News Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes
posted by June 26 at 10:52 AMon
The Seattle Times splashed a story across its front page today that will, without a doubt, lead to the firing or resignation of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske. In April of 2005 three SPD officers arrested Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes outside the War Room on Pike Street—arrested and beat the crap out of Alley-Barnes.
Alley-Barnes was charged with obstructing justice, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer—but all charges were dropped after the SPD refused to turn over a copy of a videotape of the arrest to Alley-Barnes’ defense lawyers; audio, however, showed that the SPD officers’ written accounts of the arrest were “inaccurate.”
The Office of Police the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which oversees internal police investigations, found two were guilty of excessive force and all three were guilty of serious breaches in conduct. She recommended discipline for all three.
Kerlikowske, however, did not punish the three officers involved in the assault on Alley-Barnes—just as Kerlikowske refused to discipline SPD officers Gregory Neubert and Michael Tietjen who were accused (and exonerated) of planting drugs on a black man in a freakin’ wheelchair, even after the arrest, which was caught on videotape, did not match up with the officers’ police reports.
It’s a great story, and I’m not writing this Slog post to take anything away from the Seattle Times or Mike Carter and Christine Clarridge’s reporting. But I did want to respond to an irate Stranger reader who wrote me this morning demanding to know why we never wrote anything about the arrest of Alley-Barnes.
Uh, we did cover Alley-Barnes arrest—in April of 2005. We were, in fact, the first Seattle paper to write about Alley-Barnes. Meanwhile, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee put in a public records request for the Alley-Barnes tape over a month ago and was down at SPD offices on Friday arguing with the public disclosure officers when the tape was left out of his request.
But, again, props to the Seattle Times.