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Seattle Teen Suing Police Over Jaywalking Arrest

Seattle Post Intelligencer via YellowBrix

August 19, 2010

SEATTLE – A Seattle teen who says three Seattle police officers beat him after he jaywalked last summer near his home in the Queen Anne neighborhood has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department and the city of Seattle.

Joseph Wilson was talking on his cellphone while walking in the 600 block of West Smith Street the evening of July 21, 2009, when he was confronted by Officer Daniel Amador, according to the lawsuit filed this week in King County Superior Court.

Wilson, then 17, told the officer he did not have any identification but that he lived nearby. Wilson also told the officer his family is friends with Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel.

Wilson said Amador told him to call Pugel, but instead he called a friend’s father to report what was going on, the lawsuit said. Wilson said Amador then cursed at him, grabbed him by the arm and tried to yank him into his patrol car.

Amador told Wilson there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest — a false claim, according to the teen’s lawyer — and was taking him into custody.

The friend’s father, Pat McClure, showed up and videotaped what was happening, the lawsuit said.

“He saw Joey being beaten and that was videotaped,” said lawyer Alisa Brodkowitz, who is representing Wilson. The video, according to the lawsuit, shows the youth being beaten by three officers: Amador, Sgt. Eddie Rivera and Lt. A. Williams.

Wilson was struck in the face and stomach by the officers, the lawsuit said. The youth was taken to the department’s West Precinct and later released to his mother.

He was treated for a broken nose and a concussion, the lawsuit said.

Seattle police spokeswoman Reneé Witt said the allegations against the three officers named in the lawsuit, as well as a fourth officer who was at the scene but not named in the court filing, were investigated by the department. The four officers were exonerated by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), Witt said.

“It is unfortunate that a contact involving a relatively minor offense escalated and subsequently required police use of force to bring a resistive suspect under control,” Witt said in a statement.

Witt said the officers used force to arrest Wilson because the teen was combative, uncooperative and refused to get out of the street while walking and talking on his phone.

On Nov. 6, Wilson was again confronted in his neighborhood by a Seattle police officer, the lawsuit said. An officer, who was present during the July incident, threw Wilson to the ground twice and arrested him, the suit said. The name of the officer was not released by police or lawyers for Wilson.

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  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The date was July 21, 2009 when the incident occurs and no one filed a lawsuit until this week???? WHY did it take so long???? If there was a problem with the incident then the situation should have been handled then. There should be a very short time limit to file suits.

    “It is unfortunate that a contact involving a relatively minor offense escalated and subsequently required police use of force to bring a resistive suspect under control,” Witt said in a statement.

    I believe this says it all.

  • Memorialbadge_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The clean cut ones are the ones who have family members who are lawyers....FYI.... lol

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    Amazing what some people will believe. This is a clear case of a subject RESISTING ARREST! The reason so many officers have hands on is so that one officer does not have to apply excess force to get him to comply. If one officer were trying to take this guy down I can bet that alot of damage would have been inflicted with an ask, oc or taser. People need to use their heads and think, We are not in the habit of getting hurt, not when we dont have to.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Excuse me!!!.I see the punk resisting the whole time.Typical"get rich quick attorney" and a low life trying to take a municipality to the cleaners.Happens every day.No,I don't have anything against attorneys,my father was one as well as my Nephew andm his wife.I even went through one year of law school.This ,however, is a common scam.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Pay me and my lawyer. Jerk=$50,000. Easier to get off the phone and move over to the sidewalk. He might settle for an apology and a bag of money. Why am I not surprised. "Joe the Jaywalker" on Oprah?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    solution, stop more j-walkers.

  • 041711141420_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Wow.... the kid is just some no life who can't wait to file a false law suit... I hate it how some people have to sue the police just because there pissed off after the officer threw them down to the ground after they's like these people don't know laws or the rules and policies that police officers follow.

  • 21_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I kept waiting to see the beating begin, Just another turd wanting to cash in on a lawsuit.

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50


    about 4 years ago


    I watched the video several times after reading the article. At no time did I observe a single act that remotely lean towards any kind of excessive force, a fact that was acknowledged by the department's own internal affairs investigation which no doubt, used this very video to either sustain or deny the allegation(s). In my career, if I had a dollar for each time I have heard someone claim to know the chief, mayor or what-ever, I would have a nice lengthy vacation somewhere. So you know the assistant chief or whomever....... WHO THE HXXX GIVES A RATS FLESHY HINDQUARTERS? NOT ME. It was after the kid made the statement that he knew the assistant chief that the officer told him to go ahead and call him......... He did not order the kid to call anyone.

    I know........ The video does not show any of the events that occurred prior to the record button being pressed, but if I had to guess the officers recorders were likely on and would further clear the officers involved in this incident. The article clearly stated that instead of calling the assistant chief, the kid called the person who responded to the location with the video camera. If I were a betting person, I would lay odds that the cameraman was near the location all along and that this incident was staged in the attempt to win the lottery. If this is proved and the lawsuit proceeds to fall apart, I would hope that appropriate charges are filed against all those involved in filing the false report and use of force claim against the officers.

  • 48n02-2-9_22-6__max50


    about 4 years ago


    I agree with lkdavis71.

  • 2008_masonic_coin_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The video doesn't show everything. My perception is the actor was being combative. The so called narration is obviously by someone who doesn't know didly about police work. When I was a teen, I would have never thought about arguing or being uncooperative with the police. In fact I loved talking with them, not so much if I was in trouble, but I was raised to have respect for LEO's. I raised my son the same way. If cops came to my neighborhood, all us kids would say hi to them and ask them tons of questions. Now the kids run away.

    I hope this turns out well for PD, especially if they are not guilty of the accusations.

  • Draped_badge_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Ok I HATE these videos because they show half a story and those of us that work(ed) the streets know there is another side. I never went out of muster saying I'm gonna find me someone and F them up today..But if the situation arose and that's what happened, well so sad to bad I didn't start it, I just Ended it... If he was jaywalking, even though it is a bogus charge, in many cities it is illegal so they have the authority to arrest or detain and release on a summons...Special needs how? I know some special needs kids that are nasty sobs, I know some that are pussy cats,,, too broad a statement. Crap happened, the economy stinks, lets sue the PD maybe we can get some money...Plain and simple, you'll see these bogus lawsuits go up, just as the offenders get more violent as times get more and more desperate...Remember people are po'd at the government, and the police are looked on as an extension of the government.

  • M_a6d52838fcaf76871a3f162b66e0b424_max600_max50


    about 4 years ago


    if you go down. Dont don't get hurt..plain and simple. It is obvious he resisted..I am so sick of people blaming others for thier own problems. I totally agree..BOGUS.. and the kid should have to pay for court fees and lost time of the officers.

  • Photo__1__max50


    about 4 years ago


    I am sick of peoples stupid comments. PL needs to make this site exclusive to law enforcement personnel only!!

  • Justice-400_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I'm not really seeing the excessive force, so there must not be any. Bogus lawsuit, all the officers were reviewed and exonerated by their department. So...yeah, he wants money. Hopefully the suit gets dropped. Keep doing a good job Seattle LEO's. A lot of us here support you.

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