KIRO TV has dug up a video which lends credence to claims made by the Seattle Police Officers Guild that an officer charged with assault for an incident in Ballard last year was the victim of a racially motivated attack.
The video shows one of three men suspected in the attack referring to the officer, who is black, as a “spook” (a racist term).
In December 2010, Seattle police arrested three men outside of the Bal-Mar night club in Ballard after off-duty Officer Garth Haynes got into an altercation with three men. Police says Haynes followed a woman outside of the bar after she allegedly walked off with his coat. Haynes called 911 to report the theft, and identified himself as a police officer to the woman, when the three men—who did not know the woman—jumped him.
Haynes—who sustained a concussion and other injuries in the attack—was caught on video stepping on the head of one of the three men as he lay handcuffed on the ground. City Attorney Pete Holmes later charged Haynes with assault. Charges against the three men who fought with Haynes were dropped.
Seven months after the incident, the police guild released a statement claiming a second video showed one of the suspects in the case making racist comments to an officer following his arrest.
This video is in the case file and it shows the suspects being transported back to the precinct. During the transport the video shows the men are clearly intoxicated. They were apparently celebrating a 21st birthday.
Most disturbing is that the transport video shows one of the assailants engaging in very racist comments. One of the suspects is heard saying words to the effect of, “What would you do if you saw a black man touching a white woman?”
… So, here in Seattle we have an officer of color jumped from behind by three white men, brutally kicked and beaten, simply because that officer was “touching a white woman?”
And because the officer, who suffered a concussion, steps on one of his attackers, he gets charged and the racist attackers are now considered “the victims?” This is simply appalling.
KIRO’s video shows one of the suspects telling an officer he thought Haynes “might be a frickin’ spook just trying to pretend to be a cop.”
While the possible racial motivation behind the attack certainly doesn’t really explain why Haynes stepped on a handcuffed suspect, this new video sure is going to make Pete Holmes’ prosecution of Haynes more interesting.
Head over to KIRO to watch the (unembeddable) video.