Seattle lawyer James Egan released a police dashcam video today of a 2010 incident that he says illustrates another instance of unnecessary escalation by Seattle officers. The video appears to show one officer repeatedly punching a nonwhite suspect in the face. I haven't watched the entire thing (it's 42 minutes long) but here's the setup:
A man, Isaac Ocak, parks his car—locked but running—along a strip mall curb while he returns some baby clothes. He returns a few minutes later to see several police officers surrounding his vehicle. We see Ocak with his hands on the hood of a patrol car, explaining the situation to officers. Ocak is polite, calling officers "sir," but gets more agitated and upset as officers grill him about the number of keys on his key chain, and whether he had permission to drive his girlfriend's vehicle.
Shortly after the 6:00-minute mark Ocak is tackled on the hood of the car by three officers. As the officers attempt to handcuff him, one officer puts a hand on his face, then shouts, "Don’t you bite me you son of a bitch!” and then appears to punch him multiple times in the face:
Egan says that Ocak was "reasonably frustrated at a lengthy detention for what was not a crime or an infraction, but a 'suspicious' vehicle the officers had resolved by questioning him."
The Seattle Police Department is holding an afternoon presser to respond to the video.
UPDATE: I couldn't make yesterday's SPD presser, but here's the Seattle Times write up:
The Seattle Police Department opened an internal investigation Friday into the 2010 arrest of a 20-year-old man who was punched by an officer after police stopped to question him about leaving his car running outside a store.
Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the department already has reviewed the incident twice, with the officer's commanders and an assistant chief concluding no violations of law or department policy occurred when four officers took Isaac Ocak to the pavement after learning he had a prior felony conviction and had been tagged in the department's computer as being "assaultive to officers." However, the department could not provide an incident in which Ocak had ever been so.