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Friday, January 18, 2008

Violent U-District Arrest Caught On Tape

posted by on January 18 at 18:16 PM

Next week, Mark Hays will begin trial for assaulting an officer during an incident in the University District last November.

Officers from an SPD’s Anti-Crime Team unit stopped Hays and Micheal Lujan on 45th and University, after the two men allegedly crossed against a traffic light in front of an unmarked police SUV. Somehow, the incident escalated—police say Hays tackled an officer who had gotten out of the car to approach the men, something witnesses contest—and Hays was left bloodied and bruised from the encounter.

In this week’s paper, I wrote that a videotape of the arrest existed, but that SPD wouldn’t hand it over.

Well, today, I got to see the tape. No thanks to SPD.

The video— from the in-car camera of a patrol car responding to the scene after the initial incident—does not show how the incident began. When the patrol car pulls up, just before 9pm, you can immediately see 2 officers pounding on Hays. The officers appear to be struggling with Hays, in order to get his hands behind his back and cuff him. Hays is face down on the pavement.

Three plainclothes officers are on Hays, while another stands over him yelling “stop resisting.” Meanwhile, one of the officers grinds Hays’ face into the cement, while another punches him four times and knees him twice. I couldn’t see where the blows were landing—because of the camera angle and the fact that the officers are on top of him—but it’s clear they’re hitting him hard. “There’s a lot of blood over there,” one officer says, pointing at the ground, after cuffing Hays. Another officer has what appears to be several large bloody patches on the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

Some of the audio is hard to make out, but someone off camera repeatedly shouts at the officers, asking for their badge numbers, while a woman yells “he didn’t do anything.”

Finally, the officers get cuffs on a dazed looking Hays, cut off his backpack, pick him up and carry him off camera.

While officers deal with Hays, Lujan stands handcuffed in front of the camera, telling someone off camera that the incident was spurred by jaywalking.

Hays’ trial begins next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tape isn’t admitted as evidence. Police claim Hays tackled one of the officers, and SPD may deem the officers’ actions as “reasonable force.”

The problem with the tape, is that it doesn’t capture the whole incident. Hays could have tackled an officer, but a jaywalking incident never should have escalated this far.
Again, this arrest involved officers from one of SPD’s highly trained, undercover Anti-Crime Teams, who generally handle street crime.

Anecdotally, when I’ve looked up ACT officers records, I’ve found that it’s not unusual to find complaints of excessive force on their records. I called SPD to find out if ACT vehicles also have in-car cameras. The officer I spoke with didn’t know, but said they’d find out.

RSS icon Comments


Jonah, out of curiosity, why don't you think the video will be admitted? I'd think the defense would definitely want to see it. Also, how'd you finally get a chance to see the video?

Posted by Gidge | January 18, 2008 6:37 PM

1. Pro'ly the defense lawyer gave it to him.

2. Judge should admit it but might not as doesn't show how it all started.

3. THANK GOD we are protecting automobile drivers by having secret cops in unmarked vehicles step out and POUNCE on jaywalkers.

Those scoundrels. Crossing against the light. Threatening any automobile within 100 feet with a bent bumper, should there be a collision.

Praise to these first responders.

Posted by unPC | January 18, 2008 6:45 PM

Jonah's right about one thing -- a jaywalking incident never should've escalated to where it did. It's unfortunate that Mr. Hays caused that to happen.

Posted by Bax | January 18, 2008 7:17 PM

Well, that settles it -- we're no longer needed.

Posted by "Trial" or "trial by jury"; "due process" | January 18, 2008 7:24 PM

Not a hero, man. Just doin't my job.

Posted by Vick Mackie's Stunt Cock | January 18, 2008 8:04 PM

Fuckin pigs...

Posted by dirty Harry | January 18, 2008 8:55 PM

It is very disgusting how law enforcement/security agencies are universally training officers and security personnel to yell "stop resisting" repeatedly while they beat the shit out of somebody. I particularly remember this from the guy in the UCLA library who was immobilized on the ground getting his 3rd tazer assault while the police orgasmically yelled "stop resisting! stop resisting!" Same for that Reverend outside the congressional hearing room when General Petrarus was giving his bogus report. They were busy breaking the guys arm while yelling "stop resisting."

Posted by mirror | January 18, 2008 9:23 PM

Oh when will some people learn that breaking silly stupid dumb asinine retarded laws (like jay walking)does nothing but get the cops on your back pounding your face into the concrete? The laws to break are the REALLY silly stupid dumb asinine retarded laws that effect the nation as a whole and the entire planet. THOSE laws are worth getting your teeth broken over.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | January 18, 2008 9:26 PM

I know from experience that SPD ACT are thugs. Just street criminals with badges, really.

Posted by DOUG. | January 19, 2008 9:45 AM

With luck, the jaywalker will get a lawyer, who will, for a percentage of damages, successfully sue the City for a huge chunk of change.

It's so easy to set off a carload of cops, when you are of no threat to them.

"Respect ma aw-tho-ra-tay" isn't that the fat pig Cartman line?

Posted by sceptic | January 19, 2008 9:49 AM

Speaking of Southpark, "it's coming right for us!"

Anyone got a good comeback for "stop resisting" other than passing out?

Posted by Anon | January 19, 2008 10:33 AM

Maybe "You're assaulting me!" or "Excessive force!" or "Get this on video!"

Posted by Greg | January 19, 2008 11:04 AM

I wish we could have seen how it started, too, but I'm almost willing to give the cops the benefit of the doubt as the freaks on the Ave get more obnoxious every time I go up there. I have dreams of driving a snowplow down the sidewalk and bulldozing the street rats from 50th down into the water. And you know I'm not the only one.

Posted by Jason Josephes | January 19, 2008 11:27 AM

Every time I'm jumped on by people from an unmarked police car, I always assume they're terrorists.

After all, if they were cops, wouldn't they have turned on the camera when they left the car? And clearly identified themselves as police?

Just sayin.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 19, 2008 2:27 PM

Why did the cops chase these guys? I think when people run away from cops, the cops should just let them go. What if there was a mom with a toddler on the sidewalk, and the toddler got knocked out into the street? And then run over by an SUV?

Or what if that one dealer north of 45th who keeps the drugs in his baby's stroller happened to be on the sidewalk at the time, and the stroller got knocked over and the drugs fell out onto the pavement and the baby ate them, and got so high that it died? How would you feel then, dirty pigs?

Chasing alleged criminals on foot can be just as calamitous as chasing car thieves at high speed, so cops just need to stop this dangerous. The only time a cop should chase a criminal is if the criminal is riding a horse, because everyone know horses won't step on people.

Posted by croydonfacelift | January 19, 2008 4:16 PM

I haven't seen tapes; I haven't spoken to any witnesses, but have my own experience. I've been harassed several times until they find my corporate badge in my pocket. Then it's "I'm so sorry to have bothered you sir. Meaning "You can afford a lawyer and please don't sue me and break my bank."

Point in fact: I was mugged and beaten on Rainer Ave while walking home from a late dinner down in Columbia City. Two SPD officers of a darker color responded and said that it was my fault and I shouldn't be in the neighborhood. I then walked two more blocks to my apartment and was assaulted again by the same individuals. Almost run over by an SUV. I called the police and this time from the phone outside my building and was attacked while on the phone with the 911 operator. She sent the police but they said I needed to just move out of the area or stay in after 10pm and stay on a certain side of the street. Is this saying that I am not a free man in America and hoods and gangs can do what they want, when they want? Does this also mean that the Police that are paid to protect and serve are now part of the growing underground gang of thugs with special immunity? If you haven’t paid your dues to society or more importantly to them, you are subject to harassment, brutality and extortion?

I would like to see the tapes to solidify my readings in papers and reports I have been able to obtain.

As a tax paying citizen I would like a major internal investigation into this incident. If I'm going to be stopped by the SPD I might run myself, and I will definitely tell my girlfriend to do just that. I don't want here being raped and having SPD say she begged for it or something.

The SPD needs citizens to come together and demand explanations and reform. The other option is they keep getting away with it and it gets worse. Soon they will be attacking tourists’ like our mothers, sisters, brothers.

Posted by Concerned Citizen | January 22, 2008 12:18 AM

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