Seattle Police Union Leader Advises Officers to Lay Low After Criticism


After a controversial police killing of a civilian in Seattle, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat says a patrol officer tells him he frequently hears people ask, “Are you going to murder me, too?” Said the officer: “People we stop at some point say, ‘Don’t shoot me, man!’ I try to have thick skin and not let it get to me.” A steady drip-drip of videos highlighting strong-arm police tactics, coupled with the pointless killing of an Indian woodcarver, have left cop and citizen alike angry or, at the least, eyeing one another suspiciously, Westneat says

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild president, Sgt. Rich O’Neill, told officers, “”You are paid to use your discretion and there are many ways to do police work. Recent events should show us that many in the city really don’t want aggressive officers who generate on-view incidents. They want officers who avoid controversy and simply respond when summoned by 911.” He’s saying, in other words: “Lay low,” Westneat says. O’Neill adds: “If there’s borderline criminal or suspicious activity, I say let it go. Don’t go out on a limb. It’s not worth it, because if it goes sideways, you’re going to be the latest poster child on the news.”

Comments are closed.