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August 1, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Stranger editor says officers threatened arrest for police-stop photos

Over at The Stranger’s blog, News Editor Dominic Holden writes about an unfortunate encounter Tuesday night with King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Patrick Saulet and SPD Officer John Marion.

Holden writes that he was riding his bike past Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street about 7:25 p.m. when he stopped to snap a picture, which shows six officers surrounding a man sitting on a planter box at the ID transit station.

According to Holden, after one officer spotted his camera  he was approached by Sgt. Saulet, who told Holden to leave the area or risk arrest.  After taking a photograph of Saulet, Holden says he backed up and then contacted Officer Marion, asking him who at the scene was the commanding officer.  This second encounter went about as well as the first, according to Holden.

Holden wrote that he plans to file a complaint to the Sheriff’s Office about Saulet’s behavior, and that he received a call regarding the incident from SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability.

On its blog, SPD released the following statement Thursday from Chief  Jim Pugel: “Once we learned of the incident the department immediately referred the complaint to the Office of Professional Accountability.  I have discussed it with OPA Director Pierce Murphy.

“While I cannot comment on the specific complaint, the allegation, if true, does not match what the department teaches in our … training, nor with the four cornerstones of my administration which are ‘Excellence, Justice, Humility and Harm Reduction.’

“I have known Mr. Holden personally for many years, have regular communications with him and have assured him that we will get to the truth.”

A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office said an internal investigation into the matter has begun.

0 Comments | Topics: King County Sheriff's Office, Seatle police

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