Dashcam video from 2010 incident depicts Seattle officer striking man

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 7:27 PM

We've seen them many times before, but the controversial police dashcam videos keep hitting the spotlight.

On Friday, Seattle Police launched an investigation of a two-year-old incident after a citizen filed a claim earlier in the morning.

Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said officers' training has changed in two years since the incident. He said officers are supposed to speak and listen with equity and dignity and "Did that happen here? It doesn't look like that to me."

It was December 29, 2010, when Isacc Ocak parked his car at a West Seattle shopping center and left the engine running and the car  doors locked. Police found it suspicious.

"Most people don't leave their car running.  Robbers leave their cars running," said Whitcomb, who reviewed the video for reporters today at SPD headquarters.

On the video (watch below), Officer Larry Longley and others put Ocak's hands on the squad car as he provided them with his identification information.  At that point, police had discovered Ocak had a juvenille arrest record, but he had not done anything illegal at the parking lot scene.

"Why are you being so rude to me?" asked Ocak. Longley answered, "I don't have to be nice to you."

Officers put Ocak in handcuffs and when he stiffened his body, Officer Longley pulled on Ocak's head by putting his hand in Ocak's mouth.  Ocak bit down on the officer's finger, prompting the officer to punch him twice in the head as other officers held him down.

"Ultimately, the officer gets his finger injured. Issak gets his face injured. It's wasted tax money flying out the window," said James Egan, Ocak's attorney.

Ocak was booked into jail but never charged with a crime.

Now Ocak is suing SPD for $100,000 in damages for doctor bills and for losing his job.

SPD's Office Of Professional Accountability is conducting an investigation of the incident.

"We have a complaint. Every aspect of the stop will be looked at. The officer's demeanor, professionalism, language, even use of force," said Whitcomb.

Last month, Assistant Chief Jim Pugel looked at the video and approved the use of force.

Officer Longley, a 15-year veteran, is still on the street and in 2011, won a distinguished service award.

Associated Press contributed.

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