May 7, 2010 in Region

Video shows Seattle police kicking suspect

Associated Press
 

SEATTLE — A video showing Seattle police officers stomping on a man’s head and body and using a racial epithet has prompted an internal investigation by authorities and disgust by the mayor.

The incident occurred as Seattle police were responding to an armed robbery call near a nightclub in Seattle’s Westlake neighborhood on April 17. Patrons had called police and described the suspects as Hispanic.

The video — shot by a freelance videographer and aired Thursday by KIRO — shows a group of officers surrounding two men laying on the ground.

At one point, an officer approaches one of the men and can be heard saying: “You got me? I’m going to beat the (expletive) Mexican (expletive) out of you homey. You feel me?”

Soon after, officers kick the man in the head, hand and leg.

It turned out the man was not the robbery suspect, and the officers let him go.

“I watched the video and found it disturbing,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said in a statement, adding he has spoken with police Chief John Diaz.

Seattle police said Thursday an internal investigation of possible officer misconduct was under way.

The police statement said the review was being handled by the Office of Professional Accountability, and the unidentified officers have been reassigned pending an outcome.

The video shows the unidentified man gingerly getting up after being on the ground. The man is approached by the videographer and asked why he was kicked.

“I don’t know. They knocked me down and kicked me in the head,” the man responds.

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