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Seattle Police Officer Punches Woman On Tape in Jaywalking Incident


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A witness video of a police officer punching a young woman during a jaywalking incident escalated has been stirring up controversy after it was shown on several television stations.

On the tape the officer is seen trying to detain one of the women when another shoves him. He has said that he believed she was trying to help her friend escape, and that both women were verbally abusive, but whether that justifies the straight punch to the face he delivers to the woman is questionable.

Nonetheless, O'Neill said the department's command staff was correctly handling the situation. "They had to send it out for review," O'Neill said. "These are the times we live in."

Rosenthal appeared Tuesday in King County Juvenile Court, where supporters said that she lives at the Virginia Miller House, a residential facility with behavior-modification programs for teen girls, but was in contact with her family. It's unclear why the girl is not living with her family.

King County Superior Court pro-tem Judge Ann Danieli found that Seattle police had probable cause to arrest Rosenthal for investigation of third-degree assault and obstruction. However, the judge agreed with the girl's defense attorney that she should be released.

Marilyn Jamerson, Rosenthal's aunt, spoke after the hearing in support of the girl.

"She's perfect; that's why we call her Angel," Jamerson said. "She was named Angel for a reason."

The teen was ordered back to court on Friday. Charges are expected to be filed by Thursday, according to prosecutors.

Levias was released on her personal recognizance Monday and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Seattle Municipal Court.

Previous arrests

Rosenthal was charged in November with second-degree robbery. According to prosecutors, she punched a 15-year-old boy in the face while she and a group of youths were on their way to a rave in South Seattle last Aug. 28. The boy told police that his cellphone and $20 were stolen in the incident. A 14-year-old boy told police that he was punched in the head and his hat was stolen.

Authorities say the case was dismissed when the boys refused to testify.

In April 2008, Rosenthal was charged with third-degree theft after she allegedly stole a minivan in Tukwila, prosecutors said. Kent police said she used a screwdriver to break the ignition and start the vehicle.

The charge was later amended to theft of a motor vehicle. Rosenthal was given a deferred disposition — charges would be dropped if she stayed out of trouble — because it was a first-time offense, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.

Levias was charged in February 2009 with third-degree assault after she allegedly pushed a King County sheriff's deputy down.

According to charging documents, on Feb. 3, 2009, deputies were called to the Ruth Dykeman Children's Center, a Burien center for troubled girls, in response to a report that Levias was being abusive toward staff. When Levias was confronted by Deputy Amy Zarelli, she pushed the female deputy, causing her to fall, charging papers said.

Levias was given a deferred disposition because it was a first-time offense, Goodhew said.

Source: Seattle Times

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012122660_coppunch16m.html

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Source: Huffington Post

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Should he have punched her? No.

She was resisting arrest and struck/shoved the police officer though. This story has been blown WAY out of proportion because she's a black woman and he's a white male officer.

Normally I'd be on the victim's side in most confrontations like this but you do not physically contact police officers. Period.

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The woman really should've known better than to put her hands on an officer who's already in the middle of trying to subdue someone.

That said, it seemed like a pretty wicked shot to the face when she wasn't doing much but pushing.

Edit: To state my opinion a bit more clearly, maybe he could've handled it better, but I have no sympathy for the woman.

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He did what he had to do. Somebody unhinged enough to lay hands on a cop, you never know what else they have in mind. Like everybody said, it was MUCH better than him whipping out a piece. I don't think it was that much of a hit either. I haven't studied closely, but it looks like she drew back pretty fast, causing less impact, and giving the impression he was throwing a monster punch. If it was as hard as it looks at a glance and she was stationary, she would have dropped.

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One thing to remember when escalating force, you have to go above the level that is being shown to you. You cannot stay at the same level of force.

He did have two women attacking him, he could have pulled his weapon, baton, mace or taser but he used the least amount necessary to take control. Good job.

No pitty, she has been given more than enough breaks by the system. Hope this sticks with maximum sentencing/fines.

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Punching her might have been a little much, but I really dont care...she deserved it for trying to wrestle with an officer engaged with someone else...:wtf: thinks that its acceptable to go after an officer and not receive anything in return?

Why the hell did he allow the girl to fight back so much...he should have just laid her on the ground and stuck a knee in her neck and arrested her for being disorderly.

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I am ALWAYS the first to defend the police.

But he should have used appropriate force (IE tasers, takedowns etc) rather than swinging a fist. It wasnt a racist act as it will be portrayed by the usual suspects, but he did act innappropriately.

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He should have not hit her. But I dont think he is completely wrong for doing it too. I don't understand why it took so long for him to take charge of that situation.

Yeah it seems that pulling out a tazer and saying something like GET DOWN ON THE ****ING GROUND would be a better way of handling it... and I'm actually serious. He is the officer of the law and you have to respect that.

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I like where they are at the back of the car and she asks why did you hit my cousin? He replies cause she tried to grab at me(not real clear) then her and all around scream no she didn't. did they not just see what happened?

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Yeah it seems that pulling out a tazer and saying something like GET DOWN ON THE ****ING GROUND would be a better way of handling it... and I'm actually serious. He is the officer of the law and you have to respect that.

Thats what I would expect from a cop. If that was me I would have taken the person down or if I had trouble in that matter use the tazer.

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Should he have punched her? No.

She was resisting arrest and struck/shoved the police officer though. This story has been blown WAY out of proportion because she's a black woman and he's a white male officer.

I am ALWAYS the first to defend the police.

But he should have used appropriate force (IE tasers, takedowns etc) rather than swinging a fist. It wasnt a racist act as it will be portrayed by the usual suspects, but he did act innappropriately.

I agree that it is very unlikely that this was a racist act, and people jumping to that conclusion are wrong.

With that said, I wonder if all of our initial reactions would have been the same if we saw a clip of, say, a black police officer punch a 17 year old white girl straight in the face like that? Makes you wonder, a little. :whoknows:

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Yeah it seems that pulling out a tazer and saying something like GET DOWN ON THE ****ING GROUND would be a better way of handling it... and I'm actually serious. He is the officer of the law and you have to respect that.

He could have, but when your close like that you don't always have the option or time to reach for it, but he could step back and draw. Better scenerio would have been - punch, step back and then "GET DOWN ON THE ****ING GROUND "

It's very easy to say he should have, and I would have. He handled it great imho. There is always room for improvement and real world practice makes almost perfect.

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I agree that it is very unlikely that this was a racist act, and people jumping to that conclusion are wrong.

With that said, I wonder if all of our initial reactions would have been the same if we saw a clip of, say, a black police officer punch a 17 year old white girl straight in the face like that? Makes you wonder, a little. :whoknows:

And suddenly -- miraculously -- speculation and hypotheticals involving reversal of race are completely OK.

I want my old, non-hypocrital, Predicto back. :ols:

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