Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seattle: The punch, the past and the connection
(From The Root)

For the past week, courtesy of a video on YouTube, it's been the punch thrown 'round the world: On June 14, during an arrest for jaywalking and a fracas that resulted from that arrest, a Seattle police officer punched a teenager in the face after she shoved the officer while being arrested.

The teenager who did the jaywalking, Angel Rosenthal, was apparently wrong as two left feet, and she admitted as much to the arresting officer, Ian P. Walsh, in a private meeting on Friday (the same day she was charged with third-degree assault).

Rosenthal's friend, Marilyn Levias, 19, was arrested for obstruction of justice for coming to Rosenthal's aid and briefly tussling with the officer. The Seattle Police Officers Guild has rallied to Walsh's defense. The Seattle Police Department is investigating the incident internally and reviewing its training procedures.

The physical aspect of this likely case of police self-defense has troubling antecedents in Seattle's history of police-minority relations. The punching incident and another highly visible occurrence, eight weeks earlier, are reminders of the sometimes poor state of those relations in a city that prides itself on cultural tolerance and a laid-back lifestyle. ...

Read the rest at The Root
Image credits: Cell-phone video of punching incident: Source unknown. July 11, 1965 story excerpt: The Seattle Times.

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