Seattle police chief finalists react to stomping incident

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 12 at 5:58 PM

SEATTLE - The selection of three finalists for the job of Seattle police chief comes less than a week after the airing of a disturbing video in which a Latino man was stomped on by police and a racially charged comment was made.

The two out of town finalists, East Palo Alto, Calif. Police Chief Ron Davis and Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, say they have seen the tape. Davis says he found the video troubling.

"Job number one right now is we have a crisis in front of us. It's an incident-based crisis. Our job is to start using that as an opportunity," said Davis.

"There's no one in the country who has watched that video that isn't shocked by it," said Braziel. "You need to deal with it, be up front, candid, talk about it. So, I'm prepared for that."

The third candidate is Seattle's interim police chief, John Diaz, who has come under fire for the treatment of the Latino suspect. The director of Seattle's El Centro De La Raza, Estela Ortega, says they support Chief Diaz.

"Race is a big problem. It's now out on the table. I think John Diaz can deal with that and help address it," said Ortega.

But, Seattle NAACP President James Bible says his group strongly opposes Diaz.

"We feel at this point our relationship with him is so strained we can barely work with him. We will seek to, of course," said Bible.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will pick a final candidate by mid-June. The nominee will need the approval of the Seattle City Council.
 

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