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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seattle Police Officer Charged With Assault, Perjury For South Dakota Shooting

posted by on August 28 at 11:20 AM

A South Dakota Grand Jury has charged Seattle Police detective Ron Smith and four other members of the Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club—a biker gang made up of law enforcement officers and firefighters—for their involvement in an August 8th shooting at a Loud American Roadhouse bar in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Smith and four other officers—one from Colorado and two others from Washington—were on vacation in Sturgis for an annual biker rally when a fight broke out at the Loud American Roadhouse. Smith claims he was attacked by a Hell’s Angel and fired his weapon in self defense.

Smith is a high-ranking member of the Seattle Police Officers Guild and the editor of the guild’s monthly paper, The Guardian. Some of Smith’s rants have been featured here on Slog.

The Grand Jury has asked that Smith be charged for aggravated assault or simple assault, perjury and for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The four other Iron Pigs members—Scott Lazalde, James Rector, Erik Pingel and Dennis McCoy—are also being charged with carrying unpermitted weapons.

Joseph McGuire, the Hell’s Angel who was shot, has also been charged with Assault.

If convicted of aggravated assault, Smith could face up to 15 years in jail and a $30,000 fine. A Perjury conviction would add another five years while the unpermitted weapon charge has a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a two-thousand dollar fine.

This morning, the Seattle Police Department issued a brief statement:

Upon the Department’s notification of the incident in Sturgis, South Dakota, all SPD personnel involved were placed on administrative leave. As the Department continues to gather and receive information, the officers will remain on administrative leave.

Seattle Police Officers Guild would not comment on the charges.

RSS icon Comments


Don't worry, their upstanding union will have them back on the streets "protecting and serving" asap.

Posted by john cocktosin | August 28, 2008 11:39 AM

Kinda hard to pick sides when a bad cop shoots an outlaw biker.

Posted by Bob | August 28, 2008 12:12 PM

If Anne Bremner takes this case as usual, she'll get the judge and jury to agree the biker probably grabbed the weapon and shot himself in a shameless attempt to weaken the Guild.

Posted by tomasyalba | August 28, 2008 12:25 PM

Are any of the cops the one who caused the ruckus on his bike in Post Alley some time back? As I recall, the officer involved was off-duty, out of uniform and a gun was pulled.

Posted by inkweary | August 28, 2008 12:52 PM

@2 not as hard as you'd think.

a think a problem many police officers struggle with is wanting to do the right thing by any means. they are constantly aware of people getting away with crimes that they cannot bust them for. someone on the corner appears to be dealing drugs, but they can never catch them... so why not plant some and take care of it? or maybe just tell a little lie, say you saw something you didn't to get the conviction. i mean, the person is obviously a dealer.

and many conservatives are okay with this. the thinking being you won't get busted if you don't do anything wrong, or even questionable.

this line of thinking can take the police officer down a very bad road. what happens is eventually they make a mistake, or they start to think their role in dispensing justice is more important (or immediate) than a just process.

this sort of officer will beat up a boys and girls club volunteer because that worker had no idea they were the one ordered to stop. this sort of officer will say a person ran a stop sign to justify and altercation. this sort of officer will, while off-duty, hope to wield the same reckless justice that is corruption wrapped in arrogance.

it's not hard to pick sides. we expect the criminal to act criminal. we shouldn't expect a police officer to act criminal.

Posted by infrequent | August 28, 2008 1:17 PM

So when key members of the POLICE UNION are just as criminal as members of BIKER GANGS, shouldn't the police department admin take a good look at the activities of the police guild?

Nevermind the Rossi news conference incident....

Posted by Tony | August 28, 2008 1:31 PM

No way in hell would he be charged if it happened in Seattle.

Right RonK? RonK? Where are you? That isn't you, is it?...

Posted by Trevor | August 28, 2008 1:33 PM

Truer letters typed out to form words, have not been typed out and or formed, in a few days. Not since Dan said ass or something.

Look for the Federal Boys in bad suits to be poking around into Chief Kerlikowske's shit and garbage. Two of the pretend bikers are also Border Patrol Agents. Which means they have even bigger self image problems, than their Seattle PD counterpart bikers.
Hence, the Iron Pigs.

Posted by Lens1 | August 28, 2008 3:02 PM

I answered my own question in @4-no Officer Zsolt Dornay of Post Alley fracas fame as below was not involved. It seems off-duty Seattle police are generally rowdy and dangerous when motorcycles are involved.

Posted by inkweary | August 28, 2008 3:05 PM

Smith is a fucking dumbass. Nothing makes me happier about Seattle Police than hearing that this fucking dumbass is going to jail. :D

Posted by yes! | August 28, 2008 3:40 PM

The perjury's a lot more troubling than the jackassery. Police officers operate on the public trust.

I wonder if the good people of South Dakota are getting a little tired of their annual invasion by 600,000 greasy shitheads?

Posted by Fnarf | August 28, 2008 3:48 PM

@5, well you can side up with an outlaw biker if you'd like but they aren't you know your typical victims of much, they tend to err on the side of victimizing.

But yes, cops shouldn't break the law just to clean up the streets, that's why we have laws and rights and if they can shoot outlaw bikers today how long till they start drilling fixie riding hipsters just to help traffic move more elegantly and efficiently?


Posted by Bob | August 28, 2008 5:21 PM

bob, i used to agree with you. but if the choice is between a criminal, and a criminal who has a badge, i'm not sure i like the criminal with a badge.

i can tell what i wrote bothers you, despite the fact that i know you agree with me. you are just telling yourself, oh, but those cops only occasionally break the law. and they only do so against really bad people.

but that is not justice. that is worse than justice. if we cannot trust our police to follow laws, or if we cannot trust our police to not lie about it in court, a fundamental aspect of our system of justice is in danger.

and that is worse then a criminal.

Posted by infrequent | August 29, 2008 10:37 AM

Read former bad cop Robert L. Davis book called COP OUT. He exposes all the tricks and illegal tactics of bad cops. He's been speaking about these "criminal's" for years!

A bad cop is just a bad criminal in uniform! His web site is

Posted by raul holsten | August 31, 2008 9:37 AM

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