Video: Seattle police officer buys shoes for homeless woman in crisis

Feb 12, 2016, 3:45 PM

A Seattle police officer bought a barefoot woman in crisis a pair of shoes while responding to a call in Lake City.

Video of the incident was posted to the Seattle Police Department’s YouTube channel Thursday afternoon.

The incident happened January 25 near an area where homeless people in crisis are known to frequent,” KIRO 7 reports.

Police contacted the woman in the parking lot of Elliott Bay Brewery, at 12537 Lake City Way NE. Before she was taken to the hospital for evaluation, officer Dale Umpleby went to the nearby Value Village and purchased shoes for the woman with his own money.

“This is the second time in six months he has purchased shoes for individuals he has come in contact with on calls, and for whatever reason, do not have shoes,” according to a department statement.

In 2014, Umpleby was one of 123 Seattle police officers who filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice saying use-of-force policies imposed were unrealistic. The list also included Chris Myers, the 2009 Officer of the Year. Department leaders said the suit did not represent the views of the department, and the suit was thrown out of a federal judge in October 2014.

However, since then several respected officers in the department still say the DOJ use of force policies are unrealistic, and statistics show the number of proactive police interactions significantly decreased after the DOJ’s court-ordered consent decree began in 2012.

In a video description showing Umpleby’s good deed, the Seattle Police Public Affairs Unit said Umpleby did not realize he was observed buying the shoes.

“I love these!” the woman is heard saying on the dashcam video. “Thank you so much.”

Umpleby is heard telling the woman that he was concerned her feet wouldn’t be warm.

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Video: Seattle police officer buys shoes for homeless woman in crisis