I’m pretty late with this one. According to the story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schene is shown here beating down a 15-year-old girl because she…wait for it…kicked off her shoe in a way caused it to struck him in the leg:
I suppose it’s possible that something else was going on here that we can’t see, although the extra context provided by this longer video shows nothing significant that I can see. Further, King County is prosecuting Deputy Schene on misdemeanor assault charges.
There are so many issues here, most of which have already been covered by other bloggers, but let me just touch on a few:
- Beating 15-year-old girls. Very bad. ‘Nuff said.
- Most cops never have to shoot their gun at someone, but Deputy Schene has shot two people so far in his career, including a mentally ill man. Maybe he’s just a statistical outlier—somebody has to be—because both shootings were ruled justified. But it makes you think.
- Would Deputy Schene still be prosecuted for this if there wasn’t any video? Would the other deputy have spoken up about it?
- I read somewhere that the other deputy in the video was a rookie being trained by Deputy Schene. You can see him trying to stop Schene from hitting the girl while she’s down. I wonder what lessons he learned from this. Don’t beat detainees on video? Or don’t put up with lawbreaking deputies who will drag you into all kinds of trouble?
- The precinct has had as spate of officers facing charges, but somewhat surprisingly, they seem to have been reported by other deputies, so maybe someone is trying to clean up a bit.
But here’s the thing I want to blog about:
In his own report from the incident, Schene wrote that the shoe hit him in the right shin, “causing injury and pain.”
If Deputy Schene is guilty as charged, he should be fired for being a criminal. But if we take his report seriously—that he suffered injury and pain from a 15-year-old girl’s basketball shoe—then by his own words he should be fired for being a wuss.
While we’re at it, can we also fire those airport security folks who arrest people for “creating a distraction” by yelling or swearing at them? If you can be distracted from your security duties that easily, you don’t deserve the job.