Seattle officer shown on video kicking teen

Seattle, Washington (AP) November 2010

Seattle police say they have reassigned a plainclothes officer and launched an investigation after the officer was shown on a convenience store video kicking a 17-year-old boy in the groin during an Oct. 18 arrest.

In a statement on their blog, police said they learned about the officer's action last week "during a conversation with a local news outlet." Deputy Chiefs Clark Kimerer and Nick Metz viewed the video immediately, then reassigned the unidentified 10-year veteran officer to his home, the statement said. Kimerer and Metz also briefed Chief John Diaz, who told the mayor's office.

Five people were arrested for investigation of robbery and assault on the night of Oct. 18 after an undercover officer attempting a narcotics buy-bust downtown was lured to a parking lot, surrounded and attacked, police said. Two officers were seriously injured and taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Police said their Office of Professional Accountability investigation will include a review of the force used by the officer as well as the circumstances surrounding the handling of the video.

The actions of other individual Seattle officers have drawn criticism in recent months.

After an officer's fatal shooting of a First Nations wood carver last summer, the chief changed the department's command ranks to boost training and community involvement.

Diaz named Metz as deputy chief of operations and community building. Eight other commanders have been given new responsibilities to help fight crime while developing closer ties with city residents.

On Aug. 30, Officer Ian Birk fatally shot 50-year-old John T. Williams. Members of Seattle's Native American community and civil rights advocates have criticized the officer's actions. An inquest into the death is upcoming.

Diaz has said his department will submit its investigation of the shooting to two other police agencies for an independent review.

Earlier, two Seattle officers were caught on video kicking and stomping on a man and using a racial epithet. They had taken him down as a robbery suspect but released him after they realized they had the wrong man.

Diaz ordered an internal investigation and apologized to the man, as did one of the officers.

A video emerged in June of an officer punching a 17-year-old girl after she shoved him as he tried to arrest her friend for jaywalking. The girl later apologized; Diaz ordered a review of police training procedures.



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