SEATTLE - It’s been nearly three years since Jeff Gold’s jaywalking encounter in Seattle with King County Deputy Matt Paul, and Gold still has the scars.
"Right here,” said Gold, pointing to his nose. “When Officer Paul thrust me to the sidewalk, this was the first part that hit.”
Gold said he was walking to his Queen Anne home when he stopped to videotape Paul, who was confronting some intoxicated people at a bus shelter. Gold said Paul first ordered him to leave the scene, then, when he jaywalked, Paul charged after him, knocked him to the ground and broke his nose.
Gold said Paul tackled him from behind.
“He kind of kicked my legs out from under me and dropped me to the ground,” Gold said.
Gold was arrested, but never charged. He complained in writing about his treatment by Deputy Paul. Gold wanted an investigation, but his demands fell on deaf ears.
Gold eventually sued the deputy for using excessive force and then-Sheriff Sue Rahr for not taking action. King County has agreed to pay Gold $75,000 to drop the lawsuit.
King County has already paid more than $11 million to another innocent man - Chris Harris, who was left brain damaged when Deputy Paul tackled him into a wall in 2009.
The KING 5 Investigators exposed Deputy Paul’s history of using unnecessary force and a pattern of citizen complaints against him. Last year, the FBI launched a preliminary investigation into Paul in connection with the Gold & Harris incidents.
The FBI conducts “color of the law” investigations in cases where officers may have used the power of the badge to deprive people of their civil liberties. FBI Public Affairs Officer Ayn Dietrich wouldn’t say whether federal agents are still investigating, only that the FBI “takes complaints regarding violations of federal law seriously.”
Meantime, newly elected Sheriff John Urquhart said he's keeping a close eye on every deputy's use of force.
"We're going to thoroughly investigate and document uses of force. We're going to use best practices to do that and we're going to change our policies and procedures to make sure that that happens,” Urquhart said.
Matt Paul remains on the force, working in southeast King County.
As for Jeff Gold, he said he’s done with jaywalking. He now crosses at the light.