SEATTLE – The Latino man stomped on by Seattle police officers broke his silence Wednesday as he filed a federal lawsuit against the city and two police officers.
The incident was captured on video in April 2010. Martin Monetti and two other men were detained by police investigating an armed robbery by Latino suspects near Lake Union.
While Monetti was face down on the ground, Seattle Police Detective Shandy Cobane was seen on video stomping on Monetti. Cobane could be heard telling Monetti he is going to “beat the (expletive) Mexican piss out of you, homey. You feel me?”
Officer Mary Woollum was also seen stomping on Monetti's leg.
"It hurt me I was treated this way by police officers who are supposed to protect people who live and work in Seattle," said Monetti Wednesday. "It also bothered me that there were many other officers who just stood around and watched and did nothing."
"It was horrifying to see a video of our son being stomped, kicked and sworn while he lay on the ground," said Margarita Monetti, Martin's mother.
Monetti said he was out celebrating his birthday and only witnessed the crime the police were investigating.
The City of Seattle, Cobane and Woollum are named in the lawsuit. Although a dollar amount was not discussed Wednesday, previous legal documents suggested Monetti was asking for $750,000 in compensation.
"Officer Cobane and none of the other officers on the scene have been disciplined or fired, and that's a problem," said Lorena Gonzales, Monetti's attorney.
Cobane was not charged with a hate crime, despite demands to do so by the NAACP and other groups. He was removed from his prestigious position in the SPD gang unit and suspended for 30 days without pay and ordered to reach out to the Latino community.
Seattle Police issued a response saying the officers had reasonable suspicion to detain Monetti and that Cobane has acknowledged his wrongdoing and has already been disciplined.
The Department of Justice has launched a probe of Seattle Police practices after a number of high-profile encounters between officers and minority suspects in the past year.