A Seattle police officer placed on desk duty last week while she is investigated for her arrest of a 70-year-old man carrying a golf club and a racially charged post on Facebook has been put on paid home leave amid new allegations.
“Given the totality of the circumstances, I thought it was best,” said Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who ordered the new action Tuesday.
O’Toole said she acted in response to the new allegations, which have been directed to the department and its Office of Professional Accountability, which is conducting an internal investigation of Whitlatch’s conduct.
No details were provided on the new allegations, except that they include claims from Whitlatch’s former girlfriend that Whitlatch once took marijuana from evidence and made racist remarks in the past.
Whitlatch, 47, who is white, came under scrutiny last week over revelations she made racially charged comments on Facebook last summer within two months of arresting William Wingate, a black man, for carrying a golf club during his daily walk.
Seattle police later apologized for the arrest, and a charge against Wingate for unlawful use of a weapon was dismissed.