A white Seattle police officer was suspended without pay for 15 days for using what the department determined to be a racial slur during her pursuit of a black domestic violence suspect in October 2013.
Police dash cam video captured Seattle police officer Jennifer Hunt chasing the suspect through downtown Seattle and then yelling at the 32-year-old man, “You’re gonna get your ass shot, boy!”
An internal investigation was reportedly launched after Hunt’s superiors watched the video. Regarding the word “boy,” Seattle PD Sgt. George Davisson said he “expressed deep concern about her word choice,” according to an internal memo obtained by KIRO-TV.
“I explained that regardless how she intended the comment to be taken or what she meant to say, this comment would undoubtedly be viewed in a negative context with police chasing a black male in the streets of Seattle,” he said.
Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, claimed Hunt later was “quite alarmed as to what she said at the time.”
However, Smith also noted that the “suspect being chased by the officer did not complain about any language” and “did not complain about any of this incident to the department.”
Seattle Police Department spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the department has since implemented "bias-free policing policy and training" as part of a deal struck with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also claimed the department has made sweeping changes after another officer was caught on video in 2010 threatened to beat the "Mexican piss" out of a Hispanic suspect.
"I think anyone who sees the video is going to find that the language is completely unacceptable," he added, according to KIRO-TV.
The suspension will reportedly be appealed by the police union as some officials feel the punishment was "too severe."
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)