A cop with a controversial record on the rise at SPD, a sergeant retires following an internal investigation, and prosecutors charge a man wounded in a shooting in South Seattle.
1) A Seattle Police Department lieutenant previously arrested for DUI and reprimanded for striking his son in a holding cell has been hand-selected by department officials to attend a prestigious FBI program, according to department sources.
The department has opted to send Lt. Donnie Lowe to the FBI National Academy program, usually attended by lieutenants and captains who are on the rise in SPD.
Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, Deputy Chief Nick Metz, and Chief John Diaz all attended the FBI academy program.
According to SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb—who confirmed Lowe’s selection to the FBI academy—Lowe was “nominated and ultimately selected” for the program.
In 2009, Lowe previously pleaded guilty to reckless driving following his DUI arrest. From the PI.com:
When Lowe rolled down his window, his eyes were bloodshot and his breath smelled of alcohol. His pants were unbuckled and unbuttoned, exposing his underwear, according to Trooper Alicia Philips’ report. A passenger, who isn’t identified in reports reviewed by the P-I, was in the vehicle.
Lowe, according to the Seattle Times, has also been “reprimanded during his 17-year career for inappropriate contact with his son in a holding cell and confronting a man over nude photographs of a relative.”
When asked about Lowe’s nomination, SPD’s Whitcomb said Lowe has “been vetted and is very deserving. Anything that has happened in the past has already been dealt with.”
Lowe did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to the department.
2) Speaking of the Times, they say an SPD sergeant at the center of “an internal investigation into the mishandling of drunken-driving arrests” has retired in lieu of being fired by the department:
Sgt. David Abe’s retirement was disclosed by sources briefed on the matter. A Seattle police spokesman, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, confirmed Monday that Abe retired on Thursday after the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) recommended he be demoted and then fired.
The department has yet to release the findings of its internal investigation of Abe, a veteran of nearly 33 years who supervised officers in the unit that enforces driving-under-the-influence (DUI) laws.
But the investigation has focused on allegations that Abe, 57, repeatedly failed to report to work and provided a rubber stamp to officers to affix his approval on their arrest reports, according to sources.
One high-level source said Abe had a good record during most of his career but displayed a “marked decline in performance” tied to personal health problems, a family illness and unhappiness over his assignment, for a second time, to the DUI Unit last year.
3) King County prosecutors have filed charges against a man wounded in a shooting at a South Seattle store earlier this month. Deshawn Thankful Jimerson is facing first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm charges after he allegedly opened fire inside Kicks and Tees near Rainier Ave S and S Charlestown, apparently targeting someone outside the shop.
Jimerson was hit by return fire, and rushed to Harborview. Police arrested him shortly after he was released from the hospital. The man who was with Jimerson in Kicks and Tees during the shooting, Matrice Walker, has also been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and rendering criminal assistance.
Following the shooting, gang detectives recovered surveillance video from the store, which showed Jimerson and Walker—both convicted felons—carrying guns.
Court records say Jimerson has prior weapons possession and robbery convictions, and has had 17 warrants since 2001. Walker has prior convictions for drug possession, theft, and car prowling.
BONUS! In case you missed this in yesterday’s Morning Fizz:
The Seattle Police Department has gotten so serious about cleaning up Belltown that Chief John Diaz and Assistant Chief Mike Sanford went all French Connection late last month, shaking down suspected drug dealers in the neighborhood.
Police sources say Diaz and Sanford were driving through Belltown around 7:00 am on August 30, when they spotted a large group of people huddled together on the street who the chiefs believed were involved in a drug deal.
The chiefs pulled up to the group, whose members quickly scattered, and Diaz and Sanford stopped members of the group for a chat.
Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb confirmed the incident, and said the chiefs were in Belltown “to see if there were any gaps in enforcement.”
While surveying the scene in Belltown, Whitcomb says the chiefs “made contact with some people who may not have wanted contact with the police.”
According to Whitcomb, Diaz and Sanford did not make any arrests. “It’s not as if they were seizing dope and taking guns,” he said.
It’s certainly rare to see high-ranking police officials out on the streets fighting crime in Seattle but Whitcomb says, “they may be chiefs, but they’re still police officers.”