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Friday, April 4, 2014

The Man Seattle Police Killed Yesterday: 26-Year-Old Chef Cody Spafford

Posted by on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

That was the photo I took of him the first lunch we had together at Bistro Paul Bert in Paris last fall. We took him there to visit the oyster farms and reward him for his dedication and love for what we do,' Erickson says.
  • Renee Erickson
  • "That was the photo I took of him the first lunch we had together at Bistro Paul Bert in Paris last fall," Erickson says. "We took him there to visit the oyster farms and reward him for his dedication and love for what we do."
Yesterday afternoon, Seattle police officers shot and killed a man they said had robbed a bank and fled, and then crashed his silver sedan. According to police, the man was holding a knife when he was killed.

Cody Spafford, a chef at Ballard oyster bar Walrus and Carpenter, was his name. He was 26 years old and had no violent criminal record.

"He was incredible. He worked with us for three and a half years," says Renee Erickson, one of the restaurant's co-owners. "And he was completely loyal and hard working and just as sweet as you can imagine. He was just, you know, funny. Not anything like what's being said right now. We didn't know he was struggling this bad. He had a really bright future."

Erickson hired Spafford about four years ago as a cook and he quickly rose to sous chef. He'd won awards for oyster shucking.

"Everyone is just turned totally upside down and blindsided by it all. This wasn't the Cody that we knew and loved," she says. "I think everyone here at Walrus wants the public to hear a different story than what they're hearing right now—and pay some attention to the fact that they shot him. The city needs to do some better fucking work on how to handle situations like this."

"You don't just shoot a kid that's 125 pounds"—he was short and slight, Spafford's co-workers say—"holding a knife hiding in the bush. We've gotta be smarter people in this world. It's embarrassing."

Spafford was planning an imminent move to take a chef position at a New York restaurant. For now, the Walrus and Carpenter and Barnacle, a neighboring bar where Spafford also worked, are both closed. Erickson says Spafford's friends and co-workers plan to hold a memorial.

UPDATE: SPD asserted in a press conference this afternoon that Spafford charged an officer with a knife before Detective Jim Rodgers fatally shot him.

 

Comments (131) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
I understand being a cop is hard, but why does SPD keeping shooting people with knives? Jesus, let's do some de-escalation training.
Posted by deign_to_say on April 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM · Report this
2
Well if you feel he is a threat
Posted by Seattle14 on April 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Former Lurker 3
EVERYONE IS A THREAT TO SPD AT ALL TIMES!
Posted by Former Lurker on April 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Fistique 4
Shoot everyone instantly. This is America.
Posted by Fistique on April 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM · Report this
mkyorai 5
So, what the Christ happened? The kid just up and decided to rob a bank? I mean, I don't necessarily agree that the SPD should have shot him, but it seems like a really weird jump from 'sous-chef' to 'armed robber', professionally speaking.
Posted by mkyorai on April 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
kid icarus 6
Holy shit.
Posted by kid icarus http://absintheandoranges.com/ on April 4, 2014 at 12:12 PM · Report this
John Scott Tynes 7
If he robbed a bank, that means he was willing to threaten people's lives to get money. It's not like he was drunk and disorderly or dancing in a club.
Posted by John Scott Tynes http://www.johntynes.com/ on April 4, 2014 at 12:12 PM · Report this
8
So the guy had cross-dressed as a disguise to rob a bank and subsequently crashed his car. Obviously he was a bit desperate about something. BUT - he only had a knife and was hiding in a friggin bush -surrounded by police.

Where was the mental health check? Where was the de-escalation training? Why did the police gunshot have to be a killer gunshot? Why can't we marry police intervention with patience and compassion? Why could there be no chance for Cody? Everyone deserves a chance.

And where is the statement by police and/or Mayor Murray on a day that the SPD was getting a public review on its reform efforts? The duck and cover from the Mayor and the SPD is both farcical and tragic. What a waste ---Cody's life, the police action and the city's response all.
Posted by gator bait on April 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Crazy Cat Guy's Husband 9
In 1997, the SPD shut down a main downtown street for 11 hours in order to safely corral a sword-wielding man. The extraordinary care they took, was enough to make the New York Times. I don't know enough to reach a judgment in the current case. But in the 17 years since 1997, something has changed much for the worse within the department.
Posted by Crazy Cat Guy's Husband on April 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
DOUG. 10
@9: WTO + 9/11.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on April 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM · Report this
12
The course of events leading to this guy being shot dead by police while wearing women's clothing and after, allegedly, robbing a bank is bound to be a good story. If I were a mild mannered reporter at Seattle's only weekly newspaper I'd be looking into it right now.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Jubilation T. Cornball 14
The police in this city scare the living fuck out of me.
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball on April 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Kinison 15
If you rob a bank, crash your car in fleeing the scene of the crime and refuse to drop your weapon when the cops catch up with you, yeah that's a trifecta for getting shot by the cops.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on April 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM · Report this
trstr 16
@15: Yeah, crashing your own car means a killing.
Posted by trstr on April 4, 2014 at 12:50 PM · Report this
18
@7: No, it doesn't. All you need to do to rob a bank is walk in and hand them a note saying "This is a robbery: put all the money in a bag and hand it to me". You don't need to have a weapon.
Posted by tiktok on April 4, 2014 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Former Lurker 20
So in the eyes of SPD, essentially every crime is punishable by death as they can claim in any situation they feel threatened enough to shoot to kill.
Posted by Former Lurker on April 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 22
All the facts aren't in, but these are facts:
- All violent criminals once had no violent criminal records
- Many violent criminals are sweet young men with pretty blue eyes and sweet as pie

But still, I wan't to know why tasers were not used, or if they were used and failed, or if using them was not an option at the moment of threat from his knife.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on April 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Banna 23
Maybe he was making less than $15/hr and needed the cash?
Posted by Banna http://www.ucp.org on April 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Former Lurker 25
@21 Hey remember when plainclothes police yelled at a guy who wasn't involved in a crime, who thought he was about to be robbed by people and ran away and then was slammed into a wall by said-police?
Posted by Former Lurker on April 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Amalink 27
According to the Slog's original story yesterday, the Police had to do a search for a silver car after the robbery. They found one upside down with this kid nearby in a bush holding a knife. And they shot him. Was this really the car involved in the robbery? Was he still cross-dressed or did he change his clothes before hiding in a bush with a knife? There's so much unsaid that I, for one, am having a hard time jumping to the conclusion that this kid robbed anything. And the Seattle Po-Po have very little credibility in my book.
Posted by Amalink on April 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM · Report this
29
From The Seattle Times yesterday re: failure of SPD reform efforts: "To underscore the challenges, Bobb pointed to a detective’s fatal shooting of a bank- robbery suspect Thursday, saying the director of the Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability was “shunted to the side” at the scene."
Posted by Roses on April 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 30
wow, he must have been desperate for some reason. super sad.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
33
It looks like he had a criminal history in Utah:
http://www.utahsright.com/charges.php?fi…

and he was arrested there a few weeks back for a DUI:
http://mugshot-catalogs.com/booking/6197…

Posted by MegaRAID01 on April 4, 2014 at 1:14 PM · Report this
biffp 34
I respect Renee for coming forward with her perspective after four years working with him to consider before rushing to judgment. It could still be that he robbed a bank. Having watched two videos yesterday of police escalation scaring people so badly they couldn't move, I am skeptical that this amount of force was needed for someone hiding in the bushes.
Posted by biffp on April 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM · Report this
merry 36
@ 3 - It's like they have a "negativity bias" or something....

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
Posted by merry on April 4, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
SPG 37
I don't know what really happened here, I don't know the deceased, and I don't know the cops involved. That said, from an outside perspective it seems that too often the cops are very willing to trade the life of their suspect for the mere chance of danger to themselves or even trade that life for the expediency of ending the situation. I just don't get how they needed to shoot a guy with a knife who was trying to hide.
Sure, if he was holding the knife against someone, charging them, but really…they couldn't wait him out?
Posted by SPG on April 4, 2014 at 1:31 PM · Report this
38
I think "Barney" training is in order. Sheriff Taylor only let Deputy fife have ONE bullet...and he had to carry the ONE bullet in his pocket. Andy knew all about goofy cops with guns...;-D
Posted by pupuguru http://www.godsweed.org on April 4, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
41
seattle police blotter & twitter account has been very quiet since the shooting.
Posted by go bulldogs on April 4, 2014 at 1:39 PM · Report this
44
How come the police keep shooting dangerous crazy people waving knives? How come they don't just karate chop the gun out of their hands like Whoopi Goldberg did in Sister Act 3?
Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 1:44 PM · Report this
45

SLOG has this unusual inverted, then inverted again, pyramid style of journalism.

Of all the facets of this story:

1.Cross Dressed Bank Robbery
2. Reckless Car Chase
3. Knife Wielding Chef With Every Reason To Live
4. Shot By Police

I would have focused on 1, 2, 3 and assumed 4 to be a probable outcome. However, in the SLOG world, we breeze through 1, 2, 3 to focus on 4 as if the guy had merely bought a candy bar at Target!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 4, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this
46
Go to The Walrus and The Carpenter website and look at its blog. Cody is all over the pictures. Sad. Sad. Sad.
Posted by Roses on April 4, 2014 at 1:52 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 47
shoot him in the limbs until he calms down or is unconscious from pain or blood loss


While there's a lot to hate about SPD's use of excessive and lethal force, this is pure fantasy.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 4, 2014 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Rotten666 48
You know, I have nothing but empathy for victims of police brutality, especially for the guy mentioned above that had his head smashed against the cinerama.

But when you endanger the lives of others (rob banks, lead police on a wild chase throught a residential neighborhood), all I can do is shrug. Your life is the sum of your decisions, for better or worse.

Dude chose poorly.
Posted by Rotten666 on April 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 49
Oh Apollo, Seattle's One True Street Samurai. http://zapatopi.net/blog/seattle_street_…

After hours of negotiations he was finally subdued with the cunning use of cold water, and a ladder.
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on April 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
51
Did he rob the bank at knifepoint?
Posted by Amanda on April 4, 2014 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 53
You just don't rob a bank and then ignore cops when they tell you to drop your weapon. We've gotta be smarter people in this world. It's embarrassing.
Posted by Gern Blanston on April 4, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
54
Need to hear all the facts, sucks either way. dude needed some money probably didn't think it through, should not be dead. But why bring up the weight Bruce Lee weighed in around 125.
Posted by willsmithfaninkent on April 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM · Report this
55
A lot of condemning of the SPD in here while knowing nothing of what happened aside from the outcome.

For one, you don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Two, knives are a very serious threat and a suspect with a knife can escalate a situation faster than you could believe. This is why the cops have firearms out and not less than lethal alternatives like tazers.

The cops very well could have done everything by the book and followed every procedure correctly, but the suspect that just committed an armed robbery of a bank, fled from the police, crashed his car, and threatened them with a knife could have limited the parameters of which they could have worked with. Considering what he did (as mentioned above) and the lengths he went to do them (cross dressing, makeup, etc.) and considering this was a guy who had never been in trouble, I wouldn't put it past him to be in some crazy irrational state of mind and feeling like there was no way out.

Sucks it had to end like this, but don't point your fingers until more facts comes out.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 57
@55 Oh, hello California. Nice of you to join the conversations other than defending your brother. Apparently you think that shooting people who have knives is good practice. Good to know.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on April 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM · Report this
58
@54, some scientists believe that you have to be at least 6'6" and weigh over 300 lbs in order to be able to hurt somebody with a knife.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM · Report this
59
So did he actually rob the bank? was it someone else? Did I miss that part? From the article I know that he won an award for oyster shucking.
Posted by Conrad McMasters on April 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
60
To SPD we are all "the enemy."
Posted by Grambo on April 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM · Report this
61
@59, well yes, he robbed a bank.

But we're not supposed to discuss that. Or the extensive criminal background the guy has. That wouldn't be responsible Fair and Balanced journalism.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 62
I wish you would have posted trigger warnings. The article made me feel excessively good.
Posted by Lew Siffer on April 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM · Report this
63
@57

Love how you discredit the opinion of anyone who is knew on here. Hugs to the newbies! I'd look at your first posts on here to see how you were received or if your opinions were considered invalid cause you were new, but since you apparently have no life, getting to your first comment would take days.

Living in California also doesn't discredit my opinion.

I didn't say shooting people with knives is good practice, but that doesn't make a knife wielding suspect any less of a threat, and a serious threat at that.

It's a threat that is often underestimated as a gun is far more powerful at greater distance and because of this misconception, it is specifically taught in something called the Tueller Drill. As seen here, in an actual police training video followed by on Mythbusters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckz7EmDx…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9igSoJHE…

In short, a suspect with a knife can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds. This is why they had their weapon drawn and why it was a lethal option, not a less than lethal alternative like a tazer.

It's a shame he had to die and for what reason we'll never know. It certainly wasn't his first run in with the law, having been previously arrested for theft (twice), drugs (twice), DUI, and failure to stop at command of law enforcement.

A guy who was killed by the police who in Utah was found guilty of failing to stop at command of law enforcement? Color me shocked.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM · Report this
64
The full report can be read here: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2014/04/04…

He threatened bank employees with a gun and said he would kill them.

"As the detective was working to get the suspect to drop the knife, a lieutenant at the scene called for officers with Tasers to respond to the courtyard.

Before officers with less-lethal tools reached the scene, the suspect, brandishing a knife, ran toward the detective, closing to within 15 feet of the detective. The detective fired multiple rounds from a rifle, striking the suspect. Officers and detectives called for medics and began performing CPR on the suspect. The suspect died at the scene."
Posted by Jeff on April 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
65
I personally did not know him, and this is very sad that someone died in this incident. But he was reported to have allegedly use a gun in the robbery, and was wielding a knife when confronted by police. His criminal history also includes resisting police officers. I do not agree shooting should come first, but I would assume since this was a family neighborhood, the police had a responsibility to mitigate risk to the families who lived nearby.
Posted by emoss on April 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
66
Brandi Kruse (KIRO radio reporter) just tweeted a photo of yesterday's bank robber pointing a handgun directly at a teller's head. I don't know guns at all, so no idea if it's real or an airsoft, but the photo's pretty fucking scary.
Posted by pony on April 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Kinison 67
@16, "Yeah, crashing your own car means a killing"

Flipping the car over onto the bike lane and sidewalk, yeah that might present a danger to the community.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on April 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
69
@68:

It doesn't matter if it's fake or real. His intent and the fear his [real or fake] gun is instilling on victims is one and the same.

That's why robbing a bank using a fake weapon gets the same exact sentencing as one using a real weapon. It's also why a lot of suspects are shot by police, because they point fake weapons and cops pretending they're real .... and the police don't know and they shoot.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 70
@65: he knew he was busted and suicided himself.

I still wonder at his motivation to rob the bank.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
71
Here is a link to the photo.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/emedia/seattl…
http://mynorthwest.com/108/2488757/Bank-…

Cops don't get to hear the backstory before making a decision in a situation like this. This dude may have rescued kittens for a living, but if I ran into ^THAT PERSON^ in a dark alley, I wouldn't blame anyone for shooting. I cannot image what the bank teller must have experienced. That photo is not of a person that has their shit together. That photo could be next to "psycho killer" in the dictionary.
Posted by highside on April 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Kinison 72
@66 Yup.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BkaDgkwCEAAN…

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BkaDvOQCQAAJ…

So there he is pointing a gun at a teller, pictures of the gun (looks real to me), knife and crashed car, which would have easily injured a cyclist or pedestrian. And yet people still think those actions didn't warrant the police killing the guy when he ran at the cops? Seriously, how much of the public do you need to post a threat to, before its finally justified?
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on April 4, 2014 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Jeff47 73
HE ROBBED A BANK PEOPLE! That shows absolute disregard for anyone other than himself. He had a knife, a deadly weapon. A weapon that takes the lives of people daily in this world. He was hiding. He was hiding because why? Because he was guilty of his crime. Hiding does not make one with a knife less dangerous, in fact, perhaps moreso as they are in the fight or flight mode. Let's not make cases against the police where they do not exist. Of course this an extremely sad incident, I do not mean to subtract from that at all. But let's only call "foul" on the police when there is truly a "foul" to be called.
Posted by Jeff47 on April 4, 2014 at 3:08 PM · Report this
75
He used a fake gun during the robbery. Police knew that he had used one but didn't know it was fake They could see his knife, but couldn't know if he had a gun or not. I'm sure the teller(s) and customers were fearful of their lives, not to mention however many loves he put in harms way when he tried to flee police. But SURE, he was the victim. ....
Posted by budmanmb79 on April 4, 2014 at 3:13 PM · Report this
76
This is a good example of sensationalist journalism. Present no facts that pertain to the case just to vilify another target with whom you have an established agenda.
Posted by budmanmb79 on April 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 77
@63 I only discredit new conservatrolls. Given that you're against $15/hr, and support shooting people with knives, and think that using a fake gun means that he had a disregard for other people's safety (and an intent to kill), you certainly qualify.

Welcome!
Posted by TheMisanthrope on April 4, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
80
In the end, this is just a very minor point in a very sad story, obviously, but I can't think of a worse bank in the city to choose to rob than that Wells Fargo. There are basically two very visible ways out of Madison Park from there.
Posted by lopes on April 4, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
82
@77 This just shows it's impossible to have an actual conversation with you.

Let me ask you this.

What should the detective done that was being charged by a grown man with a large fixed blade knife?

The detective was alone, had no tazer (or other means of less than lethal alternatives), he told the suspect to drop his knife, and he had previously called for police backup with tazers.

What should he have done?

"and think that using a fake gun means that he had a disregard for other people's safety"

He did disregard other people's safety, in multiple ways. I also never said his intent was to kill. You're right though, this is what a guy looks like who is regarding the safety of others (as he threatened to kill the bank workers):

http://mynorthwest.com/emedia/seattle/12…
http://mynorthwest.com/129/2488757/Bank-…

Because, you know, people that regard the safety of others usually commit armed robbery and drive so fast and recklessly from the robbery that they flip their car, and then they charge a detective with a large knife. That definitely sounds like someone who regards the safety of others. Point taken!

Your only way to talk with people on here is to twist people's words and exaggerate what they say, all the while adding absolutely nothing to the discussion.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM · Report this
83
SPD=criminals with badges.
Posted by ebeyprairie on April 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM · Report this
84
SPD = criminals with badges
Posted by ebeyprairie on April 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
85
I am shocked and saddened by this tragedy. I've known Cody through Walrus and the Carpenter for years now. I knew him as a quiet spoken, friendly and talented young man. The reports of his actions (both during the robbery and afterwards leading up to his death) are inexplicable to me. I can't believe he would have actually hurt anyone but my heart also goes out to the victims of the robbery for what they were subjected to.

Posted by kls on April 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
86
Sh*t happens. We all make decisions. The cop made a decision as did this young man. It's an unfortunate turn of events. May he rest in peace. The officer may not be able to, knowing what he did. May peace come to both.
Posted by serge13 on April 4, 2014 at 3:41 PM · Report this
87
that's why i stay on the south side of SW Roxbury Str..
Posted by aprilladida on April 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM · Report this
89
@63 Thanks for the videos. I always advocate for the use of non-lethal means, and SPD has a long history of police brutality, but at least these are eye opening in what an officer might expect when being charged at by a suspect with a knife.

That said, when it comes to SPD I am always suspicious of whether things are the way they claim them to be. Police in this city is just infamous.
Posted by Ailurus on April 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM · Report this
90
@88 "with no criminal history."

He had a rather long criminal history. Just because people who knew him say "oh wow I can't imagine him doing anything like this" doesn't mean they don't have extensive criminal histories. Friends and neighbors are always saying that about all kinds of freaks and mass murderers.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM · Report this
merry 91
@ 61 & 90 - You keep harping on his "extensive", "rather long" criminal history.

Actually, dude had a DUI, an arrest for pot and theft seven years ago when he was 19, and a speeding ticket.

Not what I, or most people, would call a hardened criminal.

Any other sensationalistic posts you'd care to make in this sad thread?
Posted by merry on April 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
92
@89

And you have very good cause to be suspicious. There are outstanding law enforcement officers out there but ones that make bad choices get that reputation blanketed over everyone.

I've learned more since that post and it turns out that the officer involved with the shooting was a detective. Think Law & Order, the TV show. These guys carry a gun but are plain clothed and their job is to solve crime, not patrol the streets. Being that this guy was a detective, he didn't have a tazer. Reports show that he ended up finding the guy. that he called for backup for cops who had tazers and that he told the suspect to drop the knife and he was then charged by the suspect.

If this is true, the detective had no options but to open fire on the suspect.

I too advocate for the use of less than lethal alternatives, but few people really understand how these situations unfold and base their opinions of what should happen off of movies (i.e. "shoot the gun out of his hand!" or "shoot him in the limbs until he loses enough blood and is subdued!" as seen above) or from terrible "reporting" of what we're seeing here in The Stranger (i.e. downplaying the suspect's criminal past, emotionally driving statements about how bright his future was and that he was moving to NYC for a great job, carefully selected bold words, a sensational headline about who the "Seattle Police Killed", etc).

It's very sad and maybe we'll learn why he did it. His life may have been cut short, but now the detective will have to forever live with taking this young man's life, and those at the bank will be traumatized as their lives flashed before their lives. The suspect honestly got the easy way out of all of this.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 4:00 PM · Report this
93
If he indeed charged the police brandishing a knife, then this was justifiable. But, without independent witnesses or video, all we have is the word of the police, and they have a history of bending the retelling of events to justify the outcome.

In Yakima a few months back we had a police shooting that seemed very, very justified. The police said that the man "came out guns blazing" and was cut down in a hail of return fire.

Fair enough.

Then security video from the neighbors house surfaced, and we see them man exit his house, lay down on his stomach, and then be pumped full of lead - shot 15-20 times.

Not so good.

The police then changed their story to say that he had a pistol in his pants and was reaching for it when he was shot.

Fair enough.

Then it turned out he didn't have a pistol on him, and it's clear from the video that both his hands were visible when he was shot.

Not so good.

So the police changed their story once again, and said they felt "threatened" and that's why they shot him.

End of story - justified shooting - everyone back to work....
Posted by kbatku on April 4, 2014 at 4:01 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 95
@82 I'm really not interested in having a conversation about local issues with somebody who doesn't even live in the state. Living in California eliminates your right to dictate or influence things like wage hikes or police behavior, things which have no direct effect on you. You're not standing up for a minority voice in either case, so your opinions are unnecessary at best, destructive, and ultimately condescending and inane. That you joined just to defend your brother from meanies and now feel you have the right to comment on police behavior without even knowing their recent history shows just how much of an entitled ego you have.

Welcome!
Posted by TheMisanthrope on April 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM · Report this
96
"an arrest for pot"

Try felony conviction for marijuana possession. A felony, merry. And also you're leaving out that bit about how he refused to stop when ordered by police.

Sure, I've sped from time to time, and maybe even jaywalked once or twice. But I'm not a convicted felon.

The guy wasn't some sort of special snowflake who never did anything wrong like you and Hersh and anon are trying to claim.

Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM · Report this
97
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQplEHcA…

Here's the YouTube video of the police killing in Selah (suburb of Yakima). The action heats up about 3 minutes in - warning, graphic content. If you've never seen someone lying on their stomach shot multiple times in the back by the police you might want to reconsider watching this video. It is haunting, and no matter how bad this guy was, what happened here was wrong.

Not to say the police killing of the knife wielding bank robber was wrong, just that occasionally police killings aren't as advertised by the police - amazing huh?
Posted by kbatku on April 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
99
@95

Bingo. I wouldn't have expected anything less from you but to skirt my questions or the discussion at hand and once again bring up things from other topics, of which I haven't even introduced into this discussion. But, since you mentioned them for a second time ...

As an investor of a Seattle area business, I assure you I have a right to being involved in the conversation on things like wage hikes.

I also have the right to an opinion on this incident, no more or less than you do.

And if what you were saying is true, I'm assuming you never comment on anything unless it happens in your state?

I'm aware of the PD's history but their history has no bearing on one incident. These are a string of unrelated events. Because some cops made dumb decisions in the past has absolutely no weight on this incident aside from being more heavily scrutinized.

So, I ask you again, since all you can do is say I'm wrong, go off topic, and add absolutely nothing of value. From the information we know (http://www.komonews.com/news/local/SPD-r…), how should this have been handled?
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
100
I would like to know how police who are required to train in gun ranges keep making kill shots. What happened to disarming someone with a shoulder shot? YOU DONT HAVE TO ALWAYS MAKE KILL SHOTS YOU STUPID FUCKS
Posted by noyam on April 4, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
101
Sloggers, I am appalled. At least by many of you.

I suppose it should be now no great surprise to me how quick we can be to dismiss our own humanity in the face of abstract absolutes like "safety" and "crime." You all mock the compassion and Truth of this article - the journalism behind it - as though what's missing is in the details of the violence Cody perpetrated before he was shot. That the only thing worth noting or reporting is what he did wrong.

You're missing the entire goddamn point.

Renee states clearly the purpose of her words are to shed light on a life that mattered dearly to a great many people and mattered, period. No one says he was innocent. But as Cody was human, he had myriad facets; wouldn't you want to be remembered for your brightest - your most polished? - rather than your most horrific mistakes?

You all distance yourselves: not one of these comments mention his name, as though he's not a whole person with marrow and ventricles and family and secrets. He's separate. He's a criminal; he's not you, you write. You are literally hiding yourself. You other Cody, as though we don't all have a desperate, cross-dressing bank robber inside of us, too. Go ahead and argue with me. I dare you. But your four a.m. self in its deepest pits knows I'm right. And you will likely never admit it.

Which is, itself, the greatest tragedy.

Cody was in deeper shit than most knew. But he didn't reach. He couldn't reach. Shame is a powerful force, arguably THE most powerful, and all I read in this article is that it can be lethal. What happened yesterday is what happens when we aren’t ever given enough to tools hack away at it.

And this article? This article is an attempt at shedding light on a beloved human life. It is an attempt to not allow Cody to die in shame because in life he battled shame so thick it ended up killing him. And because, if you've ever met the man or dined at Walrus, Cody was a spectacular human. The kind you feel upon first meeting. So much so, in fact, I remembered Cody over a year after first dining at Walrus. I was serving him this time and he was so seemingly weirded out that I remembered him: "Cody! The oyster shucker!" as I walked up to greet his table. And then I explained that I was sitting through one of the most uncomfortable and seemingly unbearable dining experience with my company the first time I had eaten at Walrus, and that I remembered feeling as though he immediately picked up on it as he continued to carry the rest of our dining experience so awesomely, I left nearly forgetting my unfortunate interpersonal dynamics between me and my fellow diners. I thanked him for making my night, and to this day, I believe he spent the energy because he knew. And he knew, because he was one of the best kinds of humans. The kind that people remember, even in passing, an entire year later. The kind that despite whatever deep and likely unspoken dark well caused him to take the actions he did yesterday, still dared to live life less hidden and more genuinely present than most of us ever will.

None of us are innocent. In our quietest moments, we all know this. It’s why we’re afraid, it’s why we drink too much, it’s why we spend to much, it’s why we hurt people, it’s why we procrastinate, and it’s why we write cold or downright hateful comments on the slog. Cody wasn’t innocent. He would have never pretended to be – I know that, and I have only been a member of the “Nautical Mafia” for six months. I, myself, hardly had the opportunity to know him. But fuck, is he ever loved. So let him be celebrated. Really celebrated and remembered for who he was.

We can back and forth about what criminals are deserving of deadly force and which point and about who is dangerous and what could done about it. It is a crucial and important dialogue, for damn sure. I work full-time as a case manager with homeless men and some of the stories I have heard and witnessed, are downright disgusting. Lest we forget the homeless men stabbed by off-duty firemen a month or so ago? How is it even a question that the people who are paid by all of us in order to protect us be further examined and scrutinized when that ceases to be the case? Some of you commenters astutely point out that he endangered a neighborhood of people when he flipped his car, but there is not one mention of the multiple shots. Multiple shots. Multiple. Shots. If you think that is reasonable or necessary to protect anyone from anything by any means, you need to take examine your own fears.

I read through these comments expecting an onslaught of love and support.
I can only assume that those of you interested in only calculated and critical comments are the very reason Cody couldn’t ask for help. And your unwillingness to own your own humanity has to be the cause for you to so flippantly discredit someone else’s. And fuck, guys, that shit is the root of homophobia and racism and a great deal of other injustice and all the rest of the horrible shit in the world like rape and war and colonialism. And police brutality. It is your perpetuation of a world in which life like Cody’s can be wasted.

Please stop blaring your clear misinterpretations of the article’s raison d’etre. And then go take a long, hard look at yourself. Do it. Do it for Cody. Do it for you. Do it for all of us.
More...
Posted by orenda on April 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
103
Well, I clearly disagree with the person quoted in the article.

I DO want the police to shoot ANY man who is holding a knife and refuses to drop it.

At least I hope that's what my tax dollars are paying for.
Posted by David in Shoreline on April 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM · Report this
104
@100,

this isn't Hollywood. You aim center mass as it's the biggest target. Aiming for the biggest target makes it easiest to miss. A guy with a large fixed blade knife was running at the detective isn't the easiest target if you're aiming for something like the shoulder and had he missed, the suspect could have been on top of him in less than a second.

The cop's job is to put down the threat for his own safety and the safety of the community, not do some trick shot to the shoulder to get him to drop his weapon, not to mention one bullet to the shoulder (or even the torso) will typically drop a person. And, of course, since this was in a residential area, aiming for the middle of the torso makes the cop more likely to hit the target rather than miss and hit neighboring houses, etc.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM · Report this
108
Seattle needs a democratically elected, Citizen oversight committee for the SPD to stop these atrocities from happening!
Posted by Fallbreaker on April 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
110
@101 Sorry to hear about your friend.

"Multiple shots. Multiple. Shots." Your point? Do you know if the first round incapacitated him? No? Then how can you argue that multiple shots weren't necessary? Another article said it was a rifle, which means it would likely be an AR15 (.223cal/5.56mm round) which our military uses and that has been debated about its effectiveness in disabling a man without requiring multiple shots.

It's very unfortunate for your friend and that he couldn't get help for whatever he was battling, but it's also no fair for the police to be painted as lawless thugs murdering whoever they want, when it was someone else's dangerous actions that put this all into action and forced them to make a move.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM · Report this
Anna Anna Anna 111
Don't rob a bank. Don't threaten to kill people. Don't run from cops. Put down your weapon when cops are telling you to drop your weapon.

Sucks this guy got shot. Sucks he felt like he had to rob a bank. Sucks he probably had mental issues? Also sucks he threatened to kill people, then ran or walked toward a cop and wouldn't drop his knife.

Will be interesting to find out all the facts.
Posted by Anna Anna Anna on April 4, 2014 at 4:47 PM · Report this
112
@7 FucktheSPD? Nice name.

"Robbery is still not a crime punishable by death in this country."

No, but charging someone with a knife can be met with deadly force by a cop or a civilian.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM · Report this
118
Strange, strange, strange dude. Who in the f robs a bank? Not only was he a thief, he was immensely dumb.
Posted by Jaymar on April 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM · Report this
119
@106.

Indeed. If only he had turned himself over to the police instead of trying to kill them, he wouldn't have had to worry about being executed for robbing that bank.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
merry 120
@ 96 - "Try felony conviction for marijuana possession. A felony, merry. And also you're leaving out that bit about how he refused to stop when ordered by police."

Ooooo, a felony pot conviction, plus not stopping. Oh you're right, that changes everything.

"The guy wasn't some sort of special snowflake who never did anything wrong like you and Hersh and anon are trying to claim."

Wrong. I'm not saying he was a 'special snowflake', I'm saying that a fucking tragedy happened, put in motion by the dead man himself. This guy obviously had something very drastic, very out-of-the-ordinary happen in his life, and I don't know what that was and neither do you. Most bank robbers don't hold down sous chef jobs; most bank robbers aren't beloved like this guy seems to have been.

I'm saying that nothing in his background points to the kind of bad craziness that happened, and I'm NOT saying that the cops were wrong in this case, if he really did charge the detective (although the SPD has a pretty shitty record in the past few years around incidents just like this). I'm also saying that you trying to portray this guy as a knuckle-dragging murderous scofflaw is way out of line. He had no "extensive" or "rather long" criminal history, as you posted more than once.

You remind me of the people who tried to portray Trayvon Martin as a lowlife scum worthy of death because he'd been caught smoking pot and had a screwdriver in his backpack when he was killed. Disgusting.
Posted by merry on April 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Rotten666 123
Just looked at the photo. Fuck this guy. Good riddence and rot in hell.
Posted by Rotten666 on April 4, 2014 at 5:12 PM · Report this
125
Sorry, you hold up a bank and then refuse to drop a knife when ordered by police, you run the risk of getting shot. It's not like this guy was just whittling wood when the cops approached him.

Whatever caused this sequence of events is tragic I guess, but police can't just wait for someone to start stabbing them before they take action.

I'm sorry a police officer treated a member of the Stranger staff shitty one time, but that doesn't mean everything they do is shitty.
Posted by madcap on April 4, 2014 at 5:48 PM · Report this
129
@128, charging with a police officer with a knife (after committing armed robbery of a bank) is a trigger that will usually get you shot by a police officer ..... or any other person legally carrying a firearm.

"If we're going to live in a police state, it would be nice to know what, if any, rules there are to, you know, avoid getting shot dead in the street or in your home."

Yeah dude, the rules are simple. Don't charge people with knives, especially when they're pointing a gun at you when the catch you after committing armed robert. It's unbelievable how flabbergasted you seem from the outcome of this person's actions.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 6:56 PM · Report this
wh344 131
A knife is a deadly weapon in the hands of someone who is desperate. Attacks with knives happen every day, & can happen in an instant. Twenty-some years ago, a King County sheriff was charged by a deranged man with a knife & stabbed to death before he could draw his gun. Only the deceased & the officer know the whole story, the rest is wild speculation.
Posted by wh344 on April 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM · Report this
135
@132 First, this man was a detective and did not have a tazer, nor do they typically.

Secondly, a tazer isn't for someone charging with a knife. A threat of imminent danger like the one in question would be deadly force. At 21 feet, a man with a knife can get to a cop in 1.5 seconds. This man was 15 feet away and that's not an instance when you trust your life with a taser that allows you only one shot. You miss, you're dead.

Lastly, backup was called for officers who had tasers. Meanwhile, the detective directed the suspect to drop his knife. He didn't. The suspect then charged the detective, forcing the detective to shoot.
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 7:19 PM · Report this
136
@133, so what should have happened?
Posted by madeofcheese on April 4, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
138
He just robbed a bank with a gun, and was charging a cop with knife.

That's why he got shot.
Posted by putupyourdukes on April 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM · Report this
139
a) Man just robbed a bank at gunpoint
b) was asked repeatedly to put down the knife
c) cops with non leathal arms were called in before the shooting and were on their way
d) charged a cop

He wanted to die, and I don't see how you can fault the SPD on this. Shame on the stranger for sensationalism.
Posted by putupyourdukes on April 4, 2014 at 7:36 PM · Report this
143
The article mentioned the fact that this guy was a chef, what the people at the restaurant thought of him and his lack of a criminal record. It almost completely glossed over the reason this thug was contacted by the police in the first place. When he was shot, this guy wasn't a sous-chef with dreams of making it big in New York. He was an armed criminal who had just robbed innocent people with a deadly weapn, had fled the scene in a vehicle, committed a hit and run then failed to follow commands by the police when he was contacted...while holding a deadly weapon! Some people on this comment section seem to think that police shouldn't use their firearms to defend themselves when confronted by someone with a knife. Google the words "knife injuries" then make those comments. You people are completely out of touch with reality.
Posted by letsbreasonable on April 4, 2014 at 7:50 PM · Report this
149
Men with swords, shot by police, get up again and keep charging police. Lesson- shoot center of mass, the largest target, repeatedly until the threat is stopped. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbLc1sNjW…
Posted by ltfd on April 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 150
@100,

What do you think the police aim at when they target practice? Here's a hint: not the shoulder. Taking out a potential threat with a shoulder shot is a Hollywood fantasy.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM · Report this
151
The only thing that matters is whether he charged the cops with a knife. A knife is a deadly weapon. If he did so, then the SPD was justified in shooting him. If he hadn't crashed a car, hadn't robbed a bank, wasn't a good cook, or wasn't any other thing you can think of, and charged at cops with a knife, then the shooting was justified.
Posted by hist_ed on April 4, 2014 at 9:08 PM · Report this
154
First, read the article...
He didn't charge. He didn't drop the knife, but he didn't charge. That can be handled differently than killing the person.
Secondly, it was a knife...NOT A GUN!!! A gun vs. a knife. The police were in charge. Again, it could have been handled differently than killing the person.
Did he do something wrong?..Yes, but it could have been handled differently by the police.
Where was the assessment of this man, sitting with a knife, not charging the police? Again, it could have been handled differently.
I came to The Stranger's site, as they are the one to make a difference in pointing out the Seattle Police and the issues they have and how things could have been handled differently!!! Please look into this! For all of our sakes!!!
Posted by Pegs on April 4, 2014 at 9:42 PM · Report this
159
Sad, this is why cops need to wear cameras.

@154, the cops are now claiming that he's charged them (http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014…) If this is true, then the shooting seems by the book.

Still really sad. I wonder what happened to make him do this.
Posted by j2patter on April 5, 2014 at 12:16 AM · Report this
162
This is really stupid speculation. There is no reason at this point to disbelieve the SPD version of events. And It is not crazy for the police to shoot someone who charges them with a knife. Especially after robbing a bank and crashing a car. There is no evidence at all that he was "hiding in a bush" and no particular reason to believe he wasn't an immediate and potentially lethal threat.
Posted by brent.b on April 5, 2014 at 2:07 AM · Report this
164
This is why people say the Stranger is Anti-SPD, because of this type of baseless and completely biased attack. It is possible this was a bad shooting, but wait until you have a single piece of evidence before going on the attack for fuck's sake.
Posted by brent.b on April 5, 2014 at 2:14 AM · Report this
171
The stranger and this sort of editorial joirnalism is really making ashamed to be liberal. A guy charged a cop with a knife... If I was carrying and someone charged me with a knife, I'd shoot him too. That's what the law permits and what common sense dictates.

Please stranger - can you guys work on being journalists?
Posted by plasmicmike on April 5, 2014 at 8:21 AM · Report this
jacques-boot 174
There is a lot of misinformation expressed here regarding the lethality of a knife vs. a gun. Statistics show a large number of police officers being fatally stabbed by an assailant that has ALREADY BEEN MORTALLY WOUNDED WITH A GUNSHOT. Guns do not necessarily stop an assailant instantly. If the knife wielder is within a certain range, about 20 feet, and refuses to drop a knife or charges an officer, then shooting is the prudent action.
Posted by jacques-boot http://www.williamelston.com on April 5, 2014 at 10:01 AM · Report this
176
@8 & @47: it might not be the case for every police department in the country, but at one weird point in my life i dated a cop in my hometown, and he told me that when a cop shoots a gun at someone, they have to shoot to kill. there's no ''shoot to maim'' or possibility of trying to disarm a suspect through shooting their hand or something. if a cop is willing to take a shot at a human being, it has to be with the intention to kill them. i guess the idea around this is to make it less likely that they'll shoot people all willy nilly and to keep them accountable--like you can't say if you kill someone ''oh i was aiming for their leg but they moved.'' not saying it's the RIGHT policy to have, just my understanding of how it works. i think all these ideas we get of someone being able to shoot a bad guy in the ankle and stop them from running comes from bad tv cop dramas.
Posted by analemma on April 5, 2014 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Masi 178
Sorry the guy is dead.

But you point a gun at someone, fake or not, you might get shot. You run from cops and then don't put down your weapon when they tell you to, you might get shot.

I hate to say it, but the city is probably safer with this guy off the streets. Sad that he had to die. But if he did this, and had gotten away with it, what else might he have done?
Posted by Masi on April 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM · Report this
180
@175 -- I don't understand why you're being so judgmental. Clearly someone who went into a bank and made the teller think they were going to die by pointing what appeared to be a gun at their head then ran at a cop with a knife isn't a bad guy. The bad people are the tellers and customers at the bank for being scared of a robber who looked like he was going to kill them and calling 911, and the cop who should have taken a knife to the gut and died rather than protect the community from a violent criminal.
Posted by Bax on April 5, 2014 at 3:12 PM · Report this
181
I absolutely side-eye most police shootings. It seems like most of them could be avoided by using de-escalation tactics instead of multiple officers screaming orders at someone.

But they don't shoot to wound, nor should they. You aim for anything but center mass, it's that much easier to miss. People get amped up in stressful situations, and it's hard to shoot straight.

If Spafford was moving forward with the knife, refusing to drop it, then the detective was within bounds to shoot him. It's sad, and I'm curious about what pushed Spafford to the edge that he did these seemingly out of character things, but IF he charged the cop holding the knife, the cop was acting to preserve his own life.
Posted by clashfan on April 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
184
@183 -- I'm pretty sure we do know what led the detective to shoot and kill the armed suspect in this case. The guy robbed a bank. Apparently at gunpoint. The detective found the bad guy. The bad guy had a knife. The detective told the bad guy to drop the knife. The bad guy not only didn't drop the knife, but advanced on the detective. The detective shot. The end.

It's unfortunate that this guy made the choices he did. He may well have been quite nice to a lot of people. But in the end, he was a violent criminal who died because of the choices he made. It's pretty simple.
Posted by Bax on April 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 187
i'd like to welcome the seattle times commenters to slog. dude wanted to die rather than be arrested and imprisoned. his coworkers, family, and friends didn't know him as a "thug".

its a tragedy for all concerned, including the office who killed him. what drove him to do something so stupid?
Posted by Max Solomon on April 5, 2014 at 4:12 PM · Report this
190
@188 -- I agree, it's hard to say "I don't know." Kind of like how it was hard for the bank teller who had what appeared to be a gun pointed at his or her face to say to themselves, "I don't know if I'm going to live or die right now." Kind of like how I'm sure it's hard for them to now say to themselves, "I don't know if I can ever go back to work again, since this experience has shaken me to my core." Kind of like how Detective Jim Rodgers in a split second had to say to himself "I don't know if I am going to get stabbed by this guy who just robbed a bank, and I don't know if he has a gun on him in addition to a knife."

We almost never know anything for sure. So in the end we have to go on what information we have. And the information we have is that this guy, for whatever reason, decided to commit multiple violent crimes, which resulted in his death. It's unfortunate. It's sad. But it's nobody's fault but his.
Posted by Bax on April 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM · Report this
201
I love all these people who have never been attacked with a weapon armchair quarterbacking how best to respond in a situation like this. Especially telling are the "shoot to wound" people, who clearly have little or no knowledge of firearms let alone the circumstances in which you'd be forced to use one.

It must be nice, living in a magical fantasy world where your total lack of real-world experience somehow translates to your knowing better than everyone else when it comes to handling a legitimate kill or be killed situation.
Posted by RoosterSauce on April 6, 2014 at 1:20 AM · Report this
202
@201 right on. I guarantee NONE of these people who think you should just negotiate, taser, fire warning shots, do bruce lee karate chops or whatever else against someone with a knife have ever actually faced someone threatening them with a knife. It's well known someone within 20 feet with a knife can get to you and stab you before you can draw a gun and shoot them. If you don't believe it, try it yourself with a watergun and see if you can pull it from a holster and squirt your friend before he reaches you running full speed from 20 feet. Yeah SPD's force record sucks which is why it makes legit uses of force questionable too. We should be asking what kind of idiot robs a bank and then wields a knife while fleeing?
Posted by hifiandrew on April 6, 2014 at 2:17 AM · Report this
203
Also let's talk about the other elephant in the room. This guy looks young, cute, pretty, hipster, sexy -- like our favorite barista we all like to flirt with and the ideal Stranger demographic. If he looked like this guy below, would there really be 200+ comments on this threat?
http://fotos.miarroba.es/fo/e299/2D4FB75…
Posted by hifiandrew on April 6, 2014 at 2:33 AM · Report this
204
Interesting looking at the crime photos, I notice it's a Rapala fish/fillet knife. Wonder if it came from the restaurant? Sad choices Cody made. And for what, a little bit of money. Hard to fathom what makes someone so desperate. Reading the account, sounds like SPD did try to negotiate with him. Almost sounds like suicide by cop.
Posted by hifiandrew on April 6, 2014 at 2:54 AM · Report this
206
The main mistake made by 90% of the comments on here is believing the police. Police reports are as fallible as the people who create them. None of us can comment on whether Cody deserved to die for his actions, because only one person left living truly knows what Cody did moments before his death. Without bias, I ask, do you trust the SPD? Once you have answered that question, then we can talk about what to do next.
Posted by JGF on April 6, 2014 at 7:07 AM · Report this
208
This ridiculous thread makes me embarrassed to be a liberal.

I'm no authoritarian, but the guy ROBBED A FUCKING BANK AT GUNPOINT and fled in a high-speed chase and attacked a cop with a knife, yet somehow this is the cop's fault?

Armed takeover-style bank robbery is a high risk game and if you do it, there's a good chance you're gonna get yourself killed; I don't give a damn about how cute and sweet this hipster idiot was.

Bullshit like this is how the phrase, 'Bleeding Heart Liberal' got coined. Sheesh.
Posted by CPN on April 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Bonefish 210
Hey German Sausage, tell us more about how much worse "FELONY MARIJUANA POSSESSION" is than "pot possession."

Does pot possession become a felony when you use it to kill a man by bunching handfuls of weed through his skull?

Or do both phrases refer to the nonviolent act of having weed on your person, and whether or not it's a felony depends on legal technicalities that have little to do with the character of the suspect?

Look, I get that this guy robbed a bank. But when searching for evidence that he was a dangerous thug, you might want to avoid stressing that he committed "felony marijuana possession" rather than "pot-having."
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on April 6, 2014 at 12:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 214
@187: "i'd like to welcome the seattle times commenters to slog"

Gah, we have enough racist, horrible human garbage as anons already.
Posted by undead ayn rand on April 6, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
217
@213 - you want to know what would have helped make the "better way" you talk about happen in this case? The police having the capacity to see what was going on from above. You know what would be an inexpensive way to help them have aerial observation? Drones. You know who is no doubt opposed to them having drones? You.
Posted by Bax on April 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM · Report this
218
just so you all know -

I wrote 101.

And I have broken up a handful of knife fights with no weapon. I once had broken glass held to my neck. The cops never came because 3rd and James is not as important as Madrona. That's just a fact.

You can de-escalate anything if you want to. If you come from the right place.

I've protected clients from knife-wielding and drugged clients and non-clients, and I did not need a gun.

So there's that.
And I still say shame on all of you.

I live in a very real world.
Posted by orenda on April 7, 2014 at 12:52 AM · Report this
219
I agree with ALL of you. I mean why should this guy get a chance at a fair trial just because individuals specially trained and paid by his tax dollars to resolve these issues were on scene. Those poor, poor scared police. Body armor, radio communication and an army of backup to call on, hell, why shouldn't the police have been scared? There was ONE man with a spoon or some other piece of metal in his hand. It would be absurd to expect THE FUCK ING PROFESSIONALS HIRED TO PEACEFULLY END THESE SITUATIONS to do just that. There very quite possibly may have been pictures of this guy wearing a Superman costume at sometime in his life, and how are we to know he is not the real Superman. Oh yeah, that's right, maybe because he had not displayed the will to use deadly force. Besides, if these TRAINED PEACE(of shit) OFFICERS had shot him in the leg or arm, and he turned out to not be guilty, they would have to be accountable for THERE actions!!!

And as far as "It's a hard, dangerous job. You do it and then see how you feel!"
Get a different fuckin job. PROFESSIONALS!!!! I COULD HAVE DONT THAT!!!!! A TWELVE YEAR OLD IDIOT COULD HAVE RE - ACTED JUST AS EFFICIENTLY!!!!!
Posted by CitizenOnPatrol on April 7, 2014 at 1:32 AM · Report this
220
I recommend that folks read and cross-reference several news sources before lamenting for poor, poor Cody. He has a long criminal history that was, apparently, unknown to his Seattle co-workers and employers. He was on a garage roof when shot, not hiding in the bushes. He was charging at a detective with rather a large knife and had closed to within 15 feet (the length of an average-sized bedroom), not cowering, when shot.

The pictures of him pointing what appeared to all present to be a very nasty gun at the bank tellers and customers in the bank - along with his threats - pretty much tell the whole story. He put a LOT of planning into his outfit (fake nose, women's clothing, wig, air gun that looks like a real gun, etc.) He brought along a rolling suitcase and carried off that suitcase full of cash. A lot of plan-making went into his crimes that day, but he was thwarted by his own bad driving (flipped his car in a one-car accident, the police weren't even chasing him at that point.) When he was cornered on a roof later by searchers, he ran towards a detective with a big, sharp knife despite orders to drop the weapon (suicide by cop?)

I think this is one of those "why he seemed like such a nice young man" cases where, truth be told, he was just very, very good at PRETENDING to be a "nice young man".

My sincere sympathies to the people in his family and the people he hoodwinked into thinking he was a really nice guy.
Posted by Susan B Journey on April 7, 2014 at 1:57 AM · Report this
224
@221 - robbery is not a property crime. Threatening to kill someone while pointing what appeared to be a gun is not a property crime. Pointing a knife at someone is not a property crime. This guy did not commit property crimes. He committed several felonies that are defined in state law as violent crimes.

I get it. You don't like the police. But nothing ruins your credibility on issues of legitimate police misconduct more than trying to claim cops did something wrong when their actions were completely justifiable.
Posted by Bax on April 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM · Report this
227
A man died so a police officer didn't have to sacrifice any ground/pride. And that cops friends and family are telling him how proud they are of him today!

Period.

Posted by CitizenOnPatrol on April 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM · Report this
230
@ 221 - "The simpleton's approach to law enforcement and justice that you've advocated, namely all suspected criminals deserve to die, is a system of summary execution, not law enforcement or justice."

Please don't attribute your straw men to me. I didn't ADVOCATE for anything in my post beyond: read and cross-reference several news stories before jumping to conclusions about the innocence of Cody or the perfidy of the detective who shot him.
Posted by Susan B Journey on April 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
231
@ 227 - "A man died so a police officer didn't have to sacrifice any ground/pride."

Both the detective and Cody were on a garage roof when Cody charged him. What was the detective supposed to do in order to "sacrifice ground"? Leap backwards off the roof? Or just stand there and get stabbed? What?
Posted by Susan B Journey on April 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM · Report this
234
Did the Seattle Police Department and detective who shot Cody Spafford in the rooftop chase positively ID Cody Spafford as the cross-dressing, knife-wielding bank robber who crashed his car and tried to get away?
I no longer live in Seattle, and don't have all the facts here, but the SPD already reportedly has a shamefully bad corruption record; so much so that it's currently under federal investigation. It would only be an additional embarrassment on top of decades of shameful departmental mishandling if Spafford was indeed, innocent of committing bank robbery, but lost his life anyway because someone with a badge hastily pulled the trigger on the wrong man.
Truly sad.

Mayor-elect Ed Murray has officially declared the SPD his problem now. One can only hope that he can help finally put a stop to this long-escalated mess of grossly mismanaged law enforcement.
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM · Report this
JF 235
@232 Holy shit you are insufferable. Do you enjoy blathering like a half witted version of Detective Cohle?
Posted by JF on April 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
238
@ 232 - What I did was read every news article on the subject I could find and reported back that Cody has a LONG, multi-state criminal history and that people were, apparently, deceived by his smiling face and glib lies.

Do you know what kind of people have smiling faces and glib lies while they pursue a long history of anti-social and criminal behaviors? Psychopaths.

Someone in my extended family adopted one (he's now facing hard time for looting a business during a storm, breaking/entering and stealing from several different residences, etc.) I am speaking from painful personal experience. It's better, however, to know that you've been dealing with a psychopath than to live in denial.

You can attribute all kinds of nonsensical intentions to my post. Feel free. But I know what my intent was and it was this: people should always cross-check and verify before they allow themselves to be taken in by either a smooth-talking psychopath or a group of political hacks with an ax to grind.

The SPD is not my favorite organization, but it's not now and will never be in their job description to run onto a psychopath's blade in order to soothe the feelings of Seattle's more-sensitive citizens.
Posted by Susan B Journey on April 7, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Bonefish 242
You don't have to idolize this guy, or even believe he's innocent, in order to (generally) mistrust the Seattle Police Department.

You just have to know your ass from a hole in the ground.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on April 8, 2014 at 9:10 PM · Report this
243
What is wrong with SPD?
Posted by TonyinSeattle1 on April 9, 2014 at 1:54 AM · Report this
244
What is wrong with SPD? This city has developed a bad reputation around the country because of the SPD. So what is our new mayor going to do about the situation? Is he going to be another one term mayor because of letting the SPD kill people for carrying a knife? I remember Johnny Walker a number of years back being shot to death because he carried a knife and stole a quart of milk from Safeway in the Queen Anne area. The killing was captured on film. I don’t know what’s worse, the gangs, or the SPD. SPD for all practical purposes functions as a gang. This city is not safe. What do the concerned citizens of this city have to do to insist that the SPD is not make up of a bunch of trigger happy crazy people????
Posted by TonyinSeattle1 on April 9, 2014 at 2:20 AM · Report this

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