Seattle police guild defends officer's teen punch

Deputy police chief: 17-year-old girl and companion bear responsibility for resisting arrest

Published June 16, 2010 10:05PM (EDT)

The president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild says an officer was justified in punching a young woman who shoved him in a dispute over jaywalking.

Rich O'Neil told KCPQ-TV that punching her in the face was an appropriate use of force as the officer struggled with two women and a crowd formed. O'Neil says it's wrong to call the punch police brutality or racist.

Cell phone video shows Officer Ian P. Walsh trying to control two women Monday and punching a 17-year-old in the face.

Acting deputy police chief Nick Metz has said the women bear much of the responsibility for resisting arrest.

Seattle Urban League CEO James Kelly says the punch was an overreaction that brought to mind a video taken April 17 of two Seattle officers kicking a Hispanic suspect.

Police are conducting an internal investigation.


Information from: KCPQ-TV,

By Associated Press

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