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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is King's County Deputy Paul Schene. He gets the award for the following-

Another out of control policeman beating someone up. In this case a 15-year-old girl. Wow this guy must either be an animal or most insecure of men if he felt threatened or wounded because of a shoe being kicked at him.

Schene can't be very smart. Did he ever think this wouldn't be caught on video and then have the video go public? That's grounds for a Knucklehead without the beating. The guy can't be very bright.

Note- This same officer was cleared in the shooting death of another person recently. I wonder what a video of that incident would tell us but we'll never know. The King's County police could have more than an out of control police officer on its force.

The Seattle PI article is beneath the fold. I name King's County Deputy Paul Schene today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Balloon Juice

A video showing a King County Sheriff's deputy pummeling a 15-year-old girl in a holding cell was released Friday over the strenuous objections of the officer's attorney.

The case goes beyond police misconduct, County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a prepared statement.

"It's about criminal misconduct. And that's why he needs to be prosecuted," he said.

The video of the Nov. 29 incident was disclosed Friday, one day after Deputy Paul Schene, 31, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault in King County District Court.

Schene, an eight-year veteran, works out of Precinct 4, which covers SeaTac, Burien and high crime areas in White Center and Skyway.

He is the third sheriff's deputy since 2006 to face charges on allegations of excessive force. All three are from the Burien precinct.

A detective assigned to the girl's case discovered the video Dec. 1 and immediately forwarded it to supervisors.

The Seattle P-I requested a copy of the holding cell video and all reports from the incident under the state's open records law. A judge on Thursday denied a request from Schene's attorney to bar the video from public disclosure.

"We take this very seriously and we're very concerned about this," sheriff's Sgt. Jim Laing said Friday. An internal investigation would begin after the criminal case is finished.

The girl was arrested after she was caught in her parents' car, which had been reported stolen from her parents' Tukwila home. Deputy Travis Brunner spotted the car driving without headlights about 3:45 a.m. on 32nd Avenue South in SeaTac and pulled it over.

She and another 15-yearold girl were arrested and taken to SeaTac City Hall to be fingerprinted before being transported to the youth detention center.

The P-I is not naming the girl because she is a minor.

The deputies apparently didn't know until later that the girl, who was in the passenger seat, was related to the car's owner.

"We had argued strenuously that the videotape released to the media this morning not be released because it does not tell the whole story of the incident," attorney Anne Bremner said in a statement.

"As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion and will severely impact the deputy's right to a fair trial."

The video shows Schene and Brunner as they escorted the girl into the holding cell. Schene had asked her to remove her basketball shoes, and, as she slipped out of her left shoe, she appeared to kick it at Schene.

Schene then lunged through the door and kicked her, striking either her stomach or upper thigh area, court documents say. He pushed her against a corner wall before flinging her to the floor by her hair. He then squatted down on her and made "two overhead strikes," although it's unclear where the blows landed.

The detective who reviewed the video said it appeared Schene and Brunner had the girl under control when Schene struck her. Schene, who is 6 feet 2 and weighs 195 pounds, did not explain his action to investigators, court documents say.

He and the girl exchanged words. Brunner said she was "real lippy" after being informed she was under arrest and called them "fat pigs."

The Sheriff's Office policy manual says deputies should use physical or deadly force only when "necessary to effect an arrest, to defend themselves or others from violence, or to otherwise accomplish police duties according to law."

Schene could face up to a year in jail if convicted. He has been on administrative leave since early December.

The girl said that she couldn't breathe after the incident, prompting the deputies to call paramedics.

Paramedics decided that she didn't require hospitalization. Felony charges require proof of serious injury.

"If the matter were to go to trial, he could face additional charges," said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff in the Prosecutor's Office.

In his own report from the incident, Schene wrote that the shoe hit him in the right shin, "causing injury and pain." He wrote that he "placed" her into handcuffs and that she needed medical attention for a "panic attack."

He said a "blood filled pocket" formed on his shin, requiring treatment at Auburn General Hospital, according to his report. The video, however, appears to show his shin strike a metal toilet as he pushes the girl against the wall.

The girl told investigators that she didn't intend for the shoe to hit him, court documents say.

Schene had previously been in the news in 2006 after he fatally shot Pedro Jo, a mentally ill man, during a struggle after a traffic stop on Interstate 5. It was the second officer-involved shooting of his career.

An inquest jury ruled the shooting was justified. Jo viciously attacked Schene, trying to strangle him with his own radio cord.

Jo then ran back to his car and disobeyed Schene's orders to stop. Schene said he saw Jo reach for something in the seat, so Schene fired 11 times after Jo ran back to his car.

Shortly after the shooting while on administrative leave, Schene was stopped for driving under the influence.

He had been drinking and taking prescription medication, according to court records. He received a deferred sentence and was placed on probation, records show.

Schene works in an urban precinct with higher rates of violent crime and gang activity than other precincts. Officers assigned there more often report having to use physical force in arrest situations, Laing said.

Schene is the second officer from the precinct in three months to face charges. In addition, a third deputy, Brian Bonnar, was acquitted in January of civil rights violations during a trial in U.S. District Court. Bonnar, who patrolled in the precinct, was accused by other deputies of using excessive force on a woman who'd been restrained after a high-speed pursuit.

Legal costs for Bonnar's private attorneys, David Allen and Todd Maybrown, as well as lawyer costs for other deputies involved, cost the county's insurer $315,000, according to records the P-I obtained.

In December, Deputy Don Griffee was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching a handcuffed male suspect. The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case.


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Comments (11)

There is no excuse for his ... (Below threshold)

There is no excuse for his actions.

Still, lippy detainees take note, your words may have deleterious effects on your health. I wonder if this was the first time she had serious consequences for her lack of respect and good judgement.

The guy was felony dumb. H... (Below threshold)

The guy was felony dumb. However, I am struck by the fact that the video was released to the press. As his attorney said, "...it will inflame public opinion and will severely impact the deputy's right to a fair trial." How often are prosecutors barred from showing the bloody clothing of victims in court because "it will inflame the senses of the jurors"? Be nice to have one standard for everyone.

No surprise here, what do w... (Below threshold)

No surprise here, what do we expect when lowlife hotheads get a gun and a badge after only 10 weeks of training? Who protects us from cops?

I'll preface this by saying... (Below threshold)

I'll preface this by saying I'm very pro-cop.

But, if you look closely it's obvious that her actions were not anything remotely warranting the response she received.

She's in the process of removing the other shoe when she gets jumped by the officer. The officer opens with a kick to the knee/shin that could have crippled her for life if it had landed solidly. I'd like to see the shithead articulate his reasoning behind that, not to mention the hair-throw and striking her twice after she (SHE, a 15 year old girl, lest we forget that part) was subdued.

If that was my daughter I'd be gathering a mob right about now.

Everything the Officer did ... (Below threshold)

Everything the Officer did seemed appropriate to get a violent suspect under control. The kick to the lower leg is a practice all officers are taught it is a distracting blow. The hair pulling can be used to control out of control suspects. Everything this officer did in this situation is against any policy and procedure in dealing with this situation. This cop would be thrown off my force in a heartbeat. If as a cop you can not take people talking shit to you find another job. Those 10 weeks of training teach you to use a level of force model that this officer violated. The best cops I know don't have college and usually had some troubles in early life. Some of the worst cops are college educated know it alls, they just seem to have problems dealing with people that are in trouble. This guy is toast.

Maybe the cops should have ... (Below threshold)
Hilary Smith:

Maybe the cops should have raped her too. That would have taught her a lesson. When will children and working-class people learn to respect authority?

Wrong answer. We need to reassert civilian control over our law enforcement agencies ASAP or we risk becoming like so many other nations where working-class people have no rights and are forced to bow to the whims of corrupt police forces.

The video game generation that grew up with no boundaries is what has created the law enforcement culture that has become an anti-democratic abomination.

Many of today's cops are automatons, indoctrinated by right-wing law and order ideology and are extremely dangerous to our prospects for democratic self governance.

Remember, police officers are not judge, jury and executioner. They act on suspicion and then, if they've done their job properly, they will present actual evidence against you in an unbiased court of law. It is un-American to blindly accept authority of any kind.

This cop has no business be... (Below threshold)

This cop has no business being on a police force. A big man beating up a 15 year old girl...outrageous! Just outrageous!

I wouldn't be a bit surprise if he's also a woman/wife beater.

epador, I was a "lippy deta... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

epador, I was a "lippy detainee" one time, way back in 1976. I mouthed off to a cop when I was already in the cell, and he maced me. Didn't try to kick my ass. Wonder if it was because I was a grown man (physically, anyway) who might have gave as good as I got, not a 15-year old girl.
A fucking bully is a fucking bully. NO EXCUSES.

No doubt she was being a b_... (Below threshold)

No doubt she was being a b_tch and mouthing off but that is no excuse, as someone else said if you can't take that part of the job - particularly from a 15 year old it is not the job for you. He should be fired and then charged with assaulting a minor, this person was of near zero threat to him and his partner. The other officer should be reprimanded as well.

That cop is a good argument... (Below threshold)

That cop is a good argument for going back to the Hammurabi code (Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, etc.) and administering a beating to him, done by someone who has as big a size/weight advantage over him as he had over the 15-year-old girl who was complying with his demand to remove her shoes and give them to him. Oh, and he's a f***'n' liar about the oh-so-horrible damage she caused (NOT!) with her soft-soled shoe to his shin. For that he ought to have his tongue treated with a hot iron.

This never would have happe... (Below threshold)

This never would have happened at Gitmo. ;)






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