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Monday, July 9, 2007

Gil’s Boys. A Follow-Up Report

posted by on July 9 at 15:05 PM

In last week’s Stranger, Jonah reported on on a complaint against SPD officers who had forcefully arrested (and tasered) two black men for suspicion of being in a gang and for resisting arrest.

When one of the suspect’s cases went to court—the one accused of resisting arrest and obstruction—the charges were dismissed, one with prejudice. Meanwhile, the man suspected of being in a gang—he had a “gang” bandanna in his back pocket—was never charged.

A follow-up investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability (the OPA, which investigates citizen complaints of misconduct) determined that the officers had used “unnecessary force.” The limp punishment, however, was “supervisory intervention.”

Jonah asked OPA director Kathryn Olson what “supervisory intervention” meant and she explained that “Supervisory Intervention” means “underlying misconduct occurred, but training is more appropriate than discipline.”

That’s insteresting. Listen to how Olson defines “Supervisory Intervention” in her big report to Mayor Nickels today: “There may have been a violation of policy, but it was not a willful violation, and/or the violation did not amount to misconduct.

Did not amount to misconduct?

I’m glad we cut Olson’s vague/weird/misleading (lying?) quote from our story last week and just went with this:

Although Sandidge never filed a complaint with the city, a young woman who witnessed the arrest did. OPA found that officers had used unnecessary force in the arrest. The fall out? “Supervisory intervention.” The Stranger could not confirm the specifics of the intervention, but we did confirm that all three officers are still assigned to the West Precinct. Blackmer and Harris continue to work on the elite Anti-Crime Team that made the initial arrest, and Ortiz works in narcotics. SPD would not comment on the case or why the officers remain on the Anti-Crime Team.

Anyway, Olson’s revised definition, as she explained it to the mayor rather than to a reporter, makes Jonah’s story even more damning. Indeed, re-read Jonah’s story and you tell me if the officers’ actions did not amount to misconduct.

What is going on around here?

RSS icon Comments


"What is going on around here?"

Uh, misconduct.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 9, 2007 3:12 PM

in other news, lewis libby exonerated dick cheney of involvement in the valerie plame case, and the justice department exonerated itself of politically based and discriminatory hirings and firings!

Posted by this sucks | July 9, 2007 4:03 PM

What IS going on around here?

In your attempt to drum up a case against Kerlikowski, your poster child #1 (Patterson) turned out to be a mischievous gnome.

Poster child #2 (Alley-Barnes) took the initiative in creating the fracas that got his ass improperly whipped.

Poster child #3's case resulted in an OPA finding of inappropriate use of force, treated as a training issue rather than departmental discipline. (About 750 use of force reports are filed annually, resulting in about 150 complaints. 3 or 4 are sustained and disciplined, and another half dozen referred as training issues. Inevitably, there are fuzzy boundaries on use-of-force decisions, both in the field and on procedural review.)

What IS going on here? Seems to me your master narrative is unraveling, and you are scrambling to impeach the whole process by quibbling over one person's potentially inconsistent word choice.

From the OPA definition
"An additional finding, newly established in 2004, is “Supervisory Intervention.” This finding is used where, although there may have been a violation of policy, the violation was not willful, and/or the violation did not amount to misconduct." So Supervisory Intervention may or may not indicate misconduct.

Scrap your bogus narrative, look back at the facts, see what you did with them ... and then start asking questions again.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 9, 2007 4:50 PM

SPD is spreading like an STD - Bluescholars

Posted by vooodooo84 | July 9, 2007 6:34 PM

@3: oh my god. Alley-Barnes deserved to have his ass kicked because he said something about the Constitution to a police officer? Next time you think a police officer is harrassing you, I hope he lifts you up by the crotch, slams you on his police car, and then calls three friends to come kick your ass for "having a big mouth."

Posted by wf | July 9, 2007 7:26 PM

wf @ 5 -- That's not what I said ... but there's more to the story than you'll read here.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 9, 2007 9:49 PM
Posted by spokevin | July 9, 2007 10:15 PM

And what precisely IS that, Ron? Care to enlighten us? You just said Alley-Barnes "created the fracas" when even the OPA's report admonishes Sergeant Sackman for escalating the situation.

Posted by Jonah S | July 9, 2007 10:16 PM

spokevin @ 7 -- Your cites do not appear to address the Alley-Barnes incident.

Jonah -- Wjat say we take case at a time, "my friend"? Are you ready to give up the Patterson incident, or are you (like Nick Licata) still attempting CPR?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 10, 2007 7:21 AM

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