OPA opens probe over incident where Seattle officers appear to be beating man

Jun 5, 2024, 6:39 PM | Updated: 7:14 pm

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle can be seen parked in the city of Seattle....

A Seattle Police Department vehicle can be seen parked in the city of Seattle. (Photo courtesy of the Seattle Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of the Seattle Police Department)

Seattle’s civilian police watchdog agency confirmed Wednesday it is investigating Seattle officers seen on social media appearing to beat a man.

The video, posted by a witness to Instagram last week, shows Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers striking a man at a bus stop while attempting to arrest him. One officer was using a baton and the other was using his fists. The man could be heard yelling, “Police brutality!” in the video.

At one point, one of the officers appears to put his knee on the man’s upper back or neck. SPD policy prohibits such tactics by its officers.

The video posted online does not show what lead up to the confrontation. It is also not clear why the man was under arrest.

A spokesperson for the city of Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) confirmed to KIRO Newsradio Wednesday the office has opened an “intake investigation” into the incident, but it will not comment any further.

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When online users get to the website that allows people to check and track complaint statuses, it says the investigation was opened Monday and that, “OPA has received the complaint and a preliminary investigation has begun.” The process, which includes the OPA director reviewing the file, takes up to 30 days, the website states.

Deeanthony Marcell, the man who recorded the video, told KING 5 he doesn’t have to wait for the full story to judge the matter he saw unfold because he felt he was witnessing an injustice. KING 5 was one of the first Seattle outlets to report this story.

“It is never OK,” Marcell said. “And that’s the only reason why I recorded it.”

A spokesperson for Seattle City Council member Tammy Morales told KING 5 the matter is serious and said their office will look into what happened. The incident took place in her district.

KIRO Newsradio has requested body camera footage of the arrest from the SPD.

Contributing: Heather Bosch and Sam Campbell, KIRO Newsradio; Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest

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