14 February 2012

SPD officer: "I'm gonna make stuff up."

...and you can watch the video, with explanation, at this link from KOMO News.

Story in bullet point form, followed by extended quote:

- Witness reports assault by "two tall, skinny African Americans" in blue jeans.

- Two black guys - one six feet tall and in white sweat pants, one five foot nine and in blue jeans, get arrested, a few blocks away, at gunpoint; one gets kicked in either the face or chest.

- They get put into holding cells, and an officer says they'll be booked for robbery. When they question him, he says "Yeah, I'm gonna make stuff up."

- Neither is charged. Both are later released.

Extended quote:

But then listen to what an officer says on an audio recording after he takes the two to holding cells: "Well, you're going to jail for robbery that's all."

You then hear Franklin ask, "for robbery?" And the officer responds, "Yeah, I'm gonna make stuff up."

It's on video.

Let me say that again: The cops arrest, at gunpoint, people who don't fit the description of the suspects, take them to jail, and then threaten to fabricate evidence in order to charge them with an unrelated offense that they didn't commit.

The whole thing is caught on video.

What's the police response?

We showed Seattle Police Sergeant Sean Whitcomb the arrest video, and he admits the 'make stuff up' comment was inappropriate. But he says the department's Office of Professional Accountability investigated the complaint and exonerated the officer.

"I can tell you we take (complaints) seriously but people have to believe that and they have to trust the system they have to trust the process," Whitcomb said.

Yeah. Your department has been called out by the Department of Justice for a pattern of excessive force, especially towards minorities, you've "lost" more than 45,000 dashcam videos, you're suing a lawyer who asked for videos that were supposed to be public record, you just exonerated a cop who flat-out said he was going to falsify a report, and you want us to trust the process?

Good luck with that.

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