Tuesday, September 15th saw the firing of Seattle cop Cynthia Whitlatch who arrested William Wingate,69, for nothing outside of using his golf club as a cane. The video drew a lot of attention back in July of 2014 for her combative approach to the man and racial bias and that is exactly what cost Whitlatch her job.
Police Chief Kathleen O’ Toole agreed to sign off on what the department’s Office of Professional Accountability found to be breaking the department’s rules during the arrest. When all charges were dismissed against the elderly Wingate, the cop complained that it was because she was white that the charges were dropped as the judge and deputy chief were black.
Whitlatch claimed that she heard metal striking metal and saw a blur out the corner of her eye which she took as Wingate hitting a stop sign. She also claimed he gave her a glare but the dashcam video shows anything but her story. The officer has been disciplined twice before for unprofessional conduct and the police chief says the situation should have been handled much differently. Kathleen O’ Toole had this to say in a written statement:
Your inability to understand, even in hindsight, that your behavior was unnecessarily aggressive, an abuse of discretion, and negatively impacted the community’s confidence in this police service, offers me no pathway to confidence that your behavior will improve or change. Without this ability to learn from your mistakes, understand how you can improve and do better, and recognize your own errors, you are unable to effectively function as an officer.
Whitlatch said in a review her actions would not have changed that day in any way in attempt to deny racial bias. The Seattle Police Officer’s Guild are expected to appeal the firing as the investigation was not reported in the required 180 day period. William Wingate, sued the city in April and his lawyers have applauded the firing of Cynthia Wintlatch.
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