Dashcam Footage Shows Seattle Police Officers Deriding Black People

Comments

1
This "reporting" is getting ridiculous. Where does either of the officers joke about beating anyone up? Is that your gloss on the comment that "I got my flashlight on my hip and it's at just about the right angle to break a rib"? If so, you're completely deranged. The most likely meaning of that sentence to me is that the flashlight is sitting uncomfortably against THE COP's body, at an angle that could break THE COP's rib.

No reasonable person would jump to the conclusion you did. The sentence is entirely in isolation, not in any context to suggest that he was discussing using the flashlight to beat someone up. And what would the angle on his hip have to do with breaking someone else's rib if he were to wield the flashlight as a weapon? Aside from pure anti-cop activism and animus, what on earth could lead you to conclude that this is a discussion about beating up black people?
2
@1: Yeah, you're probably right. Two cops making racist jokes on their way to a call at which some black people are beaten by cops is no reason to make any guesses about the meaning of other things those violent, racist cops said on the way to the beating.
4
@3, yeah, I get joking and all, but you can't make fun of black folks on your way to a scene where you end up hurting a bunch of them, and then credibly say your decision to use force wasn't influenced by racial prejudice.

And you can't make jokes about them being high on crack on your way to the scene, and then expect to be credible when you later say (as Longley did) that using force was necessary in part because they seemed to be on drugs.
5
And just to be 110% super-clear, when I say "I get joking" that doesn't mean racist fucking jokes.
6
Just a heads up Ansel, not sure how you missed the rest of that sentence but it sounds pretty clear to me that the officer says "I got my flashlight on my hip, and it's just about the right angle to break a rib if we get into an accident." As much as the endorphin rush of finding a comment that shows a cop casually detailing how he plans to abuse his authority must feel wonderful, you'd do well to pick your examples carefully (to say nothing of that professional label 'Journalist' and the duties that come along with it). Nothing hurts a just cause more than overstepping the evidence when you're working on something as systemic and problematic as police reform. Let's not give fodder to those who claim this is all a big hoopla over nothing.
7
#1 is right about the flashlight sentence, which I hear as a reference to an accident (the leading cause of on-duty deaths among police officers). But the comments about "hoes" and "crack" and "baby mommas" are all inappropriate and show an attitude about a class of persons, not persons these officers are observing, They say those things long before they reach the scene. That attitude, coupled with the fact that these men are about to assault and batter the people they are speeding to reach, is what brings their reports of the necessity of those assaults into question.
8
@6: ib+, you're missing the point. Please read Eric's comment @4.
10
@9,

I don't care what color you are, if you hold the residents of the area you're policing in contempt, then you shouldn't be police.
11
@8 Oh no I understand and agree that the behavior is sickening, and the other comments the officers make do plenty to illustrate yet another example of just how deeply fucked the current state of affairs is. Those warrant publication and discussion. My point is that the quote I mention above does not refer to beating up black people, and that mistakenly seeing it as doing so only harms the cause. I think Eric hit the nail on the head, but the flashlight comment isn't a part of the problem here.
12
@9:

If you're going to hold the citizens you serve in such contempt, you really shouldn't be in the least bit surprised when they return that contempt back to you in equal measure.
13
Glad to see the inflammatory/libelous headline and text was removed.
@6: Thank you, and good listening. I wasn't in a place to turn the volume up loud enough to hear the tail end of the sentence but Ansel's original interpretation of it just didn't make any sense to me. Even without that, I just don't see how a reasonable journalist could take the first part of the sentence to be a joke about beating people up, without even noting any ambiguity or uncertainty. It further erodes Ansel's credibility in my mind. I don't think it's much to his credit that he changed the article and headline after being unambiguously proven wrong; my trust in a journalist comes from knowing that he or she is going to be straight with me when things are murky or open to interpretation. At this point I don't trust that Ansel would have backed down from his unsupported conclusion if the microphone hadn't picked up those last 6 words.

Moreover: shame on The Stranger's editorial staff for allowing the original long-form story to go to press without verifying such an incendiary claim. Y'all have come a long way down from that Pulitzer.

@2: Go in with an agenda, and you'll hear what you want to hear. As an activist I guess that's your right, but Ansel is supposedly aiming for a higher calling that has some connection to objective truth. It's gratifying to see your bias laid bare so quickly and completely.

@7, amen. Totally agreed that cops cracking jokes about race/class/drug abuse are not a good sign for the culture of our police department. Given the attitude of these guys we should not be surprised that they might go on to do shitty policing, and it calls their professionalism and reliability into question. This is absolutely a problem, and I didn't mean to minimize it by not mentioning it in my original comment. But it is a different problem than jokes about beating people up.
14
Yup, Ansel is still a fucking idiot.
15
Nice culling of the audio, Ansel. He indeed say "if we get in an accident". You sir, are a fucking cuntpuddle.
16
What a fucking dishonest reporter.

Almost as sickening as police abuse.
17
This reminds me of the "creative editing" NBC did to Zimmerman's 911 call.
18
Y'all seem to have Ansel confused for an actual journalist. Don't be so hard on the guy. Libel is hip and progressive.
19
@15: Culling? The full video, with the full audio, is posted.

Reporting is an iterative process, folks.
21
Print a correction Ansel. It is what credible journalists do. Or do you want to go the small way, that Brian Williams went nationally?
22
Bla Bla Bla. If you can't do the time. don't do the crime.
23
Ok, I'll pile on.

Even in the correction/ update there is confusion:

>> he was not joking about beating people up. <<

Where I'm from, that turn of phrase 'he was not joking about xxx' means that the subject was quite serious about 'xxxx'. That 'xxxx' was exactly the subject's intent.

So, to say 'was not joking about beating' is to mean 'was serious about beating'.

And, honestly, coming late to this article, I thought that was what Ansel meant, which confused my little late-comer's mind.

But, Ansel, I'd still share a beer with you. I think you got spirit. Hang in there.

24
And this is News? The Stranger is really reaching here by posting OLD NEWS!
25
@19, if by "Reporting is an iterative process" you mean you make an unqualified, incendiary allegation based on a biased reading of shoddy evidence, and then remove it in the rare instance that your allegation is unambiguously proven to be wrong--then yes, your reporting is iterative in that way. But I don't think that's what your J-school profs meant by that phrase.
26
Okay... Let's be honest. Maybe these guys weren't joking about rolling up on a bunch of crackheads and young baby mommas. Maybe they are just fucking great guessers.

The kid they arrest is 19, carrying PCP. The girlfriend is 18 and all we hear is hysterical women screaming about their kids.

Please note that the suspects – ID's in the 911 call as armed assailant, outnumber the cops 5-2, and then repeatedly refuse to obey the order to get on the ground, and fight and physically resist their lawful arrest. And you wonder why so many young black males end-up on the wrong end of a cop fight?

Why do liberals keep inflicting criminalism on poor communities, by refusing to allow the authorities to remove the trash.
27
Is it really police procedure to roll into a neighborhood and order everyone in the street to get down on their knees in wet grass? Because frankly, I would be pretty goddamn surprised if anybody complied with that order without at least a little argument. Maybe they need to change their approach a little.
28
@1 @3 and @4

So what you are saying is, having cops make racist jokes on the job isnt evidence of them being racist? I am not sure if you are trolling or you really believe that.

Where do you work that you can make racist jokes and that is deemed ok?

Also, are you aware that the SPD has been investigated and proven by the feds and various university institutions to have a serious problem with racism towards African Americans?
29
Wow, seems a lot of SPD bigots came to defend their racist partners.

"Whats wrong with being racist on the job? Clearly, these people fit the racial stereotypes that we project on them...how dare you liberals and commies oppress me by telling me I CANT be racist and harass/assault/abuse people who's skin color I dont like! Also, Benghazi!!!"
31
Wow I can't believe what I am reading on here,The one's that think cops have the right to do this to people,I can't wait till they do it to someone in your family,It's just not happening in the black community's anymore get on YouTube look up Kelly Thomas & Robert Leone then say the cops did nothing wrong,You guys better pray the cops don't do it to you or your kids or husband's because I will not feel sorry for your ass😥

32
@30

"yes we all know the SPD has problems with a sub-culture tolerating unprofessional conduct"

Remarkable downplaying. Like saying the Ku Klux Klan "Had difficulties engaging with a sub culture".

You should probably know black people are an ethnicity, not a subculture. Sub culture = ButtRock fans. Black People = Ethnicity (and race in America). The SPD dont have a problem tolerating 'a subculture' (or it it does, but thats not what this tape shows). The SPD a dangerous hate-hard on at black people. Like their friends in the SFPD (See: White supremacist text-gate down at the bay).

Also, by definition, because its 5 years old does not mean its not relevant. Especially if you arent white and live in Seattle.

@31 - Look at these guys previous posts. Most probably are white SPD officers. Wouldnt be surprised if they are posting from the HQ in Jamiesons office. Also note their classic troll method. They dont respond to anyone questioning their claims, but circle jerk each other's innane semi racist troll comments attacking the messenger and dismissing the issue.
34
@33 sounds to me like you are just another racist cop defender...defending racist cops;

A simple click of your comment history shows a history of pro-cop/anti minority comments. Dude, this isnt youtube or stormfront. Its pretty easy to see your prejudices. Particularly if you work for the most violent, racist state funded agency of the pacific northwest (the Seattle Police Department). I literally laughed out loud (no shit...not even joking...when you mentiong 'newsworthiness'....hery racist whitecopguy, did you know there was a blacklivesmatter protest going on as you were writing that? Dude, you guys are awful as human beings and as cops).

Oh Well.

Also: Holy shit, learn to write at the standard of common core high schoolers. Your quasi defense of facism and anti black racism by the SPD was writtten at the standard I would expect a freaking preschooler in Florida to use. And I am from a pre-CC era...where we made arguments based on facts.

[Facts like the SPD dedicated 69% of their drug enforcement on crack, which was 4% of drug usagea nd selling in Seattle, and purposefully ignored 95%+ of drug crimes *heroine, meth* in Seattle. Gee, I wonder what race most of the people involved in crack were contrasted to the race of the vast majority of drug users in Seattle were. Hey PR director Jamieson...could you ask yourself and your sergeants that?]
35
[Revised sober version of the comment above]

Its not 'a few racist cops', its an entirely racist police culture. There are more bad apples than good. That is problematic to the point of catastrophe if you are a nonwhite person living in or working in or travelling through Seattle, because these tax funded, gun carrying individuals can cause financial ruin to people whos skin color they dont like (see what the ferguson PD was doing), or can maim or murder someone whos skin color they dont like (Ian Burke), and they have the protection of the state while doing it.

You mentioned "persecution complex". If there were not countless anecdotal evidence of police racism paired with even more academic and institutional evidence the Seattle Police Department's problem with racism, you would be right. But as there is, defending that department (and the OPA, DA, and former Mayors who have coddled and protected them) by accusing critics of having a "persecution problem" is like kicking someones dog and then calling them "overprotective" when they get angry at you about it.