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Police watchdog to probe if Seattle police captain arrested in prostitution sting had preferential treatment

Office of Police Accountability to look at the arrest of Seattle Police Capt. Randal Woolery during a prostitution sting last year.

SEATTLE — Seattle's Office of Police Accountability will look into whether Seattle Police Capt. Randal Woolery received preferential treatment while being arrested in a prostitution sting.

The Seattle Times broke the news of a body cam video showing a sergeant telling Woolery that he would make the arrest as "painless as possible," before turning off the camera. 

The Times also reported that Woolery was in contact with high-ranking officers almost immediately and taken downtown instead of the north precinct. He also was given an expedited booking and release.

KING 5 reported in November 2019 that Woolery, 53, was placed on administration leave after his arrest on suspicion of sexual exploitation, a charge for patronizing a prostitute.  

The 31-year veteran with the department, was placed on administrative leave after his arrest. Woolery was assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau. 

RELATED: Seattle police captain arrested for sexual exploitation during undercover operation

Andrew Myerberg, who heads Seattle's Office of Police Accountability, said OPA will look into whether or not Woolery received preferential treatment from the chain of command

"That's definitely an aspect of the case we're going to look into," Myerberg said.

He added that retired Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best had looked into the body cam issue before she left her position.

"Turning off the body cam has been looked at, investigated and deemed to be a violation of policy. And before she retired, Chief Best approved that case, and imposed discipline on the sergeant who imposed discipline on the sergeant," he said.

Woolery's misdemeanor case has been held up because of the COVID crisis. He also continues to serve as a commissioner on the board of Snohomish County Fire District 7.

The allegations add a new layer as reform remains a hot topic in this town.

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