A King County sheriff’s deputy who threatened a newspaper editor with arrest during a sidewalk confrontation in July has been placed on administrative leave pending the final results of an internal investigation into his behavior.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart confirmed today that Deputy Patrick Saulet was placed on paid administrative leave before Thanksgiving for allegedly threatening to arrest Dominic Holden, news editor for The Stranger weekly newspaper.
Holden wrote that he was riding his bike past Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street about 7:25 p.m. on July 30 when he saw six law enforcement officers surrounding a man who was seated on a planter box at a transit station.
Holden said he took a photo from a public sidewalk of Saulet, who told Holden to leave the area or risk arrest. Holden then spoke to a Seattle police officer, who reportedly threatened to come to Holden’s office and bother him while he was working.
Taking photos of police activity on public property is legal.
“As long as they are not directly interfering with an investigation, they have a right to stand there and videotape or take photos,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West following the incident.More