Rantz: Public defender charged for obstructing Seattle police at bar, smelled of alcohol

Apr 20, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: Apr 21, 2022, 10:16 am

A King County Public Defender has been charged after allegedly interfering with a police investigation. Police say she “smelled of alcohol” at the time.

Police responded to an assault call at Wild Rose Bar on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. According to the owner, the female assault suspect shoved a security guard and had been a problem in the past. The owner requested that police trespass her.

As the drama was unfolding, a small crowd formed around the responding officers. An incident report said “the crowd repeatedly moved in close to the officers, while yelling” as the officers were speaking to the suspect.

McKay Campbell was allegedly causing problems for the police. She’s a public defender who currently works for King County.

McKay Campbell ‘smelled of alcohol’ as she allegedly obstructed an investigation

According to police reports, Campbell allegedly acted belligerently towards police as they tried to question the suspect on February 19.

“Campbell’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and her breath smelled of alcohol,” one officer wrote. “[Campbell’s] speech was slurred and voice was elevated.”

The officer says Campbell “screamed that she was an attorney and stated Officers were not allowed to speak with [the suspect] without consulting” with her.

But Campbell was not the suspect’s attorney. The incident report notes that Campbell misgendered the female suspect several times and “kept calling [the suspect] a man.”

Police say Campbell positioned herself between officers and the suspect, “making it impossible” for them to conduct their preliminary investigation. She was asked to get out of the way, but police say she “screamed no and refused to move.”

McKay Campbell’s alleged assault

The officer “physically moved” Campbell two times, but “each time she pushed at me with both hands and returned to her position in front” of the suspect.

Campbell allegedly pushed an officer two times.

Eventually, Campbell was arrested for obstructing a public official and investigation of assault 3. As Campbell was escorted to the patrol car, the incident report says “she raised her leg as if to kick” an officer.

The initial inclination was to charge Campbell for assault 3, a felony, but the King County Prosecutor’s Office rarely charges for assault 3 against an officer. Instead, the Seattle City Attorney’s office charged Campbell with a misdemeanor charge of “Obstructing Public Officer – physical interference” on March 15.

‘You’re booking me? For real?’

Some of the bodycam footage from the evening was provided to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH via public disclosure request. The footage does not yet include anything from the scene of the crime.

While briefly held at the East Precinct, Cambell seemed skeptical that she was being booked.

“You’re booking me? For real?” she asked one of the officers before laughing.

An officer explained she was being booked for assault.

“Assault?” she asked.

“Yeah, for pushing an officer on the scene,” the officer responded.

“For pushing an officer on the scene?” she repeated.

She asked for all body camera footage to be preserved.

“Is that clear?” she asked.

Campbell now faces up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $5,000. According to court documents, Katharine Edwards, a public defense attorney, represents Campbell.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Public defender charged for obstructing Seattle police at bar, smelled of alcohol