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Seattle officer who punched woman in handcuffs should be reinstated, review says

An independent review of a Seattle police officer's termination found that he should not have been fired after punching a handcuffed woman in the face.
Credit: Pittman, Travis
(Credit: KING)

Editor's note: The attached video was published in 2014 following the altercation.

A Seattle police officer fired in 2014 for punching a handcuffed woman in the face can return to his job, according to an independent arbitrator's decision.

"The arbitrator ruled that Officer [Adley] Shepard should not have been terminated and is to be returned to employment with SPD," the Seattle Police Officer's Guild (SPOG) said in a statement.

SPOG announced the decision Tuesday, saying the City and Guild agreed on the selection of the arbitrator prior to the review hearing.

The Seattle City Attorney's Office spoke out against Shepard's reinstatement.

“We’re disappointed in the decision and strongly disagree with it," Dan Nolte, communications director for the Seattle City Attorney's Office said in a statement. "We’re reviewing the decision and evaluating all available options.”

Adley Shepard was terminated by then-Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole because his “conduct was in stark contrast to the expectations set forth for our officers, and particularly our heightened duty of care to those in custody.”

The King County Prosecutor did not press criminal charges against Shepherd for the 2014 incident. The Washington State Patrol also investigated the use of force by Shepherd and concluded that "he acted in a way inconsistent with the training and policy by not using the time and resources available to him. As a result, he unnecessarily placed himself in greater danger and caused unnecessary and foreseeable injury to the handcuffed suspect."

On June 22, 2014, Shepherd responded to a call about a possible domestic violence incident in South Seattle. The woman involved, Miyekko Durden-Bosley, allegedly threatened her ex-boyfriend. When Shepherd arrived, the situation escalated, and Durden-Bosley was put in handcuffs.

Dash cam footage recorded Durden-Bosley in the squad car denying she made threats. Shepherd said she was drunk and combative, although Durden-Bosley said that wasn’t true.

It is unclear whether Durden-Bosley actually kicked Shepherd, but footage records Shepherd saying, “She kicked me.” Then Shepherd punched her in the face.

The punch broke Durden-Bosley’s eye socket and caused a concussion.

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