TIMES: Seattle officer punched a handcuffed man, says witness

TIMES: Seattle officer punched a handcuffed man, says witness

TIMES: Seattle officer punched a handcuffed man, says witness

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by MIKE CARTER / Seattle Times

KING5.com

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 19 at 12:16 PM

Seattle police have opened an internal investigation into the arrest last week of a man who a witness said was punched by an officer after he was handcuffed and on the ground, according to a department spokesman.

The arrest was witnessed by a freelance radio reporter, who called her boyfriend, a KIRO radio talk-show host, to the scene. They claim they were met with denial, belligerence and anger by a sergeant when they asked how the reporter, Vanessa Romo, could file a statement about what she had seen.

Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a department spokesman, said Tuesday that Romo's version of events appears "pretty consistent with what happened" — punches apparently were thrown after the suspect was in custody and handcuffed.

The man was arrested after he wandered into traffic on Rainier Avenue South Thursday night.

The officers reported that the man had spit on them, and one of them was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be screened for exposure to pathogens, Whitcomb said.

Click here for more details from the Seattle Times.

Copyright: The Seattle Times

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