Hostile Policing

After Cops Threatened to Arrest Me and Harass Me When I Took Their Picture, I Decided to Test the Citizen Complaint Process to See if It Works

Comments

1
Thank you for not taking the easy way out and actually following through on this. Sounds like SPD and KCSD may have finally met their match.
2
Thanks for your update. I hope SPD's and KCSO's and The City's response to this "Habitual Problem" is more than a Dog and Pony show to the public.
3
In your article you said: "According to an annual report by the county sheriff's office issued in April, only one-fifth of the complaint cases last year were sustained against King County officers—which isn't inherently problematic in itself, but it makes you wonder if civil lawsuits are more effective."

In a civil law suit are the defendants covered by some sort of liability insurance? If yes, what impact would that have on how aggressively the County might choose internal discipline over civil litigation?
4
Yes, thank you again for pursuing this, Dominic.
5
Regarding the numbers of complaints levied vs. findings of bad behavior -- is there any data about how many are purely attempts to retaliate against an officer? I'm sure the system IS weighted in the cops favor, but I wonder what the numbers look like if you take out complaints that are, one their face, spurious (or did they already do that)?
6
Dominic, if you do what everyone else does, and that it to settle before discovery takes place, you have lost your cause.
7
It's good that this powder keg is off the street, but let's not mince words. "Administrative leave" means what most of us would call paid vacation. Saulet could have been reassigned to a desk job so the public could get some value for our tax dollars while his alleged behavior is investigated, but instead, he's collecting a paycheck for nothing.
8
How about a "three strikes law" for police supervisors?

Say Officer Joe does something wrong - illegally arrests someone, uses excessive force, etc. That's a strike. Any discipline is handled internally. Same goes for the next offense.

The third strike? Now it's attributed to the supervising officer (in the chain of command) at the time of the 3rd incident. This could be suspension, fining, loss of job, unpaid community service hours, or jail time at worst.

Basically, the shit has to roll uphill
9
Go Dominic! Have you looked into the police union yet, to get their reaction? (as well as King County?)

I've noticed a lot of cases go back to union contracts, with the guild backing the bad cops until they are re-instated, even when fired for good cause.

I'm usually pro union, even government employees, but we should draw the line at any employee that has the power of life and death over people. With that kind of power should come very serious accountability.
10
Good on you, Dominic! Disheartening that (presumably) so many interactions like this go unnoticed when the victim doesn't happen to be a reported; glad to see it's being seriously pursued.
11
Thanks Dominic, for your detailed description of this situation...It definitely appears to be an attempt to escalate a minor situation into something larger...where the cops in question are clearly looking for an excuse to use force. Sadly, these bad apples make it hard for the officers that are respectful, courteous and professional. Why is the entire City government so reluctant to fire folks who are clearly not doing their jobs?
Anyway, I'll just say, these two officers/sergeants clearly have other problems that they're trying to 'resolve' in the streets.
12
"This is unusual," Detective Stanley added, "We're trying to do the responsible thing."


Yes, it IS unusual for them to do the responsible thing. That is the problem.
13
There is a lack of accountability which I believe is reasonably extreme. King County has a lot of issues but Seattle has more, they have a that will not prosecute police officers. A cop can empty his gun into a venerable old man's chest and the prosecutor tells the world he "is doing his job." This power of life and death over every single person in the city is absolute thus corruption is absolute. I mean the same is true to a greater or lesser degree all over the United States a cop can murder somebody in cold blood and chances are he'll either get leave, fired or get a better paying job as a security chief somewhere. Maybe you should follow up on Ian Birks career...
14
@12) What is unusual, Detective Stanley was saying, is that the sergeant is being put on administrative leave.
15
Once again, if 8 or 9 cops are randomly assembled at an "incident," and all are complicit in threatening behavior, these are not "bad apples" among a majority of "good apples." Rather, it shows that they are representative of the entire police force.
apologist assessments make possible the police state.
16
For years, my partner and I have wanted to move to the Seattle area. We have been saving a significant portion of our income toward this move, and we've been very happy about it... Until I began to read accounts like this about the Seattle police force. Now we are actually reconsidering the move, which breaks my heart.
17
Thanks for following through and all your hard work!
18
@11 etc. I think @15 has it right, that this is not a 'bad apples' issue. They are all bad, or at least complicit.

Also- I am not sure anyone understands the "A bad apple spoils the whole bunch" line. What it means is that if you allow a 'bad apple' into a batch (originally a barrel), the rotten fruit will promote rot in the others around it- which is folksy wisdom but also hard science.

So we misuse the phrase to suggest that the 'whole bunch' are being painted in a poor light by the actions of the 'bad apples.' What it actually means is that if you allow 'bad apples' into the bunch, it will rot them all.
19
Good. I bet in the future Seattle cops will be more careful to make sure the people they're harassing aren't reporters.
20
Urquhart spoke at the 47th District Republicans meeting and he was surprisingly moderate in his approach ('drug addicts need help not jail').

21
Excellent article; it was great to be lead through the complaint procedures of both the City and County PD's. I am sure it comes as NO SURPRISE to all readers that American County and City police forces have a tendency to escalate non-violent interactions. Given the militarization of our police forces and the tendency for "control freaks" to populate the ranks , cops are less about serving and more about controlling. I await further reporting on this. Well done Dominic!
22
I was in Vancouver, BC this last weekend for Pride and the last night of the Festival of Lights, and I was quite struck by how courteously the Vancouver police treat people.

I saw a junkie having his works taken away, and overheard the cops offer a meal and a night off the streets if he agreed to a drug intervention. He apparently turned the police down because I saw him on the same street corner about half an hour later, looking rather dejected. It would seem that no arrest was made.

I also saw the police confiscate a six pack of beer from someone at the fireworks (apparently illegal even if they stay technically outside the municipal parks.) The man was belligerent, but the police remained polite and calms; in Seattle, this almost certainly would have resulted in a direct confrontation and probably an arrest.

If SPD wants to learn about how to improve their image, they might want to send officers to VPD's training seminars.
23
@20 "Urquhart spoke at the 47th District Republicans meeting and he was surprisingly moderate in his approach"

How'd that go over?

For those of you who don't follow suburban politics the 47th GOP are quite extreme given the margins in the district. For those of you who'd like a tast, see kc47gop.org.

I'd suggest one of their meetings, but only like-mined Republicans and conservatives are welcome to attend.
24
@ 22 I have been treated with courtesy by the SPD, it happens, just like Im sure jerks in the VPD.
25
And to answer your follow up no I am not white.
26
Vancouver also has $1000 fines for littering and not picking up dog poop. It's pretty tidy up there.
27
Just read the update on Slog about Saulet getting placed on leave. Great that the article resulted in some action, but anyone else see irony in the fact that it's the black cop who's getting disciplined? When the SPD does something about Marion, we'll be making some real progress. Until then, this looks a bit like a sacrificial lamb.
28
We were in Vancouver BC on 4/20, and we observed the local cops in our very stoned state and we were amazed at how connected, friendly and not threatening they were. Such a contrast !
29
Sorry you had this experience, but thrilled you're taking it as an opportunity to do all this great, important work.
30
This problem is also in no way isolated to King County or Seattle (or 'a few bad apples' therein) - while not all cops behave like this, enough of them everywhere (or maybe just in cities - I don't have much experience in small towns) do that in any interaction where there's more than one officer, odds are overwhelmingly high that at least one cop on the scene is going to be hostile, if not outright violent. The people we're vesting with so much formal power/authority should be subject to HIGHER standards of behavior and scrutiny than the average citizen, but instead we see cops get away with everything from harassment to murder over and over. This is what a police state looks like, but because it tends to focus its abuse on non-White or adolescent and young adult populations, there isn't yet a critical mass of outrage.
31
@27 I see the opposite. Saulet's been given extra chances because he is black. Both the SPD & KCSO have major problems with their officers/deputies abusing non-white citizens, so keeping as many non-white officers/deputies on the beat helps deflect the obvious criticisms. Sadly, letting a violent sociopath keep his badge & gun completely negates any positive value his race might offer. He makes all cops look bad, black or white.

Major League Baseball has a similar problem with two of their umpires, C.B. Bucknor & Angel Hernanadez. Both were hired 2 decades ago solely for their skin color: they've been horrible umps their entire careers. They were token hires, and their gross incompetence has come to the fore the past two seasons. MLB was finally forced to suspend Hernandez earlier this year when he blatantly displayed his lack of rulebook knowledge. Bucknor had to be removed from a team of umps last year because he kept picking fights with players over his shitty performance. Yet there is no way MLB is ever going to acknowledge that these guys were hired for the wrong reasons. Sound familiar?
32
Glad that you covered this Dominic...a little disappointed that the incident that made you stop in the first place wasn't questioned more. Why were seven cops yelling at a black man that appears to be doing nothing more than sitting and reading a book?
33
I think the behavior of both cops was clearly illegal harassment and both should be punished, not rewarded with vacations. Such behavior is inconsistent with the proper role of officers of the law in a free society. It is what you would expect in a totalitarian police state in which the cops are the law. There's too much of that going on. Thanks for the great, important work.
34
@16, I wouldn't worry too much about having issues with the cops here since we really don't have very many of them. Unfortunately some of the ones we do have tend to be bullying douches to compensate for not having much backup.
If Saulet gets fired and Marion at least properly disciplined, hopefully this will make a point with the rest of the cops to tone it down or that there might actually be consequences.
35
It is obvious based on how many complaints have been sustained against Saulet, that no real discipline will be meted out. Clearly they have this closed-door process whereby they get to say anything in their defense with no counter-arguments made. It is all win-win for the officers and they always find themselves innocent of wrong doing when allowed to investigate themselves. Paid administrative leave is a reward. It is a paid vacation with no admittance of wrong doing. If you want extra vacation time as a cop, abuse the public often enough that a complaint is filed against you. You won't lose your job, you won't be punished, and you can get weeks and weeks of paid vacation time. What a deal!
36
Dominic, has no one told you that Saulet was demoted from sergeant to patrol deputy a few years back?
He fought it and went through arbitration and won his stripes back (along with all back pay) and all documentation referencing his demotion was purged from his file.
He was also recommended to be demoted a second time about a month or so ago, had his Loudermill Hearing with Urquhart, yet Urquhart (in an unusually long time for him to rule) has yet to come out with his final ruling on this latest demotion.
So keep digging Dominic, there is way more fire to the smoke around Saulet's history with the Sheriff's Office.
37
Please Google Jesuit Oath. Good reporting work!
38
I expect that once the process runs its course this will be a complete NON issue. Mr Holden was "poking the bear" this time and the bear wouldn't bite so he wrote this nasty story. Officer Marion's dash cam footage will be entered into evidence and you, Mr. Holden, will look quite silly about this story and you, The Stranger, will have lost some credibility for giving it such heavy coverage. (btw, Officer Marion just showed me his dash cam footage so I'm not speaking out of ignorance)
39
@38...

...so what precinct are you out of?
40
Keep at it, Dominic. I'd love to see this story lead to a regular "Police Accountability" column.
41
Oh, and @38: If "the process runs its course" and does indeed result in "a complete NON issue", then this story will become much, much bigger.
42
So, out of six cops standing around, not a single one of them felt compelled to reign-in their maverick fellow officer with a simple "Hey, Saulet" or "Hey, Marion", or "Hey guys, Remember that training video we watched and that document we all signed? The one that said,'Whatever you do, don't get caught harassing uninvolved civilians for merely exercising their Constitutional right to observe and record us as long as they're not interfering?'"

Yeah, they're ALL bad apples in this picture, because they're accessories by their acts of complicity*.

All this militarization of municipal law enforcement agencies has gone way off the deep end and it's going to take LOUDER outrage by the people and their local governments to steer it away from the eventual police-state
destination.

*Compli-City - A city consisting of a population so docile and submissive, it is impotent against the aggressive imposition of its own police department's will to subdue the population of which it is ostensibly chartered to protect and serve.

[see also "The tail that wags the dog."]
43
Seattle is infamous for it's abusive PD. I turned down a outstanding job offer there just because of that fact. All concerned will pay lip service on what they are doing to settle the matter, but in reality, they WANT Officers like Saulet and Marion with aggressive qualities. Law suits are only a minor glitch; taxpayers end up footing the tab in the end and the Officers continue on. If money cured all ills, we'd be in Utopia now.
44
In a case like this (or worse) I'd sue a) the academy that trained the officer(s) and b) the officer that had certified the offending officer as "fit for duty".

I don't think much can come of going after the offenders themselves. Go after the ones in charge of the offenders.
45
That cop should have been put in a jar of formaldehyde years ago for his abusive, dangerous behavior.
46
People also need to start holding corporations, that bully them, accountable in the same way you did.

Right now if you go to different consumer web forums for different corporations, there are tons of complaints about companies screwing people over, but how many of those know they have an option of filing a complaint w/ the FTC or do?

Sorry for getting off track, but the government works for people if we empower the government to do so. Which is why it's important to do as you did, speak out, hold people accountable, and use the tools that the government has empowered you with, to empower the government to take action.

Good for you!
47
Actually sounds like the administration is trying to do the right thing, finally. Good job Dominic for being concerned, filing the complaints, and reporting what's happened. It will be nice to say good job to the administration if they follow through.
48
I've seen too many cops literally get away with murder in my day so I can't believe this situation will result in anything happening beyond the asshole cop getting rewarded with a paid vacation. Then he will come back to work, to act like an asshole again, day after day, until he retires with a sweet-ass pension. The asshole cop's complicit cop friends will continue to enable his behavior by looking the other way, and asshole cop apologists will continue to deflect criticism of cop complicity by claiming "but they're not all like that, my uncle was a good cop, leave cops alooonnee!!!"
49
Sorry to be blatant, but what business do you have taking photos of police officers doing their job? Sure, the way they responded might've been too much, but it's your fault you started the problem. You need to be accountable for your actions.
50
https://www.facebook.com/john.marion.94
Here is officer John Marion's FB page, let him know directly what you think of him
52
this is awesome thanks again to the stranger Seattle's only real newspaper,i have been in similar situations many times these fing pigs just have no accountability its the good ol' boy system and they watch each others back all the way up the line,thank you for being great at your job and sticking your neck out for what is right
53
I suspect there is going to be an echo chamber effect on this article and my voice will go unheard, but I have some thoughts anyway.

I think that it is reasonable for you to be upset about the interaction you had and to file a complaint if you feel the need. That being said, I feel you are reacting poorly and with great bias in order to force a "story" where there is none.

It seems to me like you have been treated with a great deal of respect and sensitivity by everyone you have dealt with since your initial complaint but you barely acknowledge that, instead repeatedly using dramatic words and phrasing to try and force excitement into a very boring story.

To repeatedly use the word "threat" and variations of it in regards to the "bother you at work" comment is silly. It sounds more like a petulant child tattling on his big brother than a grown man with a legitimate complaint. The first officer certainly seems to need addressing but you hamstring yourself and the ability of anyone else to take you seriously with your attempt to force the idea that the second officer was "threatening" you.

Overall this story smacks of a lack of professionalism and a desperate desire to create something exciting where there is really only rudeness and semantics to discuss.

I'm posting this from my phone, I apologize for any errors.
54
Here's my similar SPD story.

While walking down 5th Ave in downtown Seattle I was lost in thought thinking about a problem I was puzzling through at work.

So I was not paying close attention to what was going on around me.

I was startled out of my reverie by an SPD officer yelling at me to get on the other side of the street. What was the problem? The officer was guarding a construction site and didn't like that was walking on the public sidewalk in front of it.

Now, when I say he was yelling what I mean was that if this officer has been a dog I would have been concerned that he had rabies.

Screaming.

At the top of his lungs.

Because an absent-minded nerd hadn't heard his initial barked command and it had offended his sense of his own authority.

Was there danger? -- Nope.

Was the officer concerned for my safety or for his own safety? -- Not a chance.

Just another SPD asshole with a badge.

Good times Seattle!
55
Great article Dominic, I hope you continue to pursue this and keep us updated. As you pointed out, the average person that this happens to does not have the luxury of your soapbox to make things happen.
56
If you WANT to be a cop your automatically disqualified. Draft unemployed liberal arts students. All fines for traffic violations [or any crime w/out an immediate victim] should be issued according to a sliding scale. Cut the pay in half. Give in to the rightwing anarchists and issue every citizen a weapon.
57
@49 Fucking democracy, how does it work?
58
You are a true patriot, thank you for doing what you can to preserve our liberties.
59
Great article, I wish I could see myself responding like that. Sorry you had to go through it though ♫
60
There's all this talk about cops bullying civilians, what about civilians bullying cops as you are obviously doing? You don't realize that the cops deal with snotty hippie assholes all day every day, and you don't expect them to be worn a little thin? It's a whole city of people going up to the police and saying "I'm not touching you! Look at me! I'm not touching you! You can't arrest me, I'm not touching you!" like the third grade annoying kid in the back of the school bus.

You are bugging him at his job and it's freedom of the press, and he says he's going to bug you at your work and you automatically assume it to mean HOLY SHIT THREATS OF POLICE BRUTALITY!!!!!! Why don't you give him the benefit of the doubt that you thrust upon everyone else in your favor?

61
Thank you for doing this and writing about it!
62
Grabbed a copy of the paper on the way home this evening. Was happy to see such a nice front page photo. Oh, and speaking of front pages...looks like you made the front page of reddit. Maybe the Portland Mercury will put it on their front page next week.
63
There's all this talk about cops bullying civilians, what about civilians bullying cops as you are obviously doing? You don't realize that the cops deal with snotty hippie assholes all day every day, and you don't expect them to be worn a little thin? It's a whole city of people going up to the police and saying "I'm not touching you! Look at me! I'm not touching you! You can't arrest me, I'm not touching you!" like the third grade annoying kid in the back of the school bus.

You are bugging him at his job and it's freedom of the press, and he says he's going to bug you at your work and you automatically assume it to mean HOLY SHIT THREATS OF POLICE BRUTALITY!!!!!! Why don't you give him the benefit of the doubt that you thrust upon everyone else in your favor?

64
This is a very well written article and sheds light on the unsettling police practices(especially internal review and discipline) all around the United States Thank you for your efforts.
65
"Sorry to be blatant, but what business do you have taking photos of police officers doing their job?"

What business does he have taking photo's of police officers? Obviously you didn't read the fucking article. Not to mention he has constitutional rights? Holy shit, whoever wrote that comment is the reason this country is going down the shit hole. Fuck me that is depressing.
66
"Sorry to be blatant, but what business do you have taking photos of police officers doing their job?"

What business does he have taking photos of police officers? Clearly you didn't even read the article. Not to mention he has constitutional rights? The person who wrote that comment is one of the reasons this country is going to shit. So depressing.
67
You are doing the right thing Dominic. See this through to the end and do not give up. People (and reporters) like you make this world a better place to live in. Thank you.
68
Conservatives love to make a big deal about "accountability" — holding welfare recipients accountable, holding public school teachers accountable, holding government contractors (except defense contractors!) accountable, etc. But don't suggest to conservatives that law enforcement officials should be held accountable, the law enforcement officials whose salaries we pay with our tax money, who enforce laws passed by the legislators that we elected, who police our public spaces and sometimes our private spaces. That would be BULLYING!! They're just TRYING TO DO THEIR JOB, WHICH IS HARD!!
69
Thanks for taking the time to go through this arduous and ridiculous process. These public employees are far too insulated by the system and bureaucracy, and can't easily be held accountable for what should be a fireable offense. I don't understand how some of the people commenting on this can find a way to blame conservatives. As a conservative, I'd rather have a private police force, one that offices could easily be fired from should misconduct be present. Public employee unions are partly to blame for preserving the jobs of officers who have no business being in law enforcement.
70
Your civil liberties are warranted, but keep in mind that the criminals on the street, their daily lives, what they need to survive - at the cost of your civil liberties, and the type of society that is cultivated by our social processes (steal to eat, live, feed your family; use drugs to escape... out of ignorance, fear, weakness etc etc etc)that cultivate the individuals ruthlessness and desperate behaviour - in some circumstances.... the police are obligated to deal with them on a daily basis... not the helpful, polite, educated, well intentioned individual... if you want the police to cater to that motif they will die... it is dangerous in their line of work to give that credence to everyone... they will get hurt, their partners will get hurt, society will get hurt... we ask them to do the hard job and to deal with these hard people... they should be extended some leeway. I don't know about you, but an aggressive police officer is a (potentially) more effective one. If you deal with these people on a daily basis it erodes the foundation of that person... I'd like to see how you change over a period of 2 months on the job let alone 5 or 10 years... get shot at, lied to, spit on, and hated every day by every type of person... it takes a hard person to do a hard job well... doesn't sound like this should go to the supreme court for your little bs feelings being hurt... I understand that it wasn't right, but it wasn't like he was trying to take your gun, beat you up, sell you drugs, or ask you to do something illegal (minor infringement of civil rights, get over it dude)... there were a lot of other people walking down the street thinking "fuck ya, keep the peace like its your job dude" and then there is you... let me make it easier for bad people to get a "don't discriminate against me cause I'm black and running with a bag of money" card or whatever stereotype is available for that community... TLDR, your momentary feelings about civil liberties are not worth getting on this cop for dealing with the shit of society. suck it up dude, we've lost more for less - give these guys a break on soft injustice (ya, I'll be balzy enough to say it, what they did wasn't legal, and fucking good for them. They deal with the illegal behaviour EVERY DAY (you happened to have to deal with it once.. and you couldn't handle it) they deal with it every day and hope the law has a specific code to address the injustice... and we all know how well the justice system deals with incongruous activities... I read the article, you have a point... it just makes you sound like a whiney hipster who is 6 years old and didn't get the popsicle promised after cleaning his room and wants to send his mom to jail for lying... STFU... please... STFU.. .or join the police force and please prove me wrong and shut me the FU... all well intentioned
CM~
71
I haven't read the whole article - I just wanted to stop and comment your question regarding the value of mediation of what transpires in the mediation doesn't go anywhere. There are federal laws, and many state laws, that place mediation in a confidential setting and explicitly prohibit mediation proceedings from being used in any subsequent legal actions. The reasons for this are that mediation is a process to resolve a dispute, not further legal actions. If what occurred in a mediation was free game post mediation, the setting which is required for mediation to occur would not exist. That setting is one in which all parties can say whatever the need in order to further the discussion toward mutually acceptable resolution. If that freedom was not present, mediation wouldn't happen.
72
Your civil liberties are warranted, but keep in mind that the criminals on the street, their daily lives, what they need to survive - at the cost of your civil liberties, and the type of society that is cultivated by our social processes (steal to eat, live, feed your family; use drugs to escape... out of ignorance, fear, weakness etc etc etc)that cultivate the individuals ruthlessness and desperate behaviour - in some circumstances.... the police are obligated to deal with them on a daily basis... not the helpful, polite, educated, well intentioned individual... if you want the police to cater to that motif they will die... it is dangerous in their line of work to give that credence to everyone... they will get hurt, their partners will get hurt, society will get hurt... we ask them to do the hard job and to deal with these hard people... they should be extended some leeway. I don't know about you, but an aggressive police officer is a (potentially) more effective one. If you deal with these people on a daily basis it erodes the foundation of that person... I'd like to see how you change over a period of 2 months on the job let alone 5 or 10 years... get shot at, lied to, spit on, and hated every day by every type of person... it takes a hard person to do a hard job well... doesn't sound like this should go to the supreme court for your little bs feelings being hurt... I understand that it wasn't right, but it wasn't like he was trying to take your gun, beat you up, sell you drugs, or ask you to do something illegal (minor infringement of civil rights, get over it dude)... there were a lot of other people walking down the street thinking "fuck ya, keep the peace like its your job dude" and then there is you... let me make it easier for bad people to get a "don't discriminate against me cause I'm black and running with a bag of money" card or whatever stereotype is available for that community... TLDR, your momentary feelings about civil liberties are not worth getting on this cop for dealing with the shit of society. suck it up dude, we've lost more for less - give these guys a break on soft injustice (ya, I'll be balzy enough to say it, what they did wasn't legal, and fucking good for them. They deal with the illegal behaviour EVERY DAY (you happened to have to deal with it once.. and you couldn't handle it) they deal with it every day and hope the law has a specific code to address the injustice... and we all know how well the justice system deals with incongruous activities... I read the article, you have a point... it just makes you sound like a whiney hipster who is 6 years old and didn't get the popsicle promised after cleaning his room and wants to send his mom to jail for lying... STFU... please... STFU.. .or join the police force and please prove me wrong and shut me the FU... all well intentioned
CM~
73
When you're put paid leave it means they're trying to find a reason to fire you. When your put on leave without pay, it's just a slap on the wrist.
74
This story is a great reason for law enforcement officers to be required to have liability insurance. A large majority of professions require it (doctors, consultants, lawyers), why not police officers?

Instead, when a police officer acts inappropriately, illegally or unethically, who foots the bill? The public/taxpayers/everyone except for the person responsible.

This isn't to single out all police officers as being unethical, rather it's a testament to the fact that the work they perform is dangerous, scary and hazardous.

Eventually the bad officers will be priced out of a job...
75

This is seriously mucked up.
But to the rest of us living in other cities, you had it SO GOOD.

Most other places, you would've been beaten, had your camera smashed, probably tasered, taken downtown for more, and then charged with multiple crimes and been convicted of all of them.

So Thank You for doing the standing-up you've been doing. Please continue and don't let them overwhelm you.

Everyone has to figure out how much justice or lack of jail time they can personally afford -- you do, like the rest of us have to. But you'll be a shining star if you can continue this.

Start a petition at moveon or somewhere and see if you can get funding for legal resources.

See, most of us, it would come to naught. You're Lucky to be living where the higher-ups talked to you kinda rationally. We all hope you continue, and we all hope you succeed.
Okay.

TG
76

This is seriously mucked up.
But to the rest of us living in other cities, you had it SO GOOD.

Most other places, you would've been beaten, had your camera smashed, probably tasered, taken downtown for more, and then charged with multiple crimes and been convicted of all of them.

So Thank You for doing the standing-up you've been doing. Please continue and don't let them overwhelm you.

Everyone has to figure out how much justice or lack of jail time they can personally afford -- you do, like the rest of us have to. But you'll be a shining star if you can continue this.

Start a petition at moveon or somewhere and see if you can get funding for legal resources.

See, most of us, it would come to naught. You're Lucky to be living where the higher-ups talked to you kinda rationally. We all hope you continue, and we all hope you succeed.
Okay.

TG
77
Dominic,

So, good old Saulet is still around and King County Metro Transit Sherif's Department has not yet permanently fired his sorry ass? yes, Saulet acutally works for the Transit dvivsion of the King County Sherif's Department. Back in - I'm 80% sure it was 2006 - a Seattle PI reporter did a several month expose series on the bad apples in the King County Sherif's Department, and Saulet had place of honor in one of his full page articles. You really should check out the archives. I drive buses for Metro and Saulet has been a legend - and not in a good way. He is a threatening, intimidating bully. One of his fellow officers told me - and this was back in 2005 - that Saulet "had a file a drawer thick" of complaints against him. This officer told me that he used to work with him, but changed jobs so he didn't have to. Saulet "arrested" the Metro Service Supervisor in the tunnel for allegedly interfering with the conducting of police business, which was complete bullshit. It would take too long to give you all the details here. When pressure came down on Saulet following the PI expose, story had it he was investigated for making "racially derogatory remarks" to a young black man he arrested at the Burien Transit Center, and demoted from seargent and sent into the boonies way down to South King County somewhere. But, he found his way back into the bosom of the King County Sherif's Transit Department within about a year, I think. And now he's a seargent again. Quelle surprise. You really, really, really should expose this guy in depth. And why you're at it, check out some of the other baddies int he King County Sheriff's Dep. It makes me laugh whenI read about what a hard time the Seattle Police dept is getting for hard line policing, and how, for some reason I cannot fathom, the King County Sherif's Dept. appears to be teflon. Oh - and a few years after he arrested the Metro supervisor, he was on the KING 5 news for - guess what? threatening to arrest a tourist for taking pictures in the tunnel, and confiscating their camera and exposing their film (or taking out the card from the camera. don't remember which. This would have been maybe 2008 or 2009). You could have so much fun with this one. Good luck!
78
lets accept the cops do a tough job with no thanks and they will probably perform better if they are more aggressive than passive. lets also accept constitutional rights have a deeper meaning than what they give a single individual - they form the framework of our civil code. The conflict here is that these cops have lost the ability to discern when to be agressive and when to be civil - they treat everyone as the enemy. Time for change.
79
Fuck the Police!
80
I ran into this same problem in Pacific WA last month, one Pacific police officer came, 1 auburn and 2 Federal Way Officers came.

Why? Because a guy across the street was on his PROPERTY doing wheelies on his 4 wheeler and the old guy next door who ALWAYS calls the cops, ranging from loud music, to someone speeding, to people not watering their lawn, and they proceeded to beat him in front of his kids.

When another patron of their afternoon party tried to move the kids inside to a safe location they jumped him and arrested him for not standing still while the other police were still beating this man up on the ground.(Not involved personally at this point I live across the street)

Now they are running around high fiving each other, amped up like they are on speed, all excited at their latest catch and about an hour later as the kids come out crying, and the wife shows up balling her head off they are still congratulating each other, slapping each other on the back and ass and acting like a football team who just won the superbowl.

After they bring the man in, 30 minutes later the next door neighbor called the police AGAIN because two of the people from the get together across the street were still out front and asked that next time he just come over and ask them to stop... this time NO local PD show up just the over zealous Auburn and Federal Way cops.

As they are yelling at this kid, I walk over to explain what happened. Now mind you, I am saying EXCUSE ME while I am crossing the street because this guy is obviously already amped and waiting to pounce on someone else and I get met with a "Don't walk up on us Son or i'll take you down" This kid is about 25 and a bit overweight and I am a 37 year old man twice his size. His buddies have a look on their face like "great, here we go" not a good look, but they don't say anything to him. He is still aggressively telling me that my story doesn't matter, he doesn't care if the guy calls the cops at least 2-3 times a week and tells me that unless I want to add anymore I can leave. I tell him no, that we are on a sidewalk that is in Pacific WA and he can leave if he wants.

At this point he does, and goes into the old mans house to take statements away from me, the only eye witness not involved in the original altercations that happened. I ask his buddy how he feels about that type of behaviour and he won't look at me in the eye's, he won't comment, he just says that its a felony to threaten a witness if the witness feels threatened (he was referring to the old man), I proceed to explain that as a witness, I want to file charges against the police office for threatening me and he refuses.

This is the type of crap where we as citizens need to flood their office with people and DEMAND that no bully on their force still works there by end of day, nor on some lame paid vacation while this all blows over. Any officer who condones the Code of Blue type behavior should also be fired.

81
@Crandall McTavish Are you really THAT stupid, or just a cop out of uniform?
82
thank you for having the convictions to go through with all of this. I don't live in the US, but one time crossing the border into Maine from my native Canada, I was detained by the border officers. They were suspicious and thought my Mum was trying to sneak me into the States to work illegally. This resulted in be being separated from my mother and put into a room by myself, I then spent the next 5 hours either crying or getting yelled at. I didn't find out till a couple hours in what they were searching us and questioning us for. When I told them that their suspicions were absurd ( it's not like Canada is a 3rd world country or anything) or if I tried to enquire about anything, I was told that if I didn't stop 'being unco-operative' that I would see the inside of a cell. In the end, they couldn't justify their insanity and made us turn around and head home after 5 hours of Hell.... Ever since then to say that I am wary of the police is a gross understatement. When I see an officer, no matter the context, I am filled with fear and anxiety, I DO NOT see them as a figure that is meant to help you, even though I know that's what they're there to do. Everytime I have to talk to an officer, I get so anxious that in turn, it will make them wonder and talk to/question me further..... I know that the majority of police are genuinely good people, but the few bad apples have forever tainted my view of the police
83
Thanks for standing up and reporting on this ABUSE. Again, thanks.
84
thank you for having the convictions to go through with all of this. I don't live in the US, but one time crossing the border into Maine from my native Canada, I was detained by the border officers. They were suspicious and thought my Mum was trying to sneak me into the States to work illegally. This resulted in be being separated from my mother and put into a room by myself, I then spent the next 5 hours either crying or getting yelled at. I didn't find out till a couple hours in what they were searching us and questioning us for. When I told them that their suspicions were absurd ( it's not like Canada is a 3rd world country or anything) or if I tried to enquire about anything, I was told that if I didn't stop 'being unco-operative' that I would see the inside of a cell. In the end, they couldn't justify their insanity and made us turn around and head home after 5 hours of Hell.... Ever since then to say that I am wary of the police is a gross understatement. When I see an officer, no matter the context, I am filled with fear and anxiety, I DO NOT see them as a figure that is meant to help you, even though I know that's what they're there to do. Everytime I have to talk to an officer, I get so anxious that in turn, it will make them wonder and talk to/question me further..... I know that the majority of police are genuinely good people, but the few bad apples have forever tainted my view of the police
85
The problems you describe happen daily across the nation to our citizens.

I want to thank you for being a real journalist. Asking the tough questions. Putting your personal safety on the line. That is old school journalism and you are a rare breed.

It is a Brave New World and in this day and age; it is clear the truth seekers are drowned in a sea of irrelevance.

Please continue to report with integrity and relevance. Speak loudly to the masses.
86
I'd like to comment on the original incident that Mr. Holden photographed. Here we have 8 officers on the scene of...a crime? They've surrounded a man sitting on a planter box as though he were some kind of dangerous criminal. What could possibly have warranted such a police presence? Yet, as Mr. Holder stated, the individual in question wasn't arrested; he got up and left the scene. Apparently the situation could've been effectively handled by 1 or 2 officers, as the man posed no immediate threat or danger to anyone. So this was a show of force to intimidate a non-violent person who had NOT committed a criminal offense, but who may have been panhandling or bothering people in some way. Yeah, the police are overworked, and they have such a tough job, yadayadayada...!
87
the cops searching for a section of the manual to see if it was violated is laughable. and we shouldn't accept this framing of the problem.

every cop is taught they can't violate the constitution, ie, they can't threaten a reporter at his workplace, and they can't threaten a citizen for taking pictures, threaten with arrest, force him to move away .....

this is in an officer manual called the United States Constituion and well developed and clear case law under 42 USC 1983.

When they start telling you gee, we don't know what manual section this falls under, they are positioning themselves for the eventual lawsuit in which they will claim there was no "clear legal standard" so although yes, the officer's actions were violating the constitution they get qualified immunity and thus you are thrown out of court.

throw in things like how officers get indemnified if they lose a suit, and the higher standard for vicarious liability of the city as compared to normal tort cases, and you will find that the ENTIRE SYSTEM is rigged to INSULATE ALL OFFICERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY.

why do you think it takes killing a Native American in cold blood on video to get fired?

Why do you think DOJ can find 20% of ALL use of force cases are illegal excessive force but NOT ONE OFFICER is disciplined for that in the phoney settlement?

why do you think mcginn's statement was specifically not specific to Dominic's situation? clearly SPD does tolerate this kind of misconduct every day as they deny, defend and insulate ad nauseum.

Tell me this. How many officers have been fired for excessive force or false arrest in seattle in the last ten years?

Ian Birk, we can call it a firing. Apart from him, is there even ONE?
88
You, Dominic, and most of the readers of this insignificant paper are idiots! Stop wasting the time and resources of the police department. Go review some punk music or something, punk!

89
It seems like everyday I come across a story about police officers abusing/harassing US citizens for no good reason at all, given there are many simple alternatives to the ways in which they handle interacting with said citizens. Yet, anytime I express my disdain for police officers, I am told something like "Not all cops are bad". Well... that's a really chipper perspective, Spanky, but they're certainly doing a great job of convincing me otherwise; when they keep assholes like this on the payroll.
90
Title 42 of the United States Code(U.S.C.) subsection 1983 is a citizens method for a redress of grievances against government. When ANYONE who works for the government in any fashion violates your constitutional rights, you have a right to bring them up on federal charges. Also, there is Title 18, subsections 241 and 242 for violating their Oaths Of Office to support and defend the Constitution(which includes but is not limited to your freedom of speech and freedom of the press among others). You are looking at about a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit. Go Get 'em tiger!! www.westudylaw.org is a great resource on how to do this. this is not an advertisement. Fred and Nina are AWESOME!!! -Paul C.
91
Check out Officer John Marion's "Inspirational People" on his facebook page:
Jesus Christ
Chuck Connors
Johnny Cash
John Wayne

plus "Other" including "Road Dawgs" (the obnoxious biker club), "The Men's Room" (Wasn't that a gay bar within the Cadillac Grill on 15th and Madison?), and of course, Walmart and the NRA. What a piece of work.

https://www.facebook.com/john.marion.94

Samsung Mobile USA, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, Road Dawgs MC of the United States - Tacoma Chapter, The Men's Room, Walmart, In Memory of Prescott Firefighters Lost 6/30/2013, NewsBusters.org, National Rifle Association, CNSNews.com
92
Pathetic reporter - you should change jobs to fiction writing. It is clear you were not following the Officer's instructions as you document that. When the Officer says "How would you like it if I went to your place of work and bother you." you whine like a baby as if you were threatened.

Grow up kid. This is how you want to be portrayed as a journalist. If I was the owner of this paper I'd find a new News Editor.
93
You say, "...I'll bet some police officers talk to civilians in Seattle this way routinely, and I'll bet those are often people of color and the homeless." That is probably true. They are the weakest and the police are predators, and like all predators they prey on the weak.

It is also true that police departments all over the country are under pressure to hire more blacks and to promote them. Could it be that sergeant Patrick Saulet is getting a pass because he is black, and a sergeant? They may know he is bad, but giving him a bye may seem the easy way out. Firing him may cause more problems that they higher up do not want to deal with.

Police everywhere are becoming more militarized, and more belligerent. As you have found, there usually is little to no consequences for their actions. Often the higher ups will praise and defend the actions of police who are clearly out of control. Until there are serious consequences like long suspensions without pay, being fired, and incarceration, all of this will continue. Most people will not care until they are a victim. By then it is too late.
94
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so this must be your time, Dominic. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
95
You say, "...I'll bet some police officers talk to civilians in Seattle this way routinely, and I'll bet those are often people of color and the homeless." That is probably true. They are the weakest and the police are predators, and like all predators they prey on the weak.

It is also true that police departments all over the country are under pressure to hire more blacks and to promote them. Could it be that sergeant Patrick Saulet is getting a pass because he is black, and a sergeant? They may know he is bad, but giving him a bye may seem the easy way out. Firing him may cause more problems that they higher up do not want to deal with.

Police everywhere are becoming more militarized, and more belligerent. As you have found, there usually is little to no consequences for their actions. Often the higher ups will praise and defend the actions of police who are clearly out of control. Until there are serious consequences like long suspensions without pay, being fired, and incarceration, all of this will continue. Most people will not care until they are a victim. By then it is too late.
96
In August of 2001, my wife and I traveled from LA to Seattle for a vacation on our 1st wedding anniversary. We were having dinner at the Gordon Biersch, which I think is in the 4th floor of it's building on 7th.

While eating dinner, we heard a commotion below and it turned out to be the Seattle Hempfest protest, which was being moved forward by the police that were on foot, motorcycle and via horse. At the end of the protest, in the very back of the line, was some stoner guy that reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo...completely harmless and goofy, just kinda meandering along in his own baked world. In an effort to move Shaggy along, a cop behind him shoved him forward, causing him to run into the back of one of the horse cops, which in turn, caused the horse to get spooked and rare up on his back legs.

All of the cops that were around this guy didn't see what caused him to run into the horse in the first place and as such, decided to beat this guy brutally with nightsticks for at least a couple minutes. It was one of the worst things I've ever seen and it changed my opinion of police forever.

It's shame that I didn't have a cell phone with camera on me then, it would have been a Rodney King moment for Seattle.
97
How does Saulet still have a job?

And Marion, please come into The Stranger and bug people. That would be a great look for SPD. Maybe you could steal all the toilet paper. Or play a boombox really loud. Or continuously tickle Tim Keck. Or draw smiley faces on the front desk plexi in lipstick. Or play hide and go seek with yourself. Or just walk around yelling, "YOU'RE ALL UNDER ARREST!! Just kidding!"
98
Gotta love socialised law enforcement.
99
Thank you for your outstanding reporting. The world needs more of you. Keep up the hard work.
100
A reporter actually providing support for the people media was intended to provide ... We definitely need more light tuned on those abusing authority ... Turn on the lights !
101
I've got to point out that this particular location seems to be where several mental institutions drop off patients they don't know what else to do with. I have easily felt my life threatened a half dozen times while simply sitting there waiting for my bus surrounded by genuine crazy people easily capable of violence. At such moments, I have PRAYED for cops to show up, surround the guy, and protect me from him. What's missing from this article are all the details about the potential loon. Maybe, just maybe, the police were protecting Dominick from someone unresponsive and capable of anything.