Seattle police officer facing firing for arresting elderly black man over golf club
SEATTLE — A Seattle police officer was told Monday she faces firing for arresting a 70-year-old black man who refused to put down a golf club he was holding on a city street, the police guild confirmed.
The Seattle Times first reported the news of the officer being informed of termination.
The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild said that, under department procedures, officer Cynthia Whitlach will be an given an opportunity to plead her case with Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole before O’Toole issues a final decision.
Whitlatch came under scrutiny when she arrested William Wingate last summer when he refused to put down a golf club he was holding on a street corner. He said he was using the club as a walking cane; she said he had raised it and wielded like a weapon as she drove by in her patrol car.
The confrontation and arrest was captured on the officer’s dash camera.
Wingate was arrested and spent a night in jail.
The police department apologized to Wingate in January and gave his golf club back.
In late January, O’Toole, saying she was “shocked and disappointed,” pulled Whitloch off the street and ordered investigations after discovering she had allegedly written allegedly racist comments on Facebook.
Here are previous stories on this case: