The Seattle Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability is investigating the handling of a police visit to Mayor Ed Murray’s home last summer, which came to light in court filings in a civil case alleging Murray sexually abused a teenager in the 1980s. The department on Monday also released dashcam footage of the dispatch to Murray’s home.
Julie Kays, one of the attorneys representing Delvonn Heckard, who is suing Murray for alleged child sex abuse, last month filed a subpoena containing police dispatch logs from the incident. Kays' filing, citing an anonymous source, claimed that Murray, working with an aide and police chief Kathleen O’Toole, attempted to cover up a disturbance at the mayor's home that evening.
The dashcam footage appears to undermine a claim by Kays’ source, printed in the subpoena, that police encountered a shirtless man when they arrived at Murray’s home on June 24, 2016, about a half an hour before midnight. According to that source, police went inside the home to retrieve the alleged visitor’s keys and wallets. Here's the video:
In the footage, police can be heard knocking on the door of what is understood to be Murray’s home. At 11:31 pm, someone identifying as “Seattle Police" can be heard knocking on a door. It’s hard to make out the details of the ensuing conversation conversation, but it ends with one of the officers saying, “Need anything else? You good to go? All right, have a good night." About 30 seconds elapse between the the door opening and closing without any audible mention of a shirtless man.
Neither the mayor nor his home are visible in the dash cam footage.
Five people who claimed to be with the mayor at the time of the incident last month wrote a statement saying that the mayor called police chief Kathleen O’Toole after two unidentified people knocked on his door asking to use the restroom. At one point, the pair allegedly became “pushy,” but they eventually left.
In the dashcam footage video, officers can be heard laughing as they process the visit together.
At one point, an officer says, "Oh, this is not one of those calls we need to be quiet about.”
“We don’t need to write anything up,” another officer can be heard saying.
A spokesperson for SPD did not immediately respond to The Stranger’s questions on what the officer meant by “be quiet about," and under what circumstances that would be necessary. UPDATE: SPD spokesperson Sean Whitcomb would not comment further, instead directing us back to the post on the department's website.
Dispatch logs show that eight officers responded to the call. They listed are as follows: Sgt. Ronald L. Murray, Kathryn L Hairston, Brian M. Hunt, Dung Quoc Do, Casey Alan Steiger, [Michele G. Letizia], Brian L. Sunderland Jr, [Joseph Clayton Renick].
The police department previously released a partially-redacted dispatch report from the incident.
Asked whether the dashcam footage disproves the version of events alleged in the subpoena, Lincoln Beauregard, another one of Heckard’s attorneys pointed the redaction on the dispatch log, saying, "We want to know what it says.” The redaction cites an exemption that protects from public disclosure information on a vehicle owner's identity.
In a civil lawsuit, 46-year-old Heckard alleges that Murray sexually abused him over multiple years while Heckard was a teenager and Murray was in his 30s. Two other men who are not parties to that lawsuit have made similar allegations against Murray. Last week, Murray announced he will not seek re-election, saying the allegations against him would distract from the issues in an increasingly competitive mayoral race.
Attorneys for Murray argued that the police call to the mayor’s home was not relevant to the civil case. They cited the subpoena, along with other filings, in a request to place sanctions on Beauregard for violating court conduct rules. A King County Superior Court granted that request, ordering Beauregard to pay $5,000 in fines.
Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover contributed reporting.