For Better Or Worse
2009-03-02 12:46:12 UTC
Paul Schene, King County Deputy, Caught On Tape Punching, Kicking 15-
Year-Old Girl (VIDEO)
SEATTLE — A King County sheriff's deputy kicks a 15-year-old girl,
slams her to the floor of a jail cell, strikes her and pulls her hair
in violence captured on videotape.
Prosecutors released the surveillance video in Friday in the assault
case against Deputy Paul Schene, who is accused of using excessive
force on the girl.
The footage shows the attack beginning after the girl enters the cell
at suburban SeaTac City Hall and kicks off one of her shoes toward the
Schene, 31, pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree assault in Superior
Court on Thursday.
The incident last November began after the girl was brought in for an
auto theft investigation, according to court documents.
"We believe this case is beyond just police misconduct, it's criminal
misconduct," King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said. "This is
clearly excessive force."
Satterberg added the case is uncommon because cameras captured the
Schene was investigated previously for shooting two people _ killing
one _ in the line of duty in 2002 and 2006. Both times his actions
were found to be justified, said Ian Goodhew, prosecutor's deputy
chief of staff.
Calls by The Associated Press to Schene's lawyer Anne Bremner were not
immediately returned Friday. Bremner, however, released a statement to
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in which she said the video does not
tell the whole story. Bremner had asked Judge Catherine Shaffer to not
release the video to the media.
"As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion and will
severely impact the deputy's right to a fair trial," Bremner said.
In the video, a deputy kicks the girl, pushing her back toward the
wall. The deputy then strongly backs the girl against the wall, and
slams her to the floor by grabbing her hair. A second deputy enters
the holding cell, while the first deputy holds the girl face down to
the floor. The first deputy appears to hit the girl with his hands.
The girl is then lifted up and led out of the cell while the first
deputy holds her hair.
The second officer shown in the video was a trainee at the time and is
not under investigation, Goodhew said.
According to court documents, the girl complained of breathing
problems after the incident and medics were called to check her. A
short time later, she was taken to a youth detention center and booked
for investigation of auto theft and third-degree assault, the latter
accusation dealing with her conduct toward the deputy. The girl has
pleaded not guilty to taking a motor vehicle without permission,
Goodhew said Friday, adding she was never formally charged with
Schene told investigators through an e-mail conversation with his
lawyer that once he was assaulted by the girl kicking her shoe at him,
he entered the cell to "prevent another assault," according to court
documents. Schene also said that the girl failed to comply with
instructions in the holding area.
Prosecutors said Schene did not explain why he struck the girl after
he had her in a holding position on the floor.