More insanity out of Washington state, where King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg will “not file [charges] when the assault can be best described as resisting” an arrest from an officer.
That confirmation comes directly from his office.
King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht was shocked, saying, “we need to rethink this.”
The news came after the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH broke news about an incident where a King County Sheriff’s deputy was kicked in the groin by a 20-year-old female suspect in tall leather boots.
Police say she was most likely intoxicated.
Satterberg’s office reviewed the case and decided not to charge the suspect with assaulting the officer.
King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in a statement that they will only charge assault in the third degree, “if the assault can best be described as an intentional attack on the officer and the officer has an injury or experiences significant pain as a result of the assault.”
“From my reading of the deputy’s report, I would say it would seem like it was an intentional kick at the deputy,” Sheriff Johanknecht said. “And that I truly believe him when he says he was in pain about that. You know there’s all kinds of things that come into play here, as you know, as to filing guidelines and all those other things … but I believe the deputy was hurt, not enough to, thank goodness, be hospitalized. But a lot of pain.”
Satterberg’s office received the case for filing on April 3, 2019. On April 5, 2019, they declined to charge the suspect with assault.
“Certainly, the suspect’s mental state did not diminish the pain the officer involved experienced as a result of her actions, but it does affect our ability to prove an intentional assault,” the spokesperson explained.
It begs the obvious question: by refusing to charge anyone who injures an officer while refusing arrest… isn’t that encouraging this kind of behavior?
Satterberg’s office says law enforcement is aware of the charging guidelines, saying they are “directly from our written Felony Filing and Disposition Standards (FADS).”
That doesn’t mean that LEOs support them.
“It’s insane,” one deputy told the Jason Rantz Show.
A second deputy said:
“That [standard] is wrong on so many levels and makes it open season on LEO’s. It’s infuriating.”
Johanknecht said the public isn’t widely aware of the ludicrous policy.
“I think the general public would be surprised by how the filing standards describe that from the prosecutor’s office,” Johanknecht explains. “Again, to be clear, I’m not trying to be critical of Mr. Satterberg’s office. I’m just coming from the law enforcement slant of this … you know, we do go out of the way in training to try to avoid physical contact with people … There are just times when you have to place your hands on people and when they resist, it is very frustrating. Very frustrating for me, very frustrating for my deputies.”
If a suspect knows they won’t be charged with assault while resisting arrest, it could likely lead to situations where law enforcement will be forced to physically control a suspect – which could result in injuries for both the officers AND the suspects.
Johanknecht hopes “there’s opportunity to compromise on some of these things since every law enforcement agency deals with this more regularly each and every day.”
So is this the new trend?
It sure seems that way when you look at what happened in Florida this week.
A video from a Florida school made its rounds across social media this week showing a student kneeing and kicking an officer in the head while he tries to make an arrest.
The cellphone video shows Shardae Yvonne Pittman, 18, of Homestead High assaulting the officer. The officer was attempting to arrest a 17-year-old student at the time after she was reportedly involved in an altercation in the cafeteria with two other female students. She was eventually taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest with violence, but the charges were later dropped and she was released.
The student’s mother said it wasn’t right for her daughter to be arrested in the first place.
“She’s the victim. Of course she’s the victim,” parent Sharnelle Lee said. “They just charged her with resisting arrest with officer. She never did anything to the officer. I asked the officer to show me the video. The video was never shown to me. Two girls jumped my daughter, so apparently, she was defending herself.”
However, while Lee’s daughter was being taken into custody, the officer was attacked by Pittman.
Take a look.
Shocking video shows the moment a student kicked a Homestead High School resource officer in the face as he was restraining another student.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) May 2, 2019
While he attempts to detain the first girl, Pittman can be seen pushing and shoving to try and get him off of her. When she is pulled away by others, she lashes out, kicking the officer in the face.
The officer pulls back, wincing. He suffered a cut lip and abrasions from the kick.
The school issued the following statement after the video circulated.
“Any behavior that endangers the well-being of students and staff at Miami-Dade County Public Schools will not be tolerated, will be handled swiftly, and result in severe consequences. When that behavior involves battery on a police officer, as it did today, offenders will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Students will also be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct, up to, and including, expulsion.”
It is a shame that while this officer was attempting to break up a fight and and maintain a safe learning environment, this adult student acted in a cowardly way rather than fall in line with @MDCPS values https://t.co/83Rm65dpOl
— Edwin Lopez (@edwinlopezMDSPD) May 3, 2019