Video Violence

SPD Arrest Caught on Tape

Video Violence

In two weeks, Mark Hays will begin trial for assaulting an officer during an incident in the University District last November ["Head Banger," Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, Nov 29, 2007].

Officers from one of SPD's Anti-Crime Team (ACT) units—which generally handle street crimes—stopped Hays and Michael Lujan at Northeast 45th Street and University Way Northeast after the two men allegedly crossed against a traffic light in front of an unmarked ACT SUV. Somehow the incident escalated—police say Hays tackled an officer who had gotten out of the car to approach the men, something witnesses contest— and Hays was left bloodied and bruised from the encounter.

Last week, The Stranger attempted to acquire videotape of the incident ["Information Control," Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, Jan 17]—recorded by an SPD patrol car at the scene—but the department wouldn't hand it over. However, Lujan's attorneys allowed us to review the video.

Unfortunately, the tape does not show how the incident began. What it does show is a gang of SPD officers beating on Hays.

When the camera-equipped patrol car pulls up to the corner of 45th and University, just before 9:00 p.m., you can immediately see two officers pounding on Hays. The officers appear to be struggling with Hays in order to get his hands behind his back and cuff him. Hays lies face down on the pavement.

The video continues, now with three officers on top of Hays, while another stands over him yelling "stop resisting." Meanwhile, one of the officers grinds Hays's face into the cement, while another punches him four times and knees him twice. From the positioning of the camera and the number of people onscreen, it's difficult to tell where officers' blows are landing, but it's clear they're hitting him hard. "There's a lot of blood over there," one officer says, pointing at the ground, after cuffing Hays. Another officer has what appear to be several large bloody patches on the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

Some of the audio is hard to make out, but someone off camera repeatedly shouts at the officers, asking for their badge numbers, while a woman yells, "He didn't do anything."

Finally, the officers get cuffs on a dazed-looking Hays, cut off his backpack, pick him, up and carry him off camera.

While officers deal with Hays, Lujan stands handcuffed in front of the camera, telling someone offscreen that the incident was spurred by jaywalking.

Hays's trial is set to begin in the next two weeks and the videotape may be inadmissible. It's possible that police will claim Hays tackled them, and they may say they used "reasonable force" in response, making the videotape inconsequential to Hays's assault charge.

The problem with the tape is that it doesn't capture the whole incident. Hays could have tackled an officer, however, the fact of the matter is that SPD's highly trained, undercover Anti-Crime Team also played a role in escalating a simple jaywalking stop. recommended


Commenting was not available when this article was originally published.

Comments (1) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
While I'm not white by any stretch of the immagination, I am also not black, but rather sit here somewhere in between where the view is quite clear. Watching this police brutality tape against this helpless white guy (what seems a more frequently occurring event against whites in general) could we be seeing the tipping of the scale against certain politically-incorrect skin colors? Perhaps we are witnessing a turning of the tables, where certain established groups who may, just a few scant years ago, have been respected citizens of high society, are now spurned by heel, neglected and trodden upon as so much rubbish; white people.

Perhaps it all emerges from the fact that a black man, once bound in the lineage of his African slavery roots, now reigns supreme as King and Master over all nations and all mankind, turning everything once taken for granted as established fact and dashing it against the brow of normalcy.

The conclusion I came to as I watched the white guy get pummeled by this throng of excited bloodlusting frenzy of Seattle cops wielding brass-knuckles and black batons as the choked, raked, smashed and knee-butted their helpless prey I realized one significant thing, the Jay-Walking perpetrator is white, and the violence against him is not only approved, but condoned by the inaction of everyone who does and says nothing against the alarming rise in urban police force brutality. Are we living in Red China?

Please remember what happens when a black man gets beaten by a gang of bad cops riding the sugar high of one too many dozen donuts; Los Angeles was literally turned upside down, half burned to the ground, costing tax payers nearly a billion dollars in damages over the Rodney King beating.

In today's racially-charged, politically correct world, you will never see another black man arrested in such a brutal way again and for good reason!

On the flip side, its widely known that white people are essentially push-overs (as the raw footage in the video proves), where black people might be on the streets fighting in real-time, directly with the cops or trying to defend the innocent, wounded citizen who's being horrifically brutalized by 6 brawny gangsters of the law, instead, all you see in the video are rubberneckers and a few casual passersby (all white, by the way) with a few kids shouting cuss words at the urban uniformed thugs as they stroll by.

In a perfect world, race would not be an issue, but in this savage crime against justice, clearly it is. If that were my friend laying in the street bloodied and beaten nearly to death by such a motley throng of crooked cops, things might not turn out so good for the uniformed gang of death-thirsty attackers shown in the video.

Lucky for those dirty, no-good-cops I was not present at the scene of their sadistic little crimes. My modus operandi has always been, fight to win and win by any means necessary.
Posted by Bye Bye Seattle, Hello Red China! on February 6, 2010 at 10:33 PM · Report this

Add a comment