Police chief reacts to video in which Seattle cop says: I stuck my gun ‘right in his nose’

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SEATTLE — The New York Times on Saturday published a video of Seattle police undergoing de-escalation training, with some officers seemingly opposed to a reduced use of force that is required under the new reforms.

The trainer told the officers in the session that approaching a civilian with their hands on a weapon or making too much eye contact unnecessarily could escalate a situation. “Keep your hands visible at all times,” he says in the video.

One of the officers said that’s good advice for suspects and that officers want to see their hands first.

One of the other officers was more blunt.

“Last week, there was a guy in a car who wouldn’t show me his hands. I pulled my gun out and stuck it right in his nose and I go, ‘Show me your hands now!’ That’s de-escalation.”

A third officer seemed to agree with him.

On Monday, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said she “became aware” of the video over the weekend and that she referred the incident to the Office of Professional Accountability  to investigate to see “if the use of force incident referred to in the video was reported and within policy.”

“Comments made by training instructors will also be reviewed,” she added.

“Reform is not easy,” she said, “but I remain enthusiastic that we are at the forefront of police reform …  We are addressing decades of institutional culture and embedded practices. This change sometimes requires difficult conversations.”

 

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4 comments

  • Wallus

    Reform is great but cops still have to deal with azz holes that the rest of us won’t or can’t. No one has convinced me that that is always rainbows and unicorns.

  • J Q Anderson

    Dear Q13, this is not news. Water is wet, the sky is still blue, and the Seattle Police Department are a gang of crude, thugs that consistently act outside the law. It would be worth reporting if the sky turned green, or if it rained kittens. It would be front page news if SPD officers focused on citizen safety or professionalism. Hell, it would be news if they read a book on manners. But this, this is just the same thing that happens every day. The majority of SPD officers act like they’re a criminal gang enforcing their turf and O’Toole mouths platitudes to the camera that have no real substance. She sends a few stiff and out of place looking community liaison officers to hand out rainbow buttons at Pride, but does nothing about officers using homophobic slurs or refusing to report hate crimes. She targets immigrant communities at the behest of commercial developers. She won’t even go so far as to say publicly that SPD will not use taxpayer money to hire rape clowns any more. Yes, rape clowns, they totally did that. They’re that classy. And she won’t promise not to do it again. Your tax dollars at work!