LOCAL NEWS

Report rules SPD officer didn’t intentionally pepper-spray child during protest

Sep 18, 2020, 10:50 AM | Updated: 10:58 am
Seattle protest, pepper spray...
Body-worn camera footage during a downtown Seattle protest. (Office of Police Accountability, YouTube)
(Office of Police Accountability, YouTube)

Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) released its first set of findings regarding SPD’s conduct during protests in late May and early June.

Seattle council questions SPD’s use of tear gas, mace during protests

The OPA’s findings were highlighted by a ruling on an incident that saw a young child pepper-sprayed by a police officer during a downtown Seattle protest. After a video was circulated showing the child in tears after the incident, over 13,000 separate complaints were filed.

Ultimately, the OPA ruled that the officer responsible for pepper-spraying the child did so inadvertently. Body camera footage reviewed and published by the OPA shows that the pepper spray was initially deployed against a protester who had grabbed an officer’s baton. The child, who was standing behind the protester, was hit by the spray after the protester ducked to get out of the way.

That being so, the OPA ultimately decided that the child “was not individually targeted” by the officer, while expressing remorse over the end result.

“The picture of the Child standing in the middle of the street, crying, with milk running down his face is an unforgettable image from these demonstrations,” OPA head Andrew Myerberg said in his report on the incident. “It shows an innocent child who was a victim regardless of the circumstances. That the Child suffered this trauma is something that OPA is extremely sorry for and that no decision in an administrative investigation can ever remedy.”

“This is one of the hardest cases that I, as the OPA Director, have had to consider during my nearly three years in office,” he added.

Police oversight groups differ on council’s crowd control weapons ban

The OPA also presented findings on five other incidents, including one where an officer was recorded restraining a protester by placing his knee on their neck. While noting that the officer wasn’t intentionally trying to impair the protester’s ability to breathe, the OPA did rule that he used a form of restraint that is “flatly prohibited” by the department. Discipline for that officer is pending a decision from interim Chief Adrian Diaz.

“Even if not intended to impair breathing, it can functionally do so,” the OPA’s report on the incident reads. “As the nation saw in Minneapolis, that improper tactic can cause serious injury and even death.”

You can read through the rest of the OPA’s findings on their demonstration complaint dashboard here.

Local News

covid...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
14 hours ago
Amazon...
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
14 hours ago
hospitals...
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
14 hours ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
2 days ago
Some of the located containers, captured by the US Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles helicopter....
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
2 days ago
refugees...
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Report rules SPD officer didn’t intentionally pepper-spray child during protest