Video of 2012 incident shows SPD officer striking man

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by LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @LByronK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

KING 5 News obtained video Tuesday of a 2012 incident where a Seattle Police officer is seen punching a handcuffed man before being pulled away by other officers.

The video was released after the officer -- Chris Hairston -- reached a deal Tuesday to avoid prosecution for his actions.

The incident happened on Sept. 24, 2012, near the campus of Seattle Central Community College on Seattle's Capitol Hill. It started when Hairston heard over his radio that his wife, also an SPD officer, had been punched by a man she was questioning.

Hairston drove to the scene near SCCC and confronted the man. The dashcam  video released Tuesday shows the man being held by a female officer against a patrol car. It shows Hairston reaching in and punching the handcuffed man, then grabbing him around the neck before being restrained.

Under the deferred prosecution deal reached Tuesday, Hairston agreed to perform 120 hours of community service and pay court costs. If he stays out of trouble for two years, the misdemeanor assault charge will be dropped.

The man who punched Hairston's wife plead guilty to 4th degree assault.

An SPD spokesperson was unable to confirm whether Hairston remains on duty or on administrative leave. The department said an investigation of Hairston's actions is pending with the Office of Professional Accountability.

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