A Seattle police officer has been caught on tape saying "I'll make stuff up" when arresting two black men who were later found to be innocent, according to KOMO News.
Officer Brad Richardson and his partner stopped Josh Lawson and Christopher Franklin on Nov. 16, 2010, after they got a dispatch call about "two tall, skinny African Americans," both wearing jeans, who were committing a crime nearby. Richardson, who never questioned the two men about the crime when he stopped them, made a "felony stop," with his gun out. Lawson, who is 6 feet tall, was wearing white sweatpants. Meanwhile, Franklin is just 5 feet 9.
On the tape, which was recently released, an officer says, "Well, you're going to jail for robbery, that's all." You then hear Franklin ask, "For robbery?" And the officer responds, "Yeah, I'm gonna make stuff up."
Both men said that they suffered facial bruises and other injuries. Officer Richardson claimed that both men ignored his commands when he had his gun drawn. An SPD sergeant who reviewed the tape said that what the officer said was inappropriate, but meanwhile, the SPD completed an investigation and exonerated the officer.
It shouldn't make a difference, but it's worth noting that both men lacked criminal records, went to school and had full-time jobs. They were never charged. They have now filed a claim against the city for excessive force and wrongful arrest.
It looks as if these men were simply guilty of being black men in a city with a small number of black males. Hopefully the officers will be appropriately punished and the young men financially compensated.
Read more at KOMO News.