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Friday, February 27, 2009

Video Released Of King County Sheriff Beating 15 Year Old Female Detainee

Updated video that shows what happened before, during, and after the girl was assaulted in the holding cell.

As we reported earlier this month, King County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Schene plead not guilty to fourth degree assault over what took place in the video shown above. If convicted he only faces a maximum of one year in jail.

The video was taken on November 29th in a SeaTac, Washington holding cell, south of Seattle, Washington. The video shows deputy Schene, another deputy, and a 15-year-old girl, (now identified as Malika Calhoun), he arrested on suspicion of auto theft for driving her parents' car.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer, who obtained the video after the judge allowed it to be released, also quotes from the deputy's report:

Schene wrote that the shoe hit him in the right shin, "causing injury and pain." He wrote that he "placed" her into handcuffs and that she needed medical attention for a "panic attack."

He wrote that he required treatment at Auburn General Hospital for a "blood filled pocket" on his shin, according to his report. The video, however, appears to show his shin strike a metal toilet in the cell as he pushes the girl against the wall.
Schene's attorney, Anne Bremner, who represents most officers in Seattle in criminal and civil cases, argued desperately with the judge in this case to keep this video from being released, suggesting that there is more to this story than we're seeing...

You tell me, what more could there be?


Karl Mansoor said...

The deputy is a pathetic disgrace. He needs to spend plenty of time in jail and never pin the badge on again...and his attorney...she needs to get real.

I put the incident up on my site also. It was too important not to...actually all these incidents of misconduct are too important to not widely publicize.

Packratt said...

Thank you Karl!

It's a rarity that these videos get released here in Seattle. Generally they sneak out instead of being officially released by a judge or through a FOIA request since they're generally covered by state and local secrecy laws as well as police union agreements.

...and, of course, we see exactly why those unions and their lawyers fight so damn hard to keep them out of the public eye.

Really, once you think about it, keeping this stuff quiet is every bit as criminal as what that other officer did in that holding cell by not stopping his partner or speaking up about what happened.

Thanks again, I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Since this officer obviously lied about how he sustained injury in the course of this event, its fair to assume that he also has lied in the past to save his own skin. Therefore, the prior shooting incident should also be reviewed carefully. Its disheartening to see this kind of abuse of power, especially targeted at a young defenseless teenage girl. Whats even more disheartening is that this type of thing happens all the time and is rarely brought to the public eye.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are many citizens of King, and Snohomish Counties that are sick and tired of the handful of police that use their badge as a right to harass, harm, and lie for their benefit.

I can only hope that there are enough law enforcement officers that are honest enough and have the integrity to uphold the law even if it means blowing the whistle on one of their own.

It is a pity the lies that some of the officers put in their reports to cover their butts whether it's to make a ticket stick, or to cover up the truth.

They are an injustice to those officers and citizens who do their best to protect and serve.

Packratt said...

anonymous #1,

Of course, that would only stand to reason... though, it apparently seems that there aren't many cops around that use reason these days. Using their logic, why would they want to uncover more abuses that would make them look worse?

This is why, if his past incidents were to be investigated, it should be done by an independent unbiased party, not more police.

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous #2,

Maybe, but here's the rub...

We can only go by faith that the number of bad are less than the number of good. Yet, based on evidence in that with every incident that ends up uncovered we find that that incident was first, well, covered up.

So, now we must wonder, how many more remain covered up? If that's a large number, then we cannot presume that more cops are good than bad.

But, we don't know and can't know.

Why? Because every time a video like this surfaces the police unions redouble their efforts to keep them from surfacing again by pressing the legislators they supported into putting out new laws that restrict our right to know about these abuses, laws that hide these videos, laws that keep their records of misconduct confidential.

...which sadly forces us to conclude that they do it only because they have something to hide. Which, sadly, doesn't make the lot of them look to good.

If more are good than bad, then they should welcome more scrutiny with open arms. Wouldn't you think?

Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I guess they never heard the saying two wrongs don't make a right

Packratt said...

To be honest, I'm fairly certain that Schene wasn't thinking all that much. More than likely he was operating on pure uncontrolled rage.

And that's the problem, that lack of control. We know there are consequences for us when we lose control and that those consequences are severe.

For an officer, they know that when they let themselves lose control that other officers will help cover up the incident, that prosecutors will go light on them or refuse to prosecute, and that their union will appeal any disciplinary action that might cost them their job.

They don't have the same restraints that keep their behavior in check like you or I do... and that's why it happens so often.

Thank you for the comment!

tim said...

As a former resident of Seattle, I was disturbed but not surprised by the video. Your site is so far the only site that is not bashing the young girl. Other sites and bloggers blame the girl for being there (if she hadn't been there, it wouldn't happened). They are so quick to discount and pretend discrimination and injustice like this doesn't exist even after you have video proof. They are no better than the inept police boards and other governing boards selected and elected to safeguard the system but instead cover up and ignore facts to protect the status quo. Albeit, the unions and their lawyers. Once you have been randomly (selectively) detained; had privacy invaded; harassed; and embarrassed by someone in authority (local police, highway patrolman, forest preserve police, county sheriff, FBI, IRS, corrupt government officials) because of their mistakes and even worse, their abuse of their authority; you will understand. 7 out of 10 cases are going to be race or gender based hate crimes as reported by the US government statistics. The remaining 3 are cover-ups for authority abuse and mistakes. And according to government statistics, such events are on the rise despite a greater number of video and audio documentation. If the checks and balances in the system were working; there would be no need for such but “wake up and smell the coffee”, they are not working. I would encourage your readers to go to some of these other sites and make their feelings known as I have. You may just enlighten someone in the process.

Packratt said...

It is a feedback loop, isn't it.

People are trained from an early age to trust police officers.

Officers realize that it's unlikely that they will be held accountable because of that implicit trust.

Officers who do abuse that trust avoid discipline because of that trust and because of the police culture which puts duty to other officers above duty to the law and the people. officers feel safe to lose control, they feel safe to abuse others, all because there is a lack of accountability.

It's the same principle that makes road rage so common, people feel safer in their cars so they let go of the controls they keep over their behaviors and snap easier... it's simply the same process.

A survey in 2006 found over 3/4 of US citizens completely trusted the police, they ranked 4th in a list of most trusted professions. Hence it's rare for a jury to convict an officer charged for brutality.

This is why it's so hard for prosecutors to win cases against police officers even when there is video like this.

...and it's that inability to hold them accountable that leads to more videos like this...

As I said, it's a feedback loop.

Thanks for your comment, and thank you for your efforts in getting more people to pay attention to this issue.

Anonymous said...

they gave him a mis. charge instead of a Felony so he could keep his job, once he get a felony he wouldn't be able to work as a cop or any time that requires him to carry a gun.

Packratt said...

That's correct... I should have explained to our out-of-state visitors that it's entirely possible, if not probable, that officer Schene will not be fired for this.

A misdemeanor conviction on it's own is not grounds for termination in the Seattle/King County PDs. Officers have done worse and stayed on the job, some even got promotions.

Thanks for the comment! said...

4th degree assault? You've got to be kidding me! I bet this guy won't serve one day of jail and in fact he may not even lose his job!

Police Brutality

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed off, and would like to note that often...the line between Criminal and Officer is very thin. Like opposite sides of a mirror.
I hope this raging testosterone meatbag gets his comuppance. He is trash. A shit for brains shirtless beer pounding racist tough guy. A bully in the truest idea of the word, fucking disgusting. A SCHMUK!! What a piece of garbage. A pox on him. Lets lock him away for life, give him the fucking death penalty. If you aspire to be a civil servant then you can't do this kind of shit.

Note to moderator: i'd enjoy if my comment appeared in full, however, if you find the latter half of it entirely out of line, then please feel free to edit anything after "mirror," cheers!

Packratt said...

Thank you for the comment, anonymous.

First, I left your comment intact, I didn't perceive it as anything illegal or unwarranted. I understand the frustration and outrage that this case evokes, trust me, it infuriated me to watch this video as well... but, I didn't need to watch the video to know that it was entirely likely that what was said about the case prior to that release was, indeed, exactly what happened.

So, more than the video frustrates me, it's that this is the one case of many where there was actually video that allowed charges to be pressed against the officer, where usually there is no video, or none released at least, and the victim gets abused by the system as well as the officer involved.

But... in spite of that, it is important that we maintain a balance and remain fair about how we address these cases and not seek to unbalance the system to overly punish officers who abuse the authority we entrusted in their care.

Our response to what has happened must be fair, must seek to address the root cause of this kind of abuse, and address it in a way that benefits society as a whole by helping to prevent this kind of mistreatment and find better ways of dealing with it when it does happen.

After all, I agree that Assault 4, a misdemeanor, is obviously a ridiculously inadequate charge to address an incident like this, but it was the only legal charge the prosecutor could use against Schene. But, to be honest, I don't think life in prison or the death penalty is a realistic punishment for the crime we witnessed either.

Of course, I say this as a person who has seen too many officers let off without discipline for such cases, and some who were even promoted for doing much more harm to people than this. So, it would be a victory in and of itself that a conviction of any sort comes from this and if that officer never worked in law enforcement again.

Though, the best I could hope for is if the state laws are changed so that abuse of this sort by police would be made into a felony offense in it's own right so we'd never have to worry again about an officer getting off light just by knowing how the system works.

Thank you again for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I recently spent some time in king county jail, both RJC and the down town seattle facility. this video is shocking, outrageous, and just a glimpse of the atrocious behavior plaguing king county department of corrections. i have witnessed worse than this video. yes, worse than a grown man beating a 15 year old girl. are you serious? it has to stop or it will simply get much, much worse. people wont stand for it, i wont stand for it. the potential long, and short term repercussions are dire on for both sides of the fence. ya dig? guilty until proven innocent. FUCK PIGS.

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