Monday, May 10, 2010

Seattle Officer in Video Apologizes for Language

From the Seattle Times:

In a news conference Friday night, a tearful Seattle Police Det. Shandy Cobane apologized for his language to a suspect caught in a widely circulated video aired publicly for the first time Thursday night.

Shot around 2 a.m. on April 17, the video shows a group of officer detaining three men, who are lying on a sidewalk. After one of the men moves a hand to his face, it appears Cobane is trying to stop the movement with his boot but ends up kicking the man's head. He is heard saying: "I'm going to beat the [expletive] Mexican piss out of you homey. You feel me?"

"I know my words cut deep and were very hurtful. ... I am truly, truly sorry," Cobane told the assembled media.

Cobane said that as a 15-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, he at no time envisioned that he would "do anything to bring such notoriety to my department. Sadly, I did."

He said his words that night were "offensive and unprofessional" and embarrassed himself and his colleagues.

He offered apologies to his colleagues to the Latino community and to Seattle.

He said his comments did not reflect who or what he was. But, "I accept full responsibility for my comments."

Interim Police Chief John Diaz said he appreciated Cobane coming forward with the remarks of his own volition, but that racial and ethnic slurs are unacceptable in the department and the internal investigation would continue.

The Seattle Police Department learned of the video a few days after the April 17 incident, according to interim Deputy Chief Nicholas Metz.

It was his understanding, Metz said, that an internal investigation was launched shortly after that.

But Cobane was not placed on administrative assignment until Friday, Metz said.

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