Dash cam video taken by an SPD squad car shows Issac Ocak taking sharp blows to the face while other officers held back his arms. (Warning: full video contains graphic language.) Ocak says he was brutally beaten by officers in December 2010 while shopping at Seattle's Westwood Village.
Once the police dash cam video surfaced, he enlisted the help of attorney James Egan.
"This officer is a bully with a badge," Egan said.
Egan filed a complaint with SPD's Office of Professional Accountability, and took the first steps in filing a civil lawsuit against the city. He claims Officer Larry Longley escalated the situation and used excessive force during the arrest.
Seattle police responded by pointing out that Ocak assaulted Longley by biting him on the finger, even drawing blood.
Officers initially stopped Ocak because he left his car parked along the curb running, which looked suspicious. Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said the officers were concerned the car could be used as a potential getaway car for a shoplifter or robber.
Egan said Ocak gave an explanation, but the officers wouldn't let up.
"They're fishing," Egan said. "They are fishing, but there's nothing to find."
Seattle police say the car didn't come back registered to Ocak, and a background check showed he had been assaultive to officers in the past.
"We believe that he's in the middle of committing a crime, was about to commit a crime, or just did," Whitcomb said.
Prosecutors ultimately dropped the assault charge against Ocak.
Police supervisors reviewed the case, but determined the force used was reasonable and necessary. Longley was never disciplined.
"I hope that through a pattern of looking at what they've done, that there will be some changes that are positive," Egan said.
Longley was involved in at least one other questionable arrest. In 2008, the state Supreme Court ruled Longley acted unlawfully, and ultimately cleared the defendant.