VIDEO: Police beat 15 year old girl. UPDATE – Deputy fired.
Posted by iusbvision on February 28, 2009
While some police are very good, we need to keep in mind that some are very bad. Incidents like this create a real problem. How is anyone supposed to trust the police with video’s like this being released right and left it seems? How are the good police going to make real progress when others behave like this?
Surveillance video released in an assault case against a King County, Wash., sheriff’s deputy shows a deputy kicking a 15-year-old girl, slamming her to the floor of a jail cell, striking her and pulling her hair.
The footage shows the attack beginning after the girl enters the cell and kicks off one of her shoes toward the deputy.
The video released Friday [02-27-09] is part of an assault case in which Deputy Paul Schene, 31, is accused of using excessive force on the girl, who was being held in a cell at the suburban SeaTac City Hall. Schene, who is charged with fourth-degree assault, pleaded not guilty on Thursday [02-26-09] in Superior Court.
The incident last November began after the girl was brought in for an auto theft investigation, according to court documents.
“We believe this case is beyond just police misconduct, it’s criminal misconduct,” King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said. “This is clearly excessive force.”
Satterberg added the case is uncommon because cameras captured the entire incident.
Schene was investigated previously for shooting two people — killing one — in “the line of duty” in 2002 and 2006. Both times his actions were found to be justified, said Ian Goodhew, prosecutor’s deputy chief of staff.
In the video, a deputy kicks the girl, pushing her back toward the wall. The deputy then strongly backs the girl against the wall, and slams her to the floor by grabbing her hair. A second deputy enters the holding cell, while the first deputy holds the girl face down to the floor. The first deputy appears to hit the girl with his hands. The girl is then lifted up and led out of the cell while the first deputy holds her hair.
The second officer shown in the video was a “trainee” at the time—this means he was a coward who did not stop the crime in progress—and is not under investigation, Goodhew said.
According to court documents, the girl complained of breathing problems after the incident and medics were called to check her. A short time later, she was taken to a youth detention center and booked for investigation of auto theft and third-degree assault, the latter accusation dealing with her conduct toward the deputy. The girl has pleaded not guilty to taking a motor vehicle without permission, Goodhew said Friday, adding she was never formally charged with assault.
Schene told investigators through an e-mail conversation with his lawyer that once he was assaulted by the girl kicking her shoe at him, he entered the cell to “prevent another assault,” according to court documents. Schene also said that the girl failed to comply with instructions in the holding area.
Federal prosecutors investigating deputy
Civil rights inquiry follows taped beating
By PAUL SHUKOVSKY AND LEWIS KAMB
Federal prosecutors have launched a civil rights investigation of a King County sheriff’s deputy who was shown on a videotape beating a 15-year-old girl in a holding cell after she kicked a tennis shoe at his legs.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Harris said the release Friday of a video that shows the November beating prompted prosecutors to launch the inquiry. “It (the video) definitely drives home the fact that we need to look at it,” he said.
The video shows Deputy Paul Schene rushing into the cell and slamming Malika Calhoun against the wall, throwing her facedown to the floor and punching her before lifting her to her feet by her hair and leading her out of the cell.
If Schene is prosecuted and found guilty of depriving Calhoun of her civil rights while acting in his official capacity, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Harris said.
Schene and a rookie deputy who was present during the beating, Travis Brunner, asserted in a report that the tennis shoe — seen in the video flying off the girl’s foot — struck Schene’s shin and caused “bruising, bleeding and pain.” They sought third-degree assault charges against the teenager.
Instead Schene, 31, is facing a misdemeanor assault charge and is on administrative leave. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation of the incident, which could result in disciplinary actions separate from any criminal sanctions.
Harris wouldn’t comment on whether Brunner also is the subject of the federal civil rights investigation.
Calhoun was arrested in November on an auto theft charge, which is being processed in King County Juvenile Court.
FBI Special Agent Robbie Burroughs said the bureau has opened a preliminary inquiry into the incident. “We will gather the basic facts of the incident and forward it to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice,” she said.
Schene is among more than a half-dozen King County sheriff’s deputies who have been federally investigated for excessive force and other issues in recent years. Several of those inquiries were opened after the Seattle P-I exposed details about misconduct allegations against the officers. Across the country, the FBI has pursued fewer such investigations of alleged police wrongdoing because the Bush administration transferred thousands of agents to counterterrorism duties.
Recent investigations against the Sherriff’s Office include:
Civil rights and perjury allegations against Deputy Brian Bonnar. In late 2008, a federal jury acquitted Bonnar of civil rights violations and four counts of perjury after a woman he arrested and several fellow officers accused him of using excessive force during a 2005 arrest. His indictment represented the first time in well over a decade that a federal grand jury had brought charges against an officer for such “color of law” violations.
Allegations of civil rights violations against Denny Gulla: In 2004, Gulla, a 23-year veteran and the subject of a number of misconduct accusations, drew a federal inquiry when he pulled over the husband of his lover on a bogus traffic stop and threatened to kill him. Despite a recommendation from an FBI supervisor that the case go forward, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division declined to prosecute, saying Gulla already had been punished administratively by superiors.
Dan Ring: The former intelligence detective, who cut a deal with the King County sheriff and prosecutors that allowed him to escape state prosecution for a felony charge and three misdemeanors, drew an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI after the P-I exposed details about his case. Federal authorities said they were examining whether federal criminal charges should have been filed against Ring; as of Tuesday, none had been.
Civil rights violations accusations against Joseph Abreu III, Bruce Matthews and Garrett Jorgensen: In February 2002, Sherry Reynolds, a software consultant and former volunteer firefighter, filed a formal complaint against three officers, whom she witnessed violently handle a homeless man outside a grocery store. After she filed the complaint, Reynolds was charged with obstruction of justice. The FBI opened a preliminary investigation into the deputies. Local agents felt they had a strong case, but the Department of Justice declined to prosecute.
DEPUTY SCHENE FIRED – 9-28-2009 …and It’s about time. Schene also faces criminal charges for the beating.
SEATTLE — A King County Sheriff’s deputy who was seen on video beating a teenage girl in a holding cell has been fired, officials said Monday.
Sheriff spokesman John Urquhart said Paul Schene was fired for a number of policy violations, including the incident captured on video.
Urquhart said Schene pleaded his case before Sheriff Sue Rahr on September 9, but she found the violations to be supported and agreed with the recommendation that Schene be fired.
The department violations included making false statements, conduct that is criminal in nature, excessive or unnecessary force and discrimination in civility or bigotry, among others, Urquhart said.