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Video: Seattle Officer Fired for Bias Case

September 17, 2015  | 

VIDEO: Seattle Officer Fired for Bias Case

A Seattle Police Department officer involved in the wrongful arrest of an elderly man with a golf club was fired Tuesday, reports KIRO-TV.

The officer, Cynthia Whitlatch, was previously removed from public patrol duties in January by order of Mayor Ed Murray. Whitlatch, who is white, expressed a strong belief that the disciplinary actions against her were done because key people involved in the case were black.

William Wingate, 70, was arrested by Whitlatch while walking in Capitol Hill in July 2014. It was the first time he had been arrested. He was using a golf club as a cane. Wingate, who is African-American, said he believes the arrest was racially motivated.

Whitlatch claimed that Wingate swung the club at her, even though there was no indication of that on her patrol car's dashcam. The charges against Wingate were later dismissed, but several other behavioral complaints about Whitlatch surfaced including one based on racially-charged Facebook posts.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

OTJblue @ 9/17/2015 2:27 PM

She says clearly several times that the subject swung his golf club at her at an intersection as she was turning NOT during the videotaped subject contact, which this is. The subject contact is the only video available because she did not hit R or her lights when he swung his club at her. So to say in this article that there was "no indication" of that on her dashcam is misleading.

kevCopAz @ 9/17/2015 4:40 PM

Don't know facts about the cop, but I thought the Chief (s) "ran their own department"? Obviously another political falsehood that we all know is not true. Proof again that Chiefs (for the most part) are more likely to be political whores then truly independent Law Enforcement Officials. Sad but true, we need to go back to the day when Chiefs were hired under CIVIL service rules and not manipulated like puppets. Back then the Chief was only able to be fired due to criminal actions or other malfeasance in office not at the whim of a politician who checks the political winds before making any decision rather then doing the right thing. ALL big city Chiefs are now "under contract" which is really means "under the thumb" of political bosses. I KNOW this to be true. When I was hired in 1979 in Phx, Chief was a civil service position and butted heads with Mayor/city council all the time on important issues and won! He won because he did the right thing and stood up to politics!

nyc @ 9/19/2015 1:01 AM

I'm guessing the video linked here is the one released by the SPD, which is somewhat abridged. A longer version appears to show the earlier encounter (or lack thereof) with Wingate (approaching on the right) at about 0:20 as the car turns the corner onto E. 11th from E. Pike ...

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