New video shows Seattle cops dishing out taunts, profanity

SEATTLE - A newly released dashcam video shows continuing problems within the ranks of Seattle police just as the U.S. Justice Department released a scathing report accusing the police of a pattern of excessive force.

The video, obtained by KOMO News, shows taunts and profanity dished out by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop - exactly the kinds of problems highlighted in the civil rights investigation.

The lawyer who released the video says it backs up Justice Department findings that Seattle police use "unnecessary and excessive force" in violation of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.

The officers involved were reprimanded - but the lawyer questions if the punishment went far enough.

The video shows Seattle police stopping Miguel Oregon for speeding in March 2010. Police also pulled his passenger Hugo Perez from the car.

But it's not what the officer did - it's what he said - that's behind the latest complaint.

"This badge is the only thing preventing me from skull ----ing you and dragging you down the street," one of the officers can be heard saying in the video.

Attorney James Egan says now that the Department of Justice has found a pattern of excessive force by Seattle police, the public should see their officers at work.

"And ask yourself if this is the face of the Seattle police that you expect to project with your tax dollars," Egan says.

The taunts and profanity continued throughout the stop, as shown in the videotape.

"Don't suck my ---- here, all right," says one officer.

Instead of de-escalating the situation, the lawyer says police provoked his clients.

"What I think these officers were doing was goading these guys into possibly taking a swing at them so they could take them down," Egan says.

Egan says officers lied in their follow-up reports, saying the car didn't stop for a stop sign - and pedestrians were near the crosswalk.

But the dashcam video clearly shows brake lights as the car halts - and no one in sight crossing the street.

"I think if you look at the record, they circled the wagons to protect themselves," says Egan.

Ultimately, the case against the driver was dropped for lack of evidence. Three of the four officers were suspended 15 to 20 days for profanity - another black eye for the thin blue line.

"I've seen the good and the bad - and this is super ugly," says Egan.

Egan says he wants the public to comment on the situation before deciding whether he would file any civil actions against Seattle police.

The Seattle Police Department did not return calls seeking comment on this story.