SPD reaches settlement with former officer over controversial golf club arrest

KOMO News File

SEATTLE - The Seattle Police Department has reached a settlement with a former officer who was fired for her role in a controversial arrest of a man with a golf club in July 2014.

The department confirmed Tuesday that Cynthia Whitlatch will receive $104,000 in back pay. Her termination record has also been changed to retirement, which will allow her to qualify for her pension.

But, as part of the agreement, Whitlatch can never return to the Seattle Police force.

Whitlatch was fired in 2015, after she claimed in a police report that William Wingate swung a golf club in her direction, and she arrested him. SPD later apologized to Wingate after dashcam video of the incident failed to substantiate Whitlatch's claims.

Wingate claimed to use a golf club as a a cane on his daily walks and later filed a racial discrimination lawsuit.

In November 2016, a federal court jury ruled in favor of Wingate and unanimously awarded him $325,000 in damages.

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