A Seattle police officer was assigned to desk duty this week after an uproar over a video showing an encounter between her and a 69-year-old man who refused to drop a golf club he was using as a cane, the Associated Press reports.
Officer Cynthia Whitlatch ordered the man, William Wingate, to drop the golf club, saying he had swung it at her patrol car in a threatening manner and struck a stop sign, the news outlet writes. As The Root reported earlier, video footage from a police dashboard camera that recorded the encounter, which occurred last summer, shows that the officer pulled her cruiser up to a corner where the man, William Wingate, was standing, and yelled at him to drop the golf club, the news outlet writes.
The officer alleged that Wingate had swung the club at her, the report notes, and that audio and video recordings from her cruiser would back up her allegation. But the video contains no evidence of such actions by Wingate, and the Seattle Police Department has acknowledged that no video exists to back up the officer’s claim.
In a written statement Thursday, AP reports, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said she was “shocked and disappointed” on Wednesday to read racially charged comments, concerning black people, that Whitlatch posted on Facebook several weeks after Wingate’s arrest. O’Toole reassigned the officer to desk duty, where she would have no interaction with the public, pending a review of her cases, and asked the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability to conduct an independent investigation.
Read more at the Huffington Post.