Seattle man arrested over golf club speaks out: Officer ‘knows she was out of control’

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SEATTLE — The 70-year-old man who was arrested for holding a golf club on a street corner spoke out Thursday about the officer who stopped him and threw him in jail.

William Wingate is threatening to sue the police department.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O`Toole on Thursday put the officer, Cynthia Whitlatch, on desk duty and ordered a review of her cases.

>>> click here to read and watch video on the main story of the officer’s conduct.

“She knows she was out of control,” Wingate said of Whitlatch.

The incident was recorded on police dash-cam video. It shows Whitlatch accusing Wingate of swinging a golf club in a threatening manner. When Wingate didn’t drop the club, he was arrested and spent a night in jail.

Wingate maintains he never once threatened anyone with his club.

“I was being framed, I know I was being framed and she knew I hadn’t doing nothing,” said.

Wingate and his attorneys allege Whitlatch conducted the stop only because he’s a black man.

“It seems to me that the Seattle Police Department either knew or should have known that they have an officer that’s completely out of control in this particular case,” said Vonda Sargent, one of Wingate’s attorneys.

The department said Whitlatch has no prior disciplinary problems.  Even so, top brass on Tuesday apologized for arresting Wingate. The city attorney’s office dropped his charges and police returned his golf club.

City Councilman Bruce Harrell said more work must be done.

“The city continues to see how we are not properly de-escalating situations. And how officers must realize you have to act with good intentions on folks,” he said.

Now the NAACP is calling for the officer’s termination, claiming the federally mandated reforms have still not changed officers’ behavior.

“This is indicative of their behavior and attitude which is what we’re trying to change,” said Gerald Hankerson. ”We expect our police department to have the utmost respect and dignity, they should be the model of the nation of what we’re supposed to look like. I thought that’s what we supposed to get that after the dog left but here we are seeing the same thing over and over again.”

Mayor Ed Murray said he instructed police chief Kathleetn O’Toole to take immediate action and take Whitlatch off the beat.

Now Wingate said he now suffers from post-traumatic stress, and he fears even talking to any Seattle police officer.

“A lot of stuff that you hear about the police, I found out that a lot of it was true,” he said.

Here is the dash-cam video of the confrontation over the gold club:

Chief O’Toole said she was shocked by Whitlatch’s posts found on Facebook. The allegedly racists comments will be a part of the department’s investigation.



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  • Thomas Jefferson

    I was appalled. The nonsense of swinging the golf club. He was arrested. Now I guess that I pause I can’t think of a printable. Let us just say a fascist with a gun. I saw no golf swing.

  • James

    We have a serious problem. Police department are challenging the system. These are not an isolated incidents nor is it unknown by police department across the country. What I don’t understand why is there is no urgency to clap down on the behavior by police officer. It’s clearing a matter that is increasing. It has now escalated from our young black youth to our elderly. But yet some people in the US continue to dispute that we have a problem with racism.

  • Veritas

    Have fun waiting tables idiot! If cops really think they can wield this much power, we don’t need nor want them. Serve the public, NOT meet quotas!

  • Kevin Rivera

    you are so lucky that old man is not my relative. in the usa a person can walk down the street with rifles handguns free of harassment. that is a elderly person. this must stop maybe people should start to defend themselves. thank god the spd aint were I live that would and could cause the officer to get placed under arrest. the queer mayor aint going to do anything he represents spd he is a slimmy gov employee. sue the trash tax sucking worthless parasites.

  • Jessica

    Do police not get that there are not nearly as many of them as there are us? Maybe this is why they feel the need to over enforce. Look at Baltimore right now. Cops can’t even control any of it anymore. Stuff like this continues to happen and these so called “cops” abuse their power in the wrong way, and think they are following the law..their job is to enforce the law. What makes it okay for a cop to abuse her power over someone and not get any type of discipline? This is where its wrong….this man has to go through being arrested, and sitting in jail for 24 hours. Where is the discipline on her end for her mistake? She should be fired for this and maybe then cops would start to see that they don’t have the power to do whatever they want, they have the power to DO THEIR JOB!!!!!! There are rules to follow and if cops out of all people aren’t following those rules or are enforcing them in the wrong way, what makes them think that anyone else is going to follow them? Shouldn’t they be some type of example?

  • Johnny

    This is an amazing lie! The video does not show him swinging a club at her, She lied before she even approached him. It makes you wonder about the sad state of our society. What kind of society have we become???????

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