In Trial of Cynthia Whitlatch, William Wingate Breaks Down As He Testifies About His Arrest: "I Felt Helpless"

Comments

1
The fact that she testified she was prepared to kill him seems pretty damaging to her case.
2
Why isn't the water-deprivation thing for a senior citizen with medical issues more of a concern and outrage.

That wasn't fucking Whitlatch, it involved more people.

So what the shit.
4
While comparatively benign to what many African-Americans have endured , it still reads as bullying, dehumanizing and humiliating. I'm infuriated at his treatment.
5
i'm a little confused about her defense. is banging a stop sign and glaring at someone while wearing sunglasses probable cause to stop someone to begin with? i mean, i'm not saying i believe her, i watched the tape and i believe mr. wingate. but is she even arguing something that justifies her response to him, a over 70 year old man?
6
@1 @3 Not defending Whitlach but considering the use of lethal force when on the job is common among police officers. Partly this is because in course of their jobs they encounter situations in which it is necessary. That is to say, there is nothing particularly unusual about her saying she thought of it. Unfortunately for all of us (not just black people at the hands of white officers, @3) too many police opt for it (or other violence) instead of trying to de-escalate.
7
Not defending her but [defends her]
8
@5, Yes and no. Banging a stop sign is "criminal mischief". More commonly known as vandalism (whether you actually damage the sign or not). So what is at issue here is whether he did or didn't bang the sign, and absent another witness, or cameras, that had eyes on Wingate the whole time he was within a club-length of the sign in question, its she said/he said. The civil jury will have to decide who they believe. It's also possible to find that he banged the sign and that his civil rights were violated. E.g. The manner of the stop, rather than the stop itself, was excessive. He didn't raise the club at her in the patrol car video. Whether he did (or banged the sign) before she circled the block (and turned on the camera) is an open question and a she said/he said. I am not sitting in the courtroom reading the jury, and the jury also need not be unanimous (its a civil case), but it looks better for Wingate than Whitlach and the City of Seattle (they will pay, not her) at this point.

So if the finding is for the Plaintiff, Whitlach will join millions of other Americans who have been sued and lost. Seattle will pay out on one of the hundreds of lawsuits it looses on every year (about 50% of which come from the police department). If negligent conduct weren't a routine attribute of humanity, the Courts would close for lack of business.
9
@8

>Banging a stop sign is "criminal mischief". More commonly known as vandalism (whether you actually damage the sign or not). So what is at issue here is whether he did or didn't bang the sign

An old man banging a stop sign with a golf club he uses as a cane (if he even did) is not worth the attention of any officer of the law or pretty much anybody.
10
Oh please. Go bang on a stop sign without damaging it and see if you get arrested.
11
Does Whiplash use her nightstick on her Starbucks customers?
12
If she's allowed to use her fucked up judgement to justify the brutal treatment of someone then we're allowed to use judgement to fuck her career.

The law and civil codes are written in her favor. Appeals to law are useless.
13
@2

I remember noticing that when the story came out. You look at the time index and recall that it's July, and it took an hour before he was driven to the station, and I wondered if and doubted that anyone gave him any water than whole time.
14
@2: Indeed! That's hororifying.
15
@5,

An officer does not need probable cause to initiate an investigative stop. This type of pedestrian stop can be based on a very weak standard called "reasonable suspicion." Courts have defined reasonable suspicion as requiring an individualized (meaning specific as to whom), particularized (meaning specific as to what), articulable (meaning "just a hunch" doesn't cut it) suspicion that a person may be involved in, or about to be involved in, criminal activity of some kind.

In this case, if Wingate really was aggressively waving his golf club around, banging it on stop signs, and making the sort of threatening gestures that Whitlatch claims he was, she would have had reasonable suspicion to initiate a stop based on the belief that he might be up to various kinds of no good (reckless endangerment, harassment, property damage, etc.)

Practically speaking, the question of whether Wingate was really doing these things all comes down to the credibility of her word vs. his. Given that nobody else was reacting in alarm to Wingate, given that Whitlatch has contradicted herself - she thought he was threatening, but didn't initiate the stop right away and instead drove slowly around the block - and given that Whitlatch said he locked eyes with her in a menacing way while he was wearing large dark sunglasses, given Whitlatch's contemporaneous history of racially-charged cultural disparagement... All of this weighed against Wingate's apparently clear mind, harmless disposition, and consistent claims that he was minding his own business, looks very bad for Whitlatch and the constitutionality of the stop.
16
Yeah I don't understand why no other officers are in trouble for Wingate's mistreatment after he was arrested by Whitlatch.

what's the excuse?

let me guess, they were all afraid for their lives and yadda yadda.
17
@8 for a guy with "facts" in his name, you sure make up a lot of bullshit.
18
@9, Then we have the choice to decriminalize it. If we don't, then if that occurred, its a lawful basis for a stop and a citation. If the person stopped doesn't comply with being detained (e.g. running away, or raising cain - which I seriously doubt happened here) then they are subject to force escalation to stop that or society loses the right to enforce its rules and those we hire to enforce them lose the right to self-defense. So if it isn't worth anyone's attention, why is in the criminal code? If it is in the criminal code (or the code as civil infraction) it is the basis for a stop. It is one or the other.

19
@17,

"RCW 9A.48.100
Malicious mischief—"Physical damage" defined.
For the purposes of RCW 9A.48.070 through 9A.48.090 inclusive:
(1) "Physical damage," in addition to its ordinary meaning, shall include the total or partial alteration, damage, obliteration, or erasure of records, information, data, computer programs, or their computer representations, which are recorded for use in computers or the impairment, interruption, or interference with the use of such records, information, data, or computer programs, or the impairment, interruption, or interference with the use of any computer or services provided by computers. "Physical damage" also includes any diminution in the value of any property as the consequence of an act and the cost to repair any physical damage;
(2) If more than one item of property is physically damaged as a result of a common scheme or plan by a person and the physical damage to the property would, when considered separately, constitute mischief in the third degree because of value, then the value of the damages may be aggregated in one count. If the sum of the value of all the physical damages exceeds two hundred fifty dollars, the defendant may be charged with and convicted of malicious mischief in the second degree."

Assuming (big assumption) Witlach saw him hit the sign with a golf clubt (or anything else) it give her a legal basis for a stop to investigate IF a crime occurred. Google "reasonable suspicion" and Terry v. Ohio. If we don't like that, we can have the legislature change the statute. To change the "reasonable suspicion" standard would require SCOTUS to reverse itself (there is a long line of subsequent cases upholding the 1968 Terry ruling) or a Constitutional Amendment. The 4th Amendment only guarantees us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures (stops), not all searches and seizures.

You don't like facts that are inconvenient or don't conform to your assumptions, but that doesn't change their existence or nature. So then rather than refute them, you engage in the rhetorical fallacy of ad hominin attack.
20
Contrary to earlier SLOG appologia —  Whitlach IS "garbage people."
21
Please tell me that this goon has been fired from the SPD. She seems to have the common sense of a rock and is willing to lie under oath knowing there's video to prove her wrong. I do not want idiots on the police force. This woman is short bus material.
22
@21,

She's been fired, but she's appealing her termination to the disciplinary review board, which has the power to overturn the chief's decision and reinstate her as a police officer.

This disciplinary review board, by the way, is a 3-person panel stacked 2:1 with Seattle cops, and it only exists because the Seattle Police Officers Guild persuaded the city to create it as part of their collective bargaining agreement. All the more reason to abolish the DRB and tell the mayor (and city council, and city attorney's office) to quit making these types of concessions to the police guild.
23
Lesbians are horrible people.
24
Have Stranger mods considered using "shadowbanning" (or whatever you kids call it these days) for the more prolific trolls? So much more fun than outright kicking people off.
25
In addition to the total horror show Wingate's interaction with Whitlatch turned out to be, it's interesting to note that to my knowledge she is the sole token "bad apple" weeded out of SPD so far, five years into the Justice Department consent decree. That speaks volumes about the "Code of Silence," SPOG, and SPD's corrupt, racist chain of command right up to the top. And when I say top, I'm talking about Ed Murray.
26
@25: Agreed.

The list I posted in response to previous reporting bears repeating:

  • Benjamin E. Archer #6938, who provided backup at the time of the incident

  • Chris Coles #6940, who wrote the incident report

  • Joe L. Lam #4767, who screened the arrest and approved the incident report

  • Lam's supervisor, who undoubtedly knows that Lam allows his subordinates to engage in fraud and abuse

  • All other SPD employees who have supervised Whitlatch, particularly he or she who allowed Whitlatch to train other cops for 13 years

  • All other partners who observed Whitlatch's on-the-job behavior, such as the one who stood by while she harassed the Metro bus driver who asked her to move her car from the bus lane

  • The OPA investigators who reviewed complaints about the Wingate incident, the complaint about Whitlatch's racist publications, and any other complaints about Whitlatch, resulting in completely ineffective outcomes

  • Those staff who, upon finding this shitstorm brewing a couple days [prior to the January 30, 2015, Slog post], seemingly neglected to present O'Toole with a complete history of Whitlatch's employment history, complaints, and investigations.

  • Kathleen O'Toole, who neglected to demand the aforementioned history of Whitlatch

  • Mayor Ed Murray, who stepped into office and kicked some of SPD's best people to the curb simply because they were associated with former Mayor Mike McGinn, and who appointed a former SPOG vice president as interim chief

  • Murray's advisers on police matters, who like Murray, apparently know and/or care more about playing politics than about the internal workings of our police department