- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) - A longtime Seattle police officer has been suspended without pay for 10 days over an incident in which he punched a restrained man in the face 14 times in less than a minute.

Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole wrote in a disciplinary report that 55-year-old David Bauer also delivered an unwarranted kick to the man in the video-recorded incident in South Seattle in 2010, The Seattle Times reported (https://goo.gl/WrdHiA).

O’Toole found that Bauer used excessive force and violated department policies on lawful conduct. She also wrote that she would have fired Bauer if it had happened during her tenure or under their current policy on use of force. O’Toole became chief in 2014.

The department’s internal findings came after federal and King County prosecutors declined to bring felony charges against Bauer. Misdemeanor charges can’t be filed against him because of a two-year statute of limitations.

The incident came to light last year as city attorneys prepared to release the video as part of a request for videos by a local media outlet.

Bauer joined the department in 1986 and was one of three officers who responded to a call in November 2010, outside a bank, where police used force during a confrontation with four people.

A bartender nearby had reported that two intoxicated men had been thrown out and were outside making threatening gestures.

The officers found two men matching the descriptions provided sitting in a parked car and then two more people walked out of the bank.

During a confrontation, Bauer kicked the car’s driver, who was struggling on the ground with another officer, according to a report from the Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability.

O’Toole’s report, signed July 28 and obtained by The Seattle Times in a public-disclosure request, said Bauer delivered a “wind up kick” to the man’s midsection.

Bauer’s subsequent 14 punches to the man’s face happened while he was pinned beneath Bauer and the other officer, O’Toole wrote.

“At this time, the individual was no longer assaultive and his arms were restrained,” her report said, rejecting Bauer’s contention the force he used was justified to quickly end the incident and protect officers.

O’Toole noted neither Bauer nor the other officers asked the bartender who placed the 911 call to determine the nature of her safety concerns.

However, Bauer also took full responsibility for his actions and any embarrassment he caused the department, O’Toole wrote.

The incident occurred before Seattle police adopted sweeping reforms to curb excessive force under a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department.

Kevin Stuckey, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, did not return a call seeking comment.


Information from: The Seattle Times, https://www.seattletimes.com



Click to Read More

Click to Hide