Video: Seattle Police Jail Elderly Military Veteran for "Walking in Seattle While Black"

Comments

107
@102, Not on the video. But she pulled to a stop and then turned right. She would, if she is behaving as most drivers do, looked left, right, and left again. She could have seen the guy swinging the club at the sign at the other end of the block. She then makes the decision to turn right and find out what that is about. Only after she turns right and heads for the gentlemen is there any hope of the video capturing the man or his actions in the video.

@92, there is no "probable cause" to contact this man or detain him in the scenario articulated to 102 above. None is required. Probable Cause is required for an arrest and means that based on the facts present, it is more probable than not that the person being arrested committed the alleged crime. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probable_ca… The standard for stopping and detaining someone is much lower. It is reasonable suspicion. "In Terry v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a person can be stopped and briefly detained by a police officer based on a reasonable suspicion of involvement in a punishable crime." (Wikipedia, for convenience, not inconsistent with more authoritative and exhaustive legal works like Black's Law) If the officer saw the golf club being swung at the sign (a punishable crime, even if a minor one), that is reasonable suspicion to detain question, and see if their is probable cause.

Reasonable suspicion, which gives the officers the right to detain and question is a very low standard. I witnessed a man running out of the back of a house that had been burglarized. He saw me and ran the other way. I instinctively started to chase but quickly realized the guy was about to get to the end of a dead-end ally and since I am not a cop, did not think the risk of a confrontation with a possibly armed felon was worth it and stopped. The guy got to the end of the alley, took a good look at me and hopped a fence, ran through a neighbors yard, and onto a street right in front of some police that almost hit him because he had entered the street, full speed ahead, looking only back to see if I was still following. The police detained him because they thought his actions were reasonable suspicion that he may have been involved in a crime. Only after he was detained, did they get a radio call, based on my call to 911, that there had been a burglary and a suspect, matching the description I gave to 911, was who they had in custody.

The case went through pre-trial depositions and testimony before the judge so that motions by the defense on the admissibility of my testimony and other evidence could be presented to the jury. The defense asked at the end of pre-trial to dismiss on the basis that the cops had lacked reasonable suspicion (lots of people run recklessly out of yards into residential traffic, for lots of reasons not just criminal ones) to detain the guy in the first place, and had they not detained them, they would not have had him in custody when they received a report over the radio matching the guy's description of a possible burglar. The motion was granted and the case dismissed.

The dismissal was appealed to the Washington State Court of Appeals. That panel of judges found unanimously that given the history of the crime in the area, the officer's experience with how people behave when fleeing from a crime, the behavior of the suspect in running out of the yard, etc. that the trial judge had erred. They found reasonable suspicion existed to justify the officer's detaining the guy.

So you can see how low a standard reasonable suspicion is. Was it present in this case? Not on the video. But that does not mean the officer did not observe something reasonably suspicious before turning right and driving the block to the corner where she contacted this guy. And if she says that is what she saw, under penalty of perjury, barring other evidence to refute her, it is the facts. To say that she made it up, sufficient to overturn legal justification for stopping and detaining the guy (she hadn't arrested him yet, but he was detained the minute she told him he was not free to leave) requires some level of evidence beyond not believing her. Something like a witness who would be able to say, "I could observe the officer from my vantage point, and the man, and I never saw the golf club swung at anything." Or something like video of the sidewalk from a nearby business that would show the man never swung the club at anytime when he would have been in view of the officer at the location where she says he swung the club. Without that, the officer's statement stands, and reasonable suspicion for her to detain him stands. Beyond that, it is unlikely that "reasonable suspicion" that the guy swung the club at property (malicious mischief) or a person (assault) is really lacking. The facts bear that out in the fact that SPD did not arrest the man for either of those charges, rather they did so for obstruction, because he was resisting detention based on reasonable suspicion.

Having fun in the weeds yet? It's important, because those are the rules we have established to govern the interaction between citizens and police. If we don't like them, we can change them, but in the interim, we have to judge the parties involved based on the facts in evidence before us (her unrefuted testimony is part of that record, even if it is uncorroborated, or less than credible), by the standards we have established through democratic and constitutional processes.
108
I don't see what the debate is about in this thread... She clearly states that he swung the club at her when she turned left at 11th and Pike. The cam starts at 10th and Pike, well before this supposedly happened. There's nothing in the video to support her claim, and everything to support an innocent black man waiting patiently to cross the street.
109
@107: That's all well and good, but he didn't swing the golf club at her, as she claimed. She tried to take a cane from an old man for no reason. She stated falsely that he swung the golf club at her, so what else is she lying about?

My suspicion is that he had swatted it idly at a post, and when she saw this from up the block, wondered "What's that guy doing?" When she rolled up on him, she started in aggressively, calling it a weapon--which to him was ridiculous, and he treated it as such.

I couldn't quite hear what the other officer was saying, but his body language suggested to me that he knew Mr. Wingate by sight from the neighborhood, and that he knew Mr. Wingate wasn't any kind of threat to public safety--but a fellow officer is a fellow officer.
110
@108, was he in the frame at 11th and Pike? I did not see him. The camera only captures about a 30 degree field of view, directly in front of the vehicle. Because it is not captured on the camera does not preclude that it happened and that she observed something outside the cameras field of view. Under the rules of evidence for any witness, in any proceeding, what the witness says they saw is what happened. It need not be corroborated to be "in evidence". It may be discredited or refuted. The former perhaps, but there is no additional evidence for the latter, which would be need to prove perjury and overturn "reasonable suspicion" to justify the detention of the individual.

@109, just because him swinging the club at her (it need not be outside the car when she stops him, it could have been as she was driving) is not captured in the 30 degrees or so field of view in front of the vehicle does not mean that it didn't happen in the minutes before she exited the vehicle and he is in frame.

As far as a fellow officer being a fellow officer, he knows that his prior knowledge, if any, of Mr. Wingate, has no bearing on what Whitlack says she saw. He was not a witness. She and Wingate were the only witnesses that we know of that were part of the investigation and their testimony is obviously at odds. That fact is why Wingate was not arrested for menacing, assault, criminal mischief or any other charge associated with criminally using the club. Reasonable suspicion lead to the stop, but once the stop occurred, there was not probable cause of a crime associated with swinging the club. There is ample evidence of him obstructing by refusing to drop the club, as ordered. You can be accused of obstruction and jailed, even if there is later no charge for the crime you were stopped and investigated for or any basis to support such a charge. All that had to be present was the very low standard of reasonable suspicion.

Does that make me happy about this officer's conduct? Of course not. Nor am I happy about his, although I can relate to and understand his position (he believes he did not do anything wrong, but the place to litigate whether their was reasonable suspicion for the detention, is not at the curbside, it is after the fact, and then the recourse is civil damages, not criminal charges) But it does not make her conduct criminal absent affirmative evidence (not just doubts about her own testimony) that he never did anything that was reasonably suspicious.
111
She's obviously a dick. The way she treated Mr. Wingate is inexcusable

Here are some interesting points on the tape:



0:16 she turns the corner from Pike onto North onto 11th. There are trucks parked in the turn lane of Pike which may have obstructed the view of the intersection, There are a couple of pedestrians just crossing 11th when she turns. There is a stop sign on the NW corner of 11th and Pike.

1:53 She stops him at the NW corner of 12th and Pike and tells him to put down the golf club. From the video it is hard for me to see that he has a golf club but she seems to immediately know what it is.

2:35 on the tape she says "you swung that club at me "right back there".

4:19 "It’s about you swinging the golf club at me at 11th and Pike."

7:57 she comments that she is stopping the taping to review the first part of the first part video to see if there is anything captured of him swinging the golf club as "I turn the corner"

My guess? She turned the corner as he was crossing the street and that's where she saw the golf club. Maybe she went by him a little too close for comfort and he waved the club at her in the universal sign of "watch where you are going a**hole" Most of us would have said 'oh yeah my bad" and let it go at that but I think she decided to throw her law enforcement weight around and hassle the guy. She's just a bully in a uniform.

112
We need a 360 degree camera at 0:18 to know what happened. For those who don't live in Seattle: at the start of the video the car is driving East on Pike. She then turns left onto 11th. If he "Swung a golf club" at her on the corner of "11th and Pike" it would probably right be at 0:18 (01:05:05 PM) when she makes a left hand turn through a cross walk. The only stop sign he could have hit would be the one to the left of view at 0:18. And if she cut him off while he was crossing the cross walk that would be a possible reason to bang on a cross walk post. It's a tricky corner and I've almost been hit numerous times by cars and/or had to brake hard for people in that very intersection. If she did make a left hand turn there and he was close enough to the street to hit that stop sign I would say that she failed to follow traffic laws and yield to pedestrians since he would have the right of way.

https://goo.gl/maps/smItF

After that the video is pretty clear as to what happened. We can't say she's a liar with any certainty. And I suspect she did see something, and I suspect she did cut him off. But she had to have known that she was being recorded since she herself presumably triggered the camera after the incident, which leads me to believe she genuinely did think she was in the right. The person pulled over doesn't look any different than a thousand other people who walk up and down pike every day. It seems strange that she would all of a sudden spontaneously decide that July 09 2014 would be the day to start harassing black men on pike. Regardless jailing someone for shaking a stick at you is a ridiculous charge. And if the cops tell you to do something, just do it--hell raising is for the courtroom not the streets, take your lumps then sue their asses off if they overstepped their rights.
113
@110:

So, if he swung in a threatening manner at 11th & E. Pike and she saw it, why didn't she IMMEDIATELY stop and engage? Why did she wait nearly two minutes and drive 3/4ths of the way around the block to make the stop when she could have just as easily have done it at the actual scene where she alleges the threatening activity took place?

Sorry, but despite your protestations to the contrary this doesn't in any way, shape or form pass even the most rudimentary of smell tests.
114
As a citizen, you have no recourse to challenge a stop in the moment that it occurs. Any recourse, as a matter of law, is after the fact, after you have possibly been improperly arrested, and confined. That is the state of the law and it is hard to imagine how the police could do their work otherwise.

Imagine the accusation is the officer saw him (and it wasn't captured within the field of view of the camera) take a swing at someone and miss. The officer pulls around the block and attempts to detain the guy. The supposed victim is gone. The guy who supposedly took the swing says you made it up officer, I am not telling you nothing, you have no basis to detain me, I am leaving, and does so. In the alternative, are we supposed to dispatch a judge to side of the road to have a mini-hearing on the matter? Nope, its not reasonable, and the courts have said so.

So we are stuck with the fact that the police can detain us on the thinnest of pre-text and even if we later prove that there was no basis for them to do so, the only recourse is a few bucks for the night we spent in jail, a clear record, and possibly disciplinary action against the officer. The latter requires that we prove that the officer did not have even the thinnest of pre-text and that they acted in bad faith.

Tis the state of the law. If you don't like it, have the legislature change the law, fully understanding the consequences and limits that would place on their ability to stop, detain, and arrest the truly guilty.

There is no perfect solution here. As long as we recruit police from the human race there will be errors in judgment and cases where officer act in willful bad faith. There will be cases of the latter where that is what happened but it can't be proven, even to the point, where disciplinary action could be sustained. The same thing happens on the other side all the time. Some non-cop really did commit a crime, but they get away with it, because we can't prove. The cops know it, the victim knows it, the suspect knows it (but won't act in good faith and admit it), but the burden of proof can't be met so they get away with it. It is going to happen when humans are involved, on both sides of ledger.
115
@110, you understand that he didn't actually swing his golf club at anything, right?
116
114 - You do understand that this is part of a pattern of abuse by the SPD, yes? That it is not happening in a vacuum? That it's not an isolated incident for the department? That the reason we aren't giving the officer the benefit of the doubt is because this sort of thing happens far too often and instead of showing accountability, the SPD circles the wagons and says "move along, nothing to see here?"

And that's why the Feds brought the smack down?

This cop should be fired. She is part of the problem. End stop.
117
@115 - George seems to believe that there's a chance he did during a tiny sliver of time that's not on camera and that thinking otherwise will lead to the downfall of our entire legal system.
118
LOL, and cops can turn on their flashing lights and sirens...and go the wrong way down streets...basically do anything they want to detain someone AT THE TIME they see them commit a crime. The fact that you think she had to go around several blocks and wait patiently through several lights, like a taxi or regular civilian driver (LOL!!), in order to investigate this supposed "incident" is so fucking dumb. Just dumb.
119
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I couldn't bear to watch what happened after it was clear this police officer just pulled over for absolutely no reason and started harassing this man. Have we turned the clock back 50 years or what? So sad and disappointing.
120
mfs @61 who said (paraphrased) "this officer is a great cop" has only one other comment, also on a police related matter, and they ask about an incident "Holden" was in and ask if he was going to do a cover story about the SPD's investigation, presumably as a positive balance to the negative story regarding the cop who threatened him.

Interesting that this commenter referred to Dom by his last name instead of his first, the only person in that thread to do so. Makes me wonder if they usually address others (like coworkers) by their last names and its become habit.
121
George, we understand what you're saying. But more and more, many of us are losing faith in the existing legal system if ever we had any. We do vote to change it. But the simple fact is that the legal system has failed this man who was OBVIOUSLY NO THREAT AT ALL. The legal system protects the officer not the citizen, and she knows this. Because she says so, the black man is guilty until proven innocent, is basically what I hear you saying. To prove him innocent in this case, is impossible beyond what's already been shown to be reasonable evidence that he's a SWEET OLD MAN who loves his country and his church and his community and she never saw him swing that fucking cane.

BTW I've seen firsthand Seattle police make arrests for "obstruction of justice." It's fun for them, and often the victim, I mean suspect, is abused by the officers and/or the COs at the jail, but anyone else in the legal system, including the public defender and hopefully the judge, knows that means the officer has fucking nothing and just wanted to see you suffer. And that you were probably roughed up just because the dirty pig didn't like you.
122
I know the area having lived in Seattle for 50 years. Officer turned north, left onto 11th from Pike St as she states in the video at min 4 20, yes haha pot time. The man is not seen in the video. Was he to the left and not seen in the camera? She went around a truck to turn left. Did she maybe not see a person in the crosswalk and cut him off? Like any person would they have not shaken a stick at a car trying to run them down? I kick cars that try and run me down in a crosswalk. If what she says had happened she would have stopped there and confronted the man. But no, she continued north, in no hurry, turned right on Pine St, turned right on 12th St (at the east precinct) and come up on the man at 12th and Pine. This woman is a liar and should be fired with no benefits and never be allowed to be an officer again.
123
What absolutely breaks my heart is that after everything that happened he plead guilty to something HE DID NOT FUCKING DO, just to try and make it all go away. Of course he didn't hand the cane over right away, because it was, Y'know, helping him stand up. This whole thing is gross, and I hope he gets a nice fat settlement for his trouble.
124
Per the earlier web link to SPD, Whitlatch is a Field Training Officier, which means she's the one that trains the new officers in the dept. Sickening. For starters she should immediately be removed from this position. I hope some one plans a big meeting with Captain O'Toole so we can all question her about this incident and the recent pepper spray assault on well-known African American activist Jesse Hagopian.
125
@110, George wrote, "You can be accused of obstruction and jailed, even if there is later no charge for the crime you were stopped and investigated for or any basis to support such a charge. All that had to be present was the very low standard of reasonable suspicion."

No, nothing had to be present. You can be accused of obstruction and jailed simply because you bothered a police officer. It happened to me. It happens all the time. There are no repercussions for police officers who do it.
126
https://www.facebook.com/groups/justice4…

www.davefrohnmayer.com

Please sign both petitions.

https://www.change.org/petitions/a-g-eri…

And this one with Causes too. Thanks!

https://www.causes.com/posts/899197

www.davefrohnmayer.com
127
Actually a golf club makes a perfect walking stick when used upside down - if you are the right height...had no idea it was illegal!,
128
What people don't understand about racism in Seattle is that many times it's unconscious. It took me ten years of living in Seattle to realize this.
129
Cynthia Whitlatch is a prostitute and drug user.she should be drug tested and fired..
130
@georgeingeorgetown

In your various comments, you left out an equally plausible scenario to the ones you suggested: aliens dropped out of the sky with the ability to look like random people on the street and did all those things you imagined to justify racist, dishonest behavior by a power mad (see her part in the attempt to overturn the consent decree against SPD) thug of a cop.

Just an equally reasonable suggestion.
131
Not only should he get a huge settlement, but his lawyers should do their best to make sure this lying thug of a cop has to pay as much of it as possible. Make her sell her possessions. Put her out on the street. It's a lesson she desperately needs to learn.
132
Why is the office not fired or charges filed against her? The video indisputably demonstrates that she committed purgery repeatly in her testimony to the DA. This is illegal and the DA needs to press charges against her. She lied on video, lied in her report, and lied in her conversations to her supervisors. End of story. Anyone in another job would be fired and possibly charged. (Not to mentioned that she assaulted an innocent person verbally without just cause. Then she and her fellow office (and SPD) physically assaulted him by unjustly hancuffing and jailing him.) How can someone so clearly incompetent and abusive be allowed to remain on the job?
133
I saw this story on LiveLeak over here in Europe and this is the greater example of "cannon fodder" that a department of government there in the US gives to Russia to show that democracy does not exist in the United States of America. A dash camera with audio clearly shows outright lies this officer makes about the incident. Anyone in the SF government should be totally ashamed of this. The United States is CERTAINLY NOT achampion of freedom.
134
On behalf of all who know, worked with and supervised William Wingate at King County Metro please know how deeply saddened we are that a man of such integrity would be targeted for racial profiling by an out of control Seattle police officer. Attached is a letter to Chief Kathleen O'Toole requesting an apology to the citizens of our city.

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=B1…
135
I was stopped by this officer once. She is a total bully and out and out lied about what I had done. Luckily, I am white and took my cute 4 year old to traffic court with my own pictures to get the ticket dismissed.

There are many really great SPD officers that have helped my family over the years. Why do we continue to let these dregs get in the way of the true public servants?
136
the pos officer should be fired IMMEDIATELY
137
Go back and play the video in this post again. When I played it yesterday morning it ends shortly after that other cop arrives. This newer video (same link) shows him put into the van and being taken away. The video ends with Wingate enduring the van ride and its heartbreaking.

Damn, I was naive about the SPD. There are always more good cops than bad cops but this video really is an eye opener.

A friend explained to me that Officer Whitlatche's unbelievable assertion of Wingate swinging the club at the patrol car despite the video evidence is probably because she is so used to throwing her weight around and being racist without any ramifications.

138
OMG!! I cant believe how the officer had the audacity to lie on camera. She made up a lie that this poor man swing the golf club at her. NOT ONCE DID HE EVER SWING THAT CLUB, she also mentioned that he not only swing it at her but hit a stop sign with it, This man was just waiting for the light to turn green so he can walk thru, apparently he uses a golf club as a cane but this COP just decided to cause this incident. He was NOT DOING A DAMN THING WRONG. This is more reason that shows how cops are very abusive and SOOOOOOOO many people are in jails on bogus charges. COPS lie on every arrest and make false reports giving the prosecutors and Judges try a case based on paper and not the truth. This needs to stop...COPS need to either be retrained as to ONLY go after real criminals and leave innocent citizens alone Or get fired and hire new recruits and teach them how to treat people and train them correctly on not shoot innocent people or dogs as well
139
If you watch the video closely at the beginning, even taking Whitlatch at her word, the whole thing started (0:09) when Whitlatch made a blind left-turn onto 11th from the right lane around a big box truck without stopping or significantly slowing down. In fact, at the point that the elderly man allegedly waved his cane at her, she was *acclerating* (0:17) through the crosswalk on 11th, presumably to squeeze in front of him rather than yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk as required by RCW 46.61.235.

For Whitlatch's story to make any sense, Wingate had to be to the left of the car at Pike and 11th, out of view of the video. If he was anywhere near the car, then he was in the crosswalk and she was legally required to yield right-of-way to him. The fact that she had limited visibility and didn't see him before turning is far from an excuse - she was required to stop or slow down to first make sure there were no pedestrians in the crosswalk before turning.

It's also telling that in the video after the arrest she says she's going to look at the beginning of the video because she expects to see Wingate when he was crossing at 11th and Pike. Now, he wasn't in the video there, because to be in the video he'd have to be almost *right in front* of the car when Whitlatch accelerated through the crosswalk. Clearly Whitlatch remembered him being in the path of the car. Luckily for Wingate, he was not that far out or he would have been run over.

And that's if you take her at her word, which, given her racist rants, is questionable.
140
Take the Cops directly to jail -- don't pass go!
http://www.pat-works.com/MLK/cops2jail.G…
141
We need a 360 degree camera at 0:18 to know what happened. For those who don't live in Seattle: at the start of the video the car is driving East on Pike. She then turns left onto 11th. If he "Swung a golf club" at her on the corner of "11th and Pike" it would probably right be at 0:18 (01:05:05 PM) when she makes a left hand turn through a cross walk. The only stop sign he could have hit would be the one to the left of view at 0:18. And if she cut him off while he was crossing the cross walk that would be a possible reason to bang on a cross walk post. It's a tricky corner and I've almost been hit numerous times by cars and/or had to brake hard for people in that very intersection. If she did make a left hand turn there and he was close enough to the street to hit that stop sign I would say that she failed to follow traffic laws and yield to pedestrians since he would have the right of way. And the fact that she saw him hit a sign means that by definition she saw the pedestrian but cut him off anyway. I would be pissed too.

https://goo.gl/maps/smItF

After that the video is pretty clear as to what happened. We can't say she's a liar with any certainty. The video is the definition of inconclusive. And I suspect she did see something, and I suspect she did cut him off. But she had to have known that she was being recorded since she herself presumably triggered the camera after the incident, which leads me to believe she genuinely did think she was in the right and that the video would back her up. The person pulled over doesn't look any different than a thousand other people who walk up and down pike every day. It seems strange that she would all of a sudden spontaneously decide that July 09 2014 would be the day to start harassing black men on pike. Regardless jailing someone for shaking a stick at you is a ridiculous charge I mean--what was her end game for "talking to him"? She says "Please put down your golf club, I won't take it" so if she's telling the truth then she's only stopping him to lecture him and we all know how effective lectures we don't want to hear are. So if you're going to uselessly stop someone just to lecture them you're clearly just doing it out of a sense of ego. And if the cops tell you to do something, just do it--hell raising is for the courtroom not the streets, take your lumps then sue their asses off if they overstepped their rights. She was being an egotistical asshole for bothering to lecture him, he was being an egotistical asshole for refusing to just drop the golf club and listen to her lecture. Not a lot of sympathy for either of them.
142
What triggered the dashboard camera system? As is typical, this video begins with a minute of silence. SPD's dashboard camera system records video constantly when it has power. Audio recording begins when a "triggering event" occurs (impact detected, light bar enabled, operator presses a "record" button, etc.). At that time, the previous minute of video is flagged for storage, as are video and audio recorded until the event and until the operator causes it to stop recording. The dash cam system manufacturer, Coban, calls this feature "pre-event buffering.…
143
@142, IM wrote, "And if the cops tell you to do something, just do it--hell raising is for the courtroom not the streets, take your lumps then sue their asses off if they overstepped their rights."

That sounds like something from the (former SPOG president) Rich "we wouldn't have these problems if people would just do what police tell them to do" O'Neil school of public-police interaction.
144
@137 - Exactly!
146
Yet, another example of Seattle Police not doing their job to “serve and protect” but more of the “profile and harass”. Don’t some of these dead beat cops realize that it’s the tax dollars of the citizens that line their pockets for the job that they do not do well? There needs to be in place a psychological evaluation in the hiring process of police personnel. Police are not getting the training they need to prevent them from acting stupid. The police in many cities in the USA are acting like gangs and our taxes are paying their wages. We need to start a movement similar to Occupy Wall Street to boycott our taxes paying these gangsters until they become move reasonable and level headed in their dealings with the general public. In regards to officer Cynthia Whitlatch in this story: Make her day by setting her loose without her weapons on a very busy 18 hole golf course with the objective of surviving the many swings of the golf club. I would say she is in dire need of a psychological evaluation. Poor baby.
147
AAAARRRCCGGGHHHHH! I can hardly breathe looking at this story. That cop is what gives others cops a bad name. How can she sleep at night or look herself in the mirror? RACIST! The police department of that city also are RACIST PIGS! Mr. Wingate was simply going to or coming from the store while being Black. What sort of people are being hired for these police departments? 70-years old, going to the store! I cannot fathom. "Oh, there's one. Lemme git im." Then to BLATANTLY LIE! And stick to it! While the video tape was running and then being backed up be the police at the station? The world is going crazy. It is like "not" SEEING the police beat the crap out of Rodney King. A golf club? A cane.? I use a cane, which could be just as lethal as a golf club. Mr. Wingate could not hold a cane to swing it without falling down. I can't get over how she just LIED, LIKE A DOG! What manner of woman is she? Does she have children I wonder? God will punish her for her actions. All these SICK police need psychological testing.
148
I think the real crime here was the poor guy being subjected to birther radio on the way back to the precinct
149
@147: It's not just her. The others who showed up participated, as well. And her supervisor knows about the incident and let it slide. Remember, one bad apple spoils the bunch.
150
@145: "Oh well..." -- really? That is not good government. You don't have to be a liberal to want to keep excessive police powers and behavior in check.
152
Wow! The officer appears to be driving around looking for this guy. I am assuming it was called in first or she had seen him and then went around the block and came back to him. It's clear when she comes up on him she already has a pre established negative view on him.

Whitlatch screwed up then proceeded to cover her butt.

She did ask him to put down the golf club because she believed it could be used as a weapon. He did not. She escalated that request through to arrest. This is racially motivated. If a 70 year old white man was walking with a golf club she would have looked at him and perhaps thought how cute. The fact that he was non threatening should have given her cause to de-escalate the situation.

There is a clear lack of good training.
153
I re-watched the video and she says it's about him swinging the golf club at her at 11th and Pike. Googling that. This is the intersection they are at now.

She may have told a story that it was done prior but it is specifically at this intersection. She is referring to him raising his hand a little and the golf club remaining vertical pointed to the ground and raising several inches off the ground. He was never a threat. He was black. He was holding a golf club. I'm still of the view she was looking for him.

This makes this wrong. She's crossed the line into specifically and directly escalating this to arrest for no good reason.

This needs to be in the public domain. The more this is out there the more likely we are to see police review there policies.

154
Well, Officer Whitlach used to rent a parking spot from me, and she used to patrol the Cal Anderson beat, so I interacted with her quite a bit. She was always very courteous and professional with me and everyone I saw her interact with, even folk I had her go talk to who were tresspassing and vandalizing property here where I work. I'm surprised by the allegations, she was what I call "one of the nice ones".
155
First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I'm not defending Whitlach but The Stranger article gives an incomplete account of the facts in the case so far. The Seattle Times has a better reported story but still a little confusing account [http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews...]. And it seems readers are relying on incomplete facts and jumping to incorrect conclusions.

Whitlach's official account of the incident is that as she drove by Wingate [at 11th Ave & E. Pike St.] where he swung his golf club at her and her car, missed and hit a stop sign [according to Google Maps - Street View, the only stop sign on that corner is located at the SE corner]. Whitlach claims she then "circled the block" to confront Wingate. I'm guessing she proceeded north on 11th Ave, made a right eastbound on E. Pine St., made a right southbound onto 12th Ave [this is when and where the officially released video begins] and confronts Wingate the the NW corner of 12th Ave and E. Pike St.

So in the video when Whitlach is saying she saw Wingate swinging his golf club threateningly at her, she is talking about a moment prior to the provided video. She is not talking about anything Wingate did during the video where he obviously did nothing threatening.

This doesn't mean she isn't a "lying piece of shit" or a racist, but there is no video evidence to disprove her official account about Wingate swing his golf club threateningly because there is no record video of her initial passing of Wingate. However the lack of video prior to the video provided by the Seattle PD is evidence that she might and be lying or exaggerating. Based upon her own comments at the end of the provided video, the dashcam was on during her initial encounter/drive-by with Wingate and she even tried to rewind to view the video evidence.

Seattle PD currently states that the video does not exist which makes no sense. Aren't dashcam videos suppose to always on? My guess is that any video would have shown Wingate doing nothing threatening on the initial encounter thereby contradicting or undermining Whitlaw's official statement. I think either Whitlaw or someone in SPD erased or destroyed any footage prior to the officially released video to give some cover to Whitlaw so it's now the credibility of a law enforcement officer vs. the credibility of a citizen. I think that they would have destroyed the released video except for the fact that another SPD officer showed up at the scene probably with his own dashcam video. To destroy two videos would have screamed cover-up and conspiracy.

I think that The Stranger investigate this further, and the citizens of Seattle need to demand a legitimate investigation on why there was footage prior to the officially release video. If someone erased this footage, it could be argued that they destroyed evidence and obstructed justice.
157
ch3@155: My understanding is that the dashcam is always on, but that the audio portion is triggered by some event (such as turning on the lightbar) and that at that point the previous minute of dashcam video is captured. But, there's something odd about this video if that is true. By my count only about 38 seconds elapse from the start of the video footage until the audio kicks in. If it really does capture the previous minute, then about 22 seconds of video are missing from the front end.
158
Thank you for publishing - I am disgusted that my tax dollars pay the salary of a cop the likes of Officer Whitlatch. It would be nice if you had published the email of the chief of police so that we could directly request her dismissal from the force. My father and grandfather were officers, and she's an egotistical disgrace who clearly enjoys brandishing her power at random!

Erin Clowes
159
@151:

And only a conservative would believe there's no such thing as "good government".

@153:

The stop occurs at 12th & E. Pike, one block east of where Officer Whitlach alleges the "golf swing" took place.

@155:

There is in fact a stop sign on the NW corner of 11th & E. Pike, which would have been out-of-frame to the left as Whitlach makes the turn at 0:18 into the video. Presumably, this is where the swinging of the golf club allegedly took place, although clearly it is not visible on the dashboard camera, which, given its limited field-of-view, one would think Whitlach would have been well aware.

Just prior to her turn, we can see a delivery truck parked in the center turn-lane of E. Pike just west of the intersection, which would have blocked her view of the crosswalk on the north side. Notice that she makes the turn without slowing down to check for pedestrians (two of whom we see crossing ahead of the vehicle) and proceeds heading north on 11th. It is entirely possible Mr. Wingate was already in the crosswalk at the time of her turn, and IF he swung at her car, it may just as likely have been an impulsive response to almost being hit when he had the right-of-way.

Since Whitlach claims the incident occurred at this specific location, one has to question her decision not to stop immediately to confront Wingate. There is an an open loading zone just to the right, which she could have pulled into, rather than proceed up 11th, stop at the light at E. Pine, turn right, make another stop at the light on 12th (where she waited a full 30 seconds for the light to change, according to the video), then turn right again to proceed south on 12th to the next intersection at E. Pike where she pulled over and engaged Wingate, standing on the corner.

Her claim that she performed this rather time-consuming (not to mention quite leisurely) maneuver for the expressed purpose of confronting Wingate seems spurious at-best, since she would have had no way of knowing that he was going to continue going in that direction, UNLESS she essentially drove the entire length of 11th between E. Pike & E. Pine looking at her rear-view mirror, which seems rather unlikely, given that she had several oncoming vehicles to contend with, one of which she had to swerve around at 0:30.

So, technically the video DOES exist; the problem is that it doesn't actually show anything relating to the alleged incident itself. But, it DOES very clearly show Officer Whitlach's actions immediately following when she says it occurred, up to and past the point where she engages Mr. Wingate. And the reason many people have a great deal of difficulty believing her version of events is precisely because these actions do not in any way support her contention that he posed any sort of threat, either to her, her vehicle, or to the general public, as she claims. If that had been the case, one naturally has to wonder why she chose to wait nearly 2 minutes and drive 3/4ths of the way around a city block on the off-chance she would again spot Wingate, rather than pull over at the first opportunity within a few feet of the intersection where the incident allegedly took place, and engage him on-the-spot, before he might have had a chance to change direction.
160
Having worked in the court system for more than a decade, there is one thing that stands out like a sore thumb, the use of stipulated order of continuances. Once a defendant is sitting in jail, the prosecutor offers a "deal". They come in many forms. However, the reason they are overwhelmingly accepted by the defendant is that it offers a quick way to be released from jail. If someone has been sitting in jail for a day, or a week, or in some cases more than a month, and they are offered a deal, they are probably going to chose their freedom. Even if they agree to "stipulate to the facts". This is a joke. It means that in exchange for their freedom, they agree to the facts as the officer documented them in the police report. By stipulating, they agree not to contest the police report in the future. The system is so biased. For anyone that can not afford bail or their own attorney, of course they are going to accept what ever deal gives them their freedom. And, the worst part is that this is they way people start their "criminal record".
161
@155: Regarding dashboard camera recording, see @142. They're recording whenever they're on, but they only save recordings under certain circumstances.
162
So, you could, until this week, carry a gun into the state legislature but you can't carry a golf club . This woman should be put into the looney bin.
163
I watched the video and I read the entire article, and there is no doubt in my mind

that Cynthia Whitlatch should be removed from the Seattle police force. She was

aggressive and impolite to an innocent citizen, and had she spoken to me in that

tone, I was have reacted by just walking away, and would have been arrested for

no reason. I realize that this comment will not be posted.

Malcolm MacLeod, MD, Sacramento CA
164
Why hasn't this racist and totally untrained bitch still in law enforcement . She' eventually going to cost taxpayers a bunch of money sooner or later.
165
WELL...? HE SWUNG AT HER!! DID YOU SEE THAT?? WHAT ELSE WAS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO?? SHE COULDA DIED!! YOU SAW THE WAY HE SWUNG THAT GOLF CLUB AT ER?? GEEZ!
166
shit if I were the cop I woulda shot him so I could get a paid vacation and a raise
167
This is terrible. It isn't safe for a black man to walk with skittles, a hooded sweat top or carry a cane or golf club needed to help him stand. No matter what some supporters of the officer say, the SPD believed it was wrong what they did to this man, gave him his weapon sorry I mean golf club back and apologized. If the golf club was a weapon they wouldn't have returned it. It is sad they sent a black female cop to make things right instead of the chief. Thug Whitlatch is just what I called her, a thug. She should be fired, a court case should happen and she should be locked up for lying and putting an innocent person in jail. The prosecutor and the judge who tried his case and made him sign some paperwork along with other cops who were associated with this case should lose their positions and lots of money. There are many cities who make money through their local courts by making false cases against their residents and force them to pay unwarranted fines. Now at the same time there are dangerous people and criminals walking our streets daily who need to be arrested but a law abiding citizen needs not to be harassed, no matter his skin color. It is funny to see a few post stating he may have swung his cane a block or two down the street. Really? Isn't the East Police station around the corner. I don't think the old man is that stupid plus this female cop has a history of racist rants against black men. What more evidence do you want. Sue the city, sue her, sue the SPD and the courts for not coming to his aid.
168
What actually constitutes a reasonable threat to a police officer who is in a vehicle, that an arrest is justified? How brazen was this alleged swing? Too bad there is no replay of what happened to see how menacing this 69 year old man was. Until then, it's just two different perceptions of the same event.
169
The golf swing occurred at 11th and Pike off-camera. My guess is that the officer turned left in front of the suspect and the suspect reacted with a minor case of pedestrian rage. The officer circled the block to make contact to establish this guy wasn't a loonie walking with a weapon. She could have handled the situation better. But first, last and foremost: he needed to co-operate with the police officer's request immediately. We all need respect the unexpected and violent realities that police officers face as they protect us. Keep the hands empty and in view.
170
@169, your theory sounds plausible. Follow police instructions, yes. The part that doesn't sit well with me is that he was an older person, potentially a vulnerable adult, and was not given that due respect and treated as such.
171
And there's always the crosswalk law,
The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section "half of the roadway" means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.
172
Mr. Wingate, wherever you are, you're my new hero.

I'm so sorry our police force treated you this way.

Our city needs to make amends with compensation, but more importantly,

By making some serious, deep changes in law enforcement.

Please keep walking.
173
If they claim that it wasn't because he was black, there is proof they are wrong. In 2008 there was a "Seattle Urban Golf" tournament on Capitol Hill with more than one hundred 20 & 30-somethings using the same golf clubs Mr. Wingate had to hit around foam balls from bar to bar. Imagine 100 drunk young people with golf clubs. I think someone finally complained later that evening, but they were out for about 4-5 hours with no interference by police. And this wasn't the only time. This event occurred five times over several years before they decided to bring it inside and now it is SmashPutt.
174
This video should have come out July 10, 2014. Where were the people on the street with their cell phone camera's? Is it because he's black, and people just figure there must be something wrong? I was ticked people just walked away to be honest. I'm almost 60, white, ex-military, also an MP, friends in several locations as police (CHP, and Tempe AZ). This kind of nonsense from this testosterone overdosed woman smears the good names of police everywhere.

The tide is turning on all of this though. Next time I see a protest anywhere near me, of the police, I will join it. Just because someone has to wake up. This country has some serious police issues now, and I'm very sad to see it happen. No wonder young black men would rather not join police departments. Disgusting, disturbing, and degraded. Sue man, sue.
175
Why isn't she being charged criminally for the various laws she violated when she filed her false police report? Is the Seattle DA soft on crime in general, or only when police officers are involved?
176
It's so strange that in many public service jobs, nearly any kind of scandal or suggestion of inappropriate judgement often results in the person resigning. Yet for cops, they can battle any scandal up to and including homicide without any pressure internally to step down. It's such a failure of the basic morality of public service. If the public is outraged by your actions, you have automatically failed being a public servant, whether there is a legal basis for your behavior or not.
178
wow
179
"The man is 69 years old," she said, speaking with me on Tuesday by phone. "Seventy years of beating the odds of never having been arrested—a black man. Served in the military for 20 years. Worked with the police, because you do that as a bus driver." (Wingate turned 70 in September of last year.)

"And here he is standing on the corner," she continued. "He ends up handcuffed and put in a police wagon and put in jail overnight... The system failed this man. He never should have been stopped. Once he got to the precinct, reason should have prevailed."

BLESS YOU DAWN MASON. I wouldn't have know about this without you <3 SPD is still outta control.
180
Oh, my fucking god, this is what I was complaining about just tonight – what passes for professionalism in Seattle ! And here Officer Whatshername is highlighting it for me beautifully. And she was hired Why? Just because she looks like a man? She’s a dumbass and she haz ZERO discernment or awareness, and apparently is bored on the job and needs something to do. I suggest she get a job on a construction site where she doesn’t get to decide on someone’s liberty, let alone a black man’s liberty, let alone a black man more than twice her age, mind his own business. No respect at all! She’s just a punk throwing her considerable weight around.

If she's not fired, if the chief can't see in her what I see in her, I worry for the discernment of the chief. This should be an easy call because she is ridiculous. AND WHAT OTHER OFFICER STOOD BY AND LET IT HAPPEN, LET IDIOTS RUN THE PLACE?

They will hire anybody to be a cop in Seattle, huh?! I hope a new sheriff is in town. Fuck this. They haven’t learned a goddamn thing, have they? I trust Judge Robart is watching.
181
Omg, Chief, those 123 officers just made your cleaning house job a whole lot easier. LOLOL
182
I want to join his lawsuit LOL I'm traumatized by seeing this idiot cop treat an old man like shit, who looks just like my dad, like a criminal because he's black. It's pretty obvious. We would not be here if he were white.

See, this is the question people need to be asking: How much does the City spend defending and paying out on shit like this? Better to spend it on good training and some fucking multicultural education.

If she's not fired I'm moving away next week. lol only half kidding
183
All you people, everybody, your comments are awesome.

Is she fired yet?
184
This is so sad that any human being have to be treated like this. No where did I see the old man swing the golf club at her. This was pure harassment at the up most. I wish it was me she would not be still on the police force. Racism at the up most once again.
185
Perfect example of the biased culture within SPD, most American police departments and the system that allows it to happen. Clearly this woman has power and control issues, the liar and obvious racist. At least there was one among the ranks in city council who would challenge the everyday garden variety racist process, bringing this common practice to light and the prosecutors office (business as usual) of coercing plea deals. May Officer Storyhatch's kidneys fail from her steroid rage.
186
Absolutely disgracely abuse of the public trust. Fire her.
187
I can't believe what I am reading here. She said he swung the club at 11th and Pike. We do not see him on the video at 11th and Pike, so we don't know what he did there. We *do* see her pull the car around to confront him, and we do see him refuse, repeatedly, to put down the golf club.

Whitlach was shrill, but beyond that, everything she and the other SPD officers did here was reasonable.

If this guy is so law-abiding, why didn't he just put down the golf club? It was a reasonable enough request; in fact, coming from a cop, it was a lawful command, and it would have put him on his way in minutes.

And, if the Seattle cops are such Nazis, why had he lived here for 70 years without ever having been arrested?

Think, people. The cops have a job to do. She was doing her job - not especially artfully, but she was doing it. Get off her case.
188
Police and Homeland Security Agency personnel are out of control everywhere, not just Seattle.

I speak as a Targeted Activist -- The Federal Government has been covering up the fact that the Department of Homeland Security Agencies Personnel are operating above the law in targeting activists, journalists, and citizens for targeted, surveillance monitored crimes, besides the targeted IRS audits (which are minor compared to the bigger crimes being committed).

The used of Gag Orders, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Classifying Information, as well as the denial of FOIAS, and FOIA appeals is being used to prevent the public from getting information about the extent and depth of the crimes and corruption in the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Agencies, under the false guise of National Security excuses used to protect personnel and agents from public disclosure of their crimes and prosecution.

I am speaking out because my cat was tortured and poisoned by criminal government personnel, as well as the fact that I have been targeted for repeated illegal entries, burglaries (BURGLARY OF A SAFE DEPOSIT BOX AS WELL), vandalism and the PLANTING OF STOLEN AND UNKNOWN ORIGIN PROPERTY.

No One is Safe in the United States from being Targeted for Crimes with the Highest Surveillance Equipment and Technology that they are using on Citizens to Target for Crimes now.
189
Police and Homeland Security Agency personnel are out of control everywhere, not just Seattle.

I speak as a Targeted Activist -- The Federal Government has been covering up the fact that the Department of Homeland Security Agencies Personnel are operating above the law in targeting activists, journalists, and citizens for targeted, surveillance monitored crimes, besides the targeted IRS audits (which are minor compared to the bigger crimes being committed).

The used of Gag Orders, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Classifying Information, as well as the denial of FOIAS, and FOIA appeals is being used to prevent the public from getting information about the extent and depth of the crimes and corruption in the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Agencies, under the false guise of National Security excuses used to protect personnel and agents from public disclosure of their crimes and prosecution.

I am speaking out because my cat was tortured and poisoned by criminal government personnel, as well as the fact that I have been targeted for repeated illegal entries, burglaries (BURGLARY OF A SAFE DEPOSIT BOX AS WELL), vandalism and the PLANTING OF STOLEN AND UNKNOWN ORIGIN PROPERTY.

No One is Safe in the United States from being Targeted for Crimes with the Highest Surveillance Equipment and Technology that they are using on Citizens to Target for Crimes now.

I believe that some of these problems are occurring because people have been rewarded for war crimes in Torture and Detention Facilities, in the CIA and Military, and have been promoted into HOMELAND SECURITY AGENCIES and Law Enforcement, where they are abusing their power and authority on American Citizens and Committing crimes against them, immune from prosecution and from public disclosure releases.
190
187: Exactly. The proper solution to police overreach is to always comply. If a cop is stealing your cane, just give them your cane so you won't get arrested or shot. If a cop is performing a 'search and seizure' on the cash in your wallet, just give them the cash so you won't get arrested or shot. If a cop is raping you, just let them rape you so you won't get arrested or shot.

It's easier, after all, and I can't think of ANY long-term effects that this level of excessive obedience might have on the overall relationship between cops and citizenry, even as I see news articles about cops who now feel entitled to shoot pepper spray at people who are literally just sauntering by on a public sidewalk. That's because I'm smarter than people who see the importance in standing up to police! Don't those people know that sometimes this can get you arrested or shot by a crooked cop? Why would anyone ever take any sort of risk for the sake of having standards for how cops are supposed to treat civilians?

It's like they're too stupid to know about this cool idea called "cowardice" and the many ways in which it sometimes results in self-preservation!
191
Dori Monson audible/playing on the paddywagon cabin radio. I don't like to stereotype, but at the same time this doesn't surprise me.
192
What a "literally" piece of shit. Then ask me again why people hate cops. This idiot should have been fired.
193
"SWANG"
194
Given the volume of documented blatant misuse of power by police in this country, I expect the conversation will change from "what are my rights when stopped" to "how do 'stand my ground' use of force rules apply to police interactions".

This harrassment of an elderly veteran is just ridiculous, and if police forces want to retain respect of the badge, they need to weed out the psychos among their ranks PRONTO.