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Kirkland Police: Officers followed policy when arresting, threatening teen at YMCA center

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Authorities in Kirkland have said that two police officers followed department policies and procedures when they arrested a 14-year-old boy in a YMCA teen center, shoved a center director and threatened to use a stun gun on another teenager.

“We recognize that there may be some members of the community who will not agree with these conclusions,” Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris said.

The YMCA called for disciplinary action against the Kirkland police officers involved, saying the officers used “unnecessary” force when they arrested a teen Sept. 5. Surveillance video released by the YMCA shows the officer forcibly taking the teen down.

Police said they arrested him after several calls about petty thefts in the area.

“The police officers’ behavior and the level of force were unacceptable and cannot be condoned anywhere in our community, especially in a safe place for teens,” YMCA of Greater Seattle President and CEO Loria Yeadon said in a release.

The police chief and city manager said in the final report that the use of profanity by one officer during the September arrest violated Kirkland Police Department policy, The Seattle Times reports.

Authorities say the officer received verbal counseling. Police say the investigation also found the second officer failed to correctly assist the first officer during the arrest.

Neither officer could be reached for comment.

“We appreciate that the YMCA brought this incident to our attention so that we can learn from it and improve,” Chief Harris said. “We understand that the incident … had a significant emotional impact on KTUB staff and teens, and many others. As leaders, this outcome is not acceptable to us, nor is the fact that there is perception of racial bias in the police department in any part of our community. We want to prevent such events in the future. Like many other organizations, we may not always do things perfectly, but we are committed to always working toward success. We want to prevent such events in the future as much as possible. In partnership with our officers and the City Council, we will continue to identify real, tangible actions that will strengthen our relationships and trust with the public.”

Watch the surveillance video released by the YMCA in November below:

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