Union vows to continue battle over firing of SPD officer who punched handcuffed suspect
The Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) released a statement Tuesday, vowing to petition the Washington Supreme Court after an appeals court ruled this week to uphold the firing of SPD Officer Adley Shepherd.
In 2014, dash camera footage showed Shepherd punching a drunk, handcuffed woman in the back of his patrol car, after she had kicked him while she was being forced into the vehicle. He was then terminated by then-Chief Kathleen O’Toole for violating SPD’s use of force policy, before a three-member disciplinary review board (DRB) overturned his firing, instead giving him a 15-day suspension.
Then, a King County Superior Court judge and the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled in 2019 and 2021 respectively to vacate the DRB’s decision and uphold Shepherd’s termination.
In the wake of the recent appeals court’s decision, SPOG President Mike Solan stated this week that he “looks forward to appealing this unfortunate decision to the Washington State Supreme Court.”
It’s unclear whether the state’s highest court will opt to hear the case, although Solan says that he remains “hopeful.”
Both Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes responded to the recent ruling to uphold Shepherd’s firing shortly after it was released, with Durkan calling it “the right decision, and the only decision consistent with our city’s values and use of force policies.”
Holmes went on to intimate that he too intends to defend the decision “through to the Supreme Court if necessary.”