if you just obey his commands….

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    1. I’m extremely troubled when I hear about cops out working alone. If that is a money-saving tactic it sure is a bad one.

      I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s husband. What a horrible story!

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