We do have a Personnel Action Report from Seattle Police Department about the Officer Birk’s resignation. (State law requires police and sheriff’s departments to inform us of every officer separation, voluntary or involuntary.) We have other correspondence with SPD about that separation. We compiled all of those documents into an investigative file our Certification Office retains. RCW 43.101.400 exempts from public disclosure the entirety of WSCJTC investigative files used in certification and decertification.
The material you requested will lose its exemption only if we convene a decertification hearing in Officer Birk’s case and some or all of the material is presented as evidence in that public hearing.
Drawing your weapon on someone when investigating a misdemeanor traffic offense is not routine.
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Right? If you think this kind of abuse suddenly started when everyone got a cell phone camera, why? I'd love to know the reason.
So if it's always been like this, and the only ones who really knew the extent of it were the cops who witnessed it, but they always kept their mouths shut, then why should I believe the refrain that 99% of cops are good guys?
I always hear this from people who say they "know" cops. They have a cop neighbor. They hang out. They have a cop friend they drink with. Their brother in law is a cop. They totally know each other. But you're not there during these police encounters. I don't dispute that your cop buddy has always been a super nice guy. But when you say 99% of cops are good cops, you're not basing that on experience with the thing that matters: what do those 99% do when they see fuckheads like the maniac in this video? They seem to have always covered up for them. You were not there for that. You only saw your cop buddy at your barbecue and he was cool then, so?
Why? Why are basically cool guys covering up for systemic abuse and systemic criminality? Cops have it drilled into their heads in all of their training that their lives are in constant danger. The same training that teaches them to shoot first and ask questions later tells them that they are at terrible risk all the time. Even though it has never been safer to be a cop. They are trained to live in fear, and they have it drilled into their heads that the only thing keeping them safe is each other. They won't rat out other cops. Ever. If they ever did, they will die in the line of duty. Probably the very next day. Because that is how dangerous they are trained to think their job is.
It seems like it would only take a handful of good cops to blow the whistle on this kind of shit. But we don't even have that handful. We have these incidents where they're caught red handed on video. That's the only window we have into what's really going on out there every day.
This is why police culture is dysfunctional, and cannot be reformed. No matter how qualified and how high the moral character of your recruits are, the culture turns them into this. And training. "More training" is the other refrain. If only we could give them more training. Cop training is at the heart of the problem. Training is where they become so paranoid, so defensive, and where they learn that they can't trust the public, they can't trust the legal process, they can't trust the civilian leadership. They can only trust each other.
How are you going to fix that? You can't.
Where are the gun nuts when you need them? Other than becoming cops, I guess.
This is beyond sick.
Yes, but why have a gun drawn for that?
Anyways, shit like this is 1) obviously illegal and 2) undermines the very institution of law enforcement. It's an open question on if you should simply shoot guys like this on sight. Is that the future he's hoping for? Or his wife and kids are hoping for?
@14: Did the cop do anything criminal? We don't know... yet. However the rep for the Sheriffs' department said that he was in violation of policy on when they may draw their weapon.
@16: You do know that The Onion is a humor site, right? You say that was your point? Good. Next time please include a winking emoji.
@24: You have no proof that the biker is an a**hole, just an assumption. But even if he is, that isn't a capltal crime.
There exist heart monitors that will do that; surely there is, or will be soon, some way to collect data on their cortisol, adrenaline, etc levels.
Anyone apologising for this sheriff, or whatever the hell he is, needs their heads checked. You do understand that officers of any force are supposed to be held to a HIGHER standard of conduct - right? Why does that seem to be lost on so many today?
Sort of--at least not another in Washington. Sheriff Urquhart could request that the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission decertify the officer, and they could choose to do so. Don't get your hopes up.
I tried to find out if Ian Birk, the cop who murdered John. T. Williams, was decertified by WSJTC via Public Records Act request, but came up dry:
Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Does he mean for White suspects only?
That creep still rides the bus without impunity and I've had unfortunate encounters since but would rather die in a fire than be "helped" like that again by KCSO.
Personally, I believe that this sheriff deserves a chance to redeem himself and stay employed in some respectful capacity but for now we need to look out for each other (especially our minority brothers and sisters) and get this guy off the streets!