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Seattle police officer charged with assault in unlawful arrest, prosecutors say

Q13 News photo

SEATTLE — Prosecutors on Friday charged a Seattle police officer with assault for his conduct during an unlawful arrest back in March.

According to the city attorney’s office:

Officer Martin Harris was the main officer sent to the report of a disturbance near 2nd Avenue and Denny Way on March 5, 2018. The alleged victim refused to to show the officer identification, and that’s when the officer began using force.

A detective assigned to review the incident found probable cause that: “Officer Harris committed the crime of assault 12A.06.010 when first taking hold of [the alleged victim], arresting him without probable cause, and then striking him in an effort to get [the alleged victim] to comply with an unlawful arrest.”

“I’m thankful for the Seattle Police Department’s proactivity in sending this case to my office for review,” City Attorney Pete Holmes told Q13 News. “We take these complaints seriously, and after taking an objective review of the incident, I felt assault was the appropriate charge to file.”

In a blotter post, the Seattle Police Department said the officer was place on administrative assignment:

“A Seattle Police officer has been charged with misdemeanor assault after his chain of command filed a complaint with the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) regarding a use of force violation. OPA referred the matter to Seattle Police detectives for criminal investigation, which resulted in the City Attorney’s Office filing misdemeanor charges against the officer.

“The incident originally stemmed from an arrest and use of force that took place on March 5 in the 100 block of Denny Way.”