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Seattle Officer Suspended for 'Gutter' Language

May 25, 2011  | 

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz suspended three patrol officers for using "gutter language" during a traffic stop with two suspected gang members.

The chief handed out 20 days without pay to two officers and 15 days without pay to the third.

The three officers — Corey Williams, 30; Brett Schoenberg, 26; and Casey Steiger, 27 — confronted the men during a reckless-driving stop.

The driver and passenger were identified by police as MS-13 gang members, under supervision by the state Department of Corrections.

During the stop, the two men used profanity while talking of hurting and fighting with the officers, saying they deserved to be killed, reports the Seattle Times.

Source: Seattle Times

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Skedge @ 5/25/2011 4:59 PM

I believe the punishment is too harsh. LEO's are suppose to be better than the people they come in contact with. I believe the community would have been better served with maybe a five day suspension.

Mike @ 5/26/2011 8:06 AM

What is wrong with LEO's using profanity if it is used in the context of the contact. I do not think we shoud use profanity at someone but some times you need to curse to get your point across. The susspensions are extreem

ET @ 5/26/2011 7:19 PM

Really?? Well I suppose it depends on what these officers really said; and I'm not saying we should encourage profanity and unprofessional "gutter language" out in the field, but 15-20 days w/o pay is pretty uncalled for. It gives the bad guys more leverage and credibility to undermine your authority.

Randy @ 5/26/2011 7:42 PM

Good thing the Officers didn't forget to wear their hats during the encounter or they would have received another five days.

Morning Eagle @ 5/26/2011 7:57 PM

Looks like Chief Diaz hasn't heard of the recent SCOTUS ruling in Snyder vs. Phelps. Phelps is that bunch of slugs that has protested at over 600 military funerals spewing their hate and insults in the faces of those grieving for the fallen Warriors. The court held that their hate filled speech, shouts, signs, etc., are protected as free speech. So, doesn't that mean anyone can say anything to anyone? While it is generally agreed that LEO's are held to a higher standard, in this case there were two apparent MS-13 members talking their own profanity about hurting or even killing these officers. Everyone should know by now that the Hispanic MS-13 is one of the most, if not the most, violent gangs in this hemisphere. So DIAZ gets all upset because they got cussed at and goes way overboard to discipline the officers. Might there be some reverse discrimination involved here?

JJ Golliday @ 5/27/2011 5:43 AM

As a 30 yr. LEO I can assure you that this type of language is necessary to communicate with these individuals. I have tried the nice way and had NO luck, when you go down to their level they listen. SIMPLE.

Sean @ 5/27/2011 6:43 AM

Sounds like the Chief has a hug a thug mentality and is way out of touch with what the Courts allow us to do.

Joe G @ 5/27/2011 6:31 PM

MS13 members need to be treated like an infestation of killer bees or fire ants. They are very dangerous, and often kill anyone that gets in their way. I don't want them in US prisons. Deporting them south of the border is a waste of time, since they will come right back. The only ways to deal with the MS13 infestation is to either execute them immediately, or deport them to a foreign country and pay the government to keep them in jail. An African nation would welcome the funds. Of course, we will do neither. Instead, our officers are being suspended for talking back in a disrespectful way to the foreign invaders.

wolfva @ 6/8/2011 3:49 AM

One day a crackhead tried to disembowel me with a 6" hunting knife. I pulled my firearm and said, "SIR! Drop the weapon or I shall be forced to discharge my firearm!" as I had been instructed to do. He looked at me as if I was speaking Greek, and continued his attack. So, I rephrased my request in, ahem, street lingo. Comprehension immediately dawned in his eyes and he dropped the knife. The lesson? Speak to people in the language which they understand. Although I am a strong proponent of professional language, there are times when saltier language gets the job done.

WESLEY @ 6/9/2011 10:12 PM


michael @ 6/11/2011 5:40 PM

I guess this chief has not been on the street in awhile. I know that these AH gangbangers must have been offended by the officers language. This is such a bunch of most a written reprimand would have serve its purpose. This chief thinks he is going to change things by disciplining officers for stuff like this. What the hell is he going to do for something an officer really does wrong. I can tell you, fire them. What an AH chief, sounds like he is trying to make a name for himself.

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